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July 30, 2015

I have a problem with Don Draper

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 19th 2009 4:02PM
Donald_DraperI'm really, really ticked off with Don Draper. After last night's episode, I'm firmly convinced that Mad Men's Matthew Weiner is out to make Don the biggest jerk around. There are so many things to hate about Don lately, but let's just take a second look at last night's Mad Men episode. Don is practically flaunting his newest dalliance in Betty's face. When she asked him if he was sleeping at home, he said no and used Hilton as an excuse. Does he really think that Betty is that dumb?

Apparently, he does. Or perhaps he thinks that he can talk his way around her even if she were to confront him about cheating on her. Of course, Betty's still obsessed with Henry Francis, so who's she to squawk, right?

But the thing about Betty is that I don't know if the Francis incident is true desire on her part or just a way to act out over Don's lack of fidelity?

Back to Don the jerk: why on earth would he keep all those "top secret" keys to his past in a locked drawer in the house? Why would he be so sloppy as to leave the key in his bathrobe pocket? Don's a careful person; he nearly lost it on the train when Miss Farrell showed up unexpectedly. He doesn't like to be caught short. Therefore, would he really be so forgetful about the key to the drawer that hides his life from the world?

If Weiner wants us to believe that Don is basically self-destructive and wants to get caught, then perhaps keeping all those items in the house adds up. Another person told me that Don keeps the Dick Whitman box because he is drawn back to looking at the stuff and remembering who he was.

That's logical, except that photos are one thing, a divorce decree is another. The dog tags of Richard Whitman and Donald F. Draper are enough to get Don arrested for fraud! Why not leave the photos in the desk and put the legal documents and incriminating evidence in a safe deposit box in Manhattan where Betty will never know about it?

You see why I have a problem with Don Draper? He's too smart to be screwing up like this. It's all well and good to give Don feet of clay, to make him selfish and arrogant, to toe the line on turning the hero into a complete asshole, but you can't lose the viewer in the process. Lately, I've been hearing too many people telling me that they're getting fed up with Mad Men because of how Don's turning.

What do you think? Do you have a problem with Don, too, or am I overreacting?

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