Mad Men

Be serious. No one wants to talk about your "health care bills."

One of the more amazing things about Mad Men is how Matt Wiener reveals the recklessness that lies beneath the Draper's bourgeois pretense. I used to think it was just Don's, but when you look at Betty you see the same thing. It's stunning, given how the world has changed, to watch a woman raised to be dependent and incapable of taking care of herself. She didn't leave Don because he was unfaithful or dishonest, she left him because she got a better offer, what appears (to her) a truer version of what she really wanted. By my calculation her and Henry have had one really extended conversation, and off passion, they'll commit their lives. Amazing. That she would bet the future of children on that, and that Don, likewise, would routinely bet the future of his children on something just as flimsy, says so much about their regard for these holy institutions.

I felt sad for her. Don now owns something. Betty is just an accessory. Again. Don gets the chance to sort his head out--not that he'll do it, but he does have the chance. Betty goes from one marriage to another--it's like "taken care of" is the only way she can imagine herself. And then we get into the conversation we've had so much around these parts. Where does free will begin? How could Betty, having come up as she did, with three kids in tow really be any different? How could Don, after all he's seen, really been any different in his marriage? How could it have gone any other way?

Oh well. As side-note, the Ocean's 13 "We're getting the old gang back together" vibe bothered me, a bit. But that's a minor quibble. It's still the best thing going on TV.