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Monday, April 22, 2013

The Many Women Of Don Draper

DON DRAPER (JON HAMM), the leading man on TV’s “Mad Men,” may not be a role-model husband, or even an amicable business partner. But there is no denying his ability to attract any woman within a thirty mile radius.

Throughout the show’s six seasons, we’ve dissected, admired and even hated on Don’s swag. But we all know that behind every Don Draper, there are several (if not more) remarkable women with their own stories. Click through and find out how they drove this Madison Avenue Man…mad.

Poor misunderstood, perpetually hormonal, bitter ex-wife, Betty. She is by far Don’s most complex love interest to date. Polarizing by nature, but compelling with each growing peculiarity, Betty would be damned before she submits to the level of side piece. After spending years together with Don, raising their three kids and sharing in his ups and downs, Betty knows a part of Don that he allows few to see. But while Don juggles two identities, Betty struggles to develop one outside of his.

The latest entry in Don’s wife-of-the-month club, Megan is fluent in French seduction. But she first swept Don off his feet with her natural maternal instincts, after his split with Betty left a vacancy in the role of part-time mother to his children. Charmingly ditzy, but alert when you least expect it, Megan embodies that perfect balance of style and substance. Need convincing? Just watch this sexy clip from season five’s opener:

RACHEL MENKEN (MAGGIE SIFF):Don’s former fling, the elegant Rachel, was one of the only women in his little black book who was a proud independent businesswoman. She counted on no man for money, shelter or social status, and she let that be known to Don (who, if you haven’t already noticed, is a bit intimated by strong women). Though their friendship with benefits didn't last very long, Rachel’s departure undoubtedly left a lasting effect on Don’s ego.

Don’s newest jumpoff became one of the “Did you see that?” moments on the sixth season premiere. Hardcore apologists for Don were thrilled that he had seemingly turned over a new leaf, revealing himself as the one-woman man to Megan that they’d always hoped he could be. That is, until they saw him steaming up the sheets with this buxom brunette at the end of the episode. You hear that? That’s the sound of dreams collapsing.

A woman who might have had Don’s heart, Suzanne was a sweet, caring schoolteacher who was at first hesitant about engaging in an affair with Don (who was married to Betty at the time). But once the two spent more time together, Don felt a connection unlike any other we’ve seen. More than simply lovers, Don and Suzanne were genuine friends that were there for each other in their time of need. Don even tried to help her shady brother out of sticky situation, showing her that he wasn’t just some sleazy guy trying to get in her pants. And when he ended things between them, despite her heartbreak she wished him well. If only every break-up was this touching.

Every dude needs that PYT to flash in front of his ex once they break up. For Don, it was Bethany, who was basically a younger, wide-eyed version of Betty. She may not have had the scruples to carry on a provocative conversation with Don, but who needs brains when you’ve got a checkmate?

Before the TV show “Girls” came around, wannabe artist/liberal/junkie Midge Daniels first put hot mess hipsters on the map. A complete opposite from her A-lined female counterparts on the show, Midge may not have ever been able to sell one of her bootleg paintings, but she always had a full drug stash. Unlike anyone else we’ve ever seen Don date, Midge epitomized the anti-establishment. She was also the only woman who left Don tongue-tied and unnerved.

Anna, Don’s first bride from his previous life, remains the only character—male or female—who knows the real Don Draper, perhaps even better that he knows himself. Despite the fact that he stole her husband’s identity, Don has somewhat amended this façade by forming a healthy friendship with her that often borders on that between a mother and son. While it wasn’t a romantic relationship, it was surely the best one we’ve seen Don have. No matter who Don’s with, Anna will always be his life partner in spirit.

This post was originally published by The Urban Daily.


Daniel said...

Wonderful rundown of the woman Don's had relationships with, they are really across the board in terms of personality.

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