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Mad-men

Mad Men Review: Get On The Scale, Get Off The Scale

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Both of Don Draper's former wives made valiant returns in "Dark Shadows." Fat Betty ate up the screen (pun intended) with every emotion you can imagine, while the deceased Anna Draper appeared in mention only via an attempt to cause a rift in Don's now solid family situation.

Although everyone in the known universe hates Betty Francis, it is difficult to argue that January Jones has been amazing in the role over these past five years. Let's look at the depth at which she portrayed the character this week by running through the many emotions of Fat Betty...

Megan Draper Photo

Sadness
Not only did it make me sad watching Betty attend those bizarre Weight Watcher meetings, it obviously was making her sad to be there. The leader of that crew is all well and good, but I think they could all benefit from a more influential instructor. I would suggest someone like Tony Perkis, who always knows how to treat his students at a "weigh-in."

Jealousy
With things seemingly not running so smoothly with Henry, Betty was supremely jealous when she walked through Don's apartment. The trendy furniture wasn't the only thing she was jealous of, though. Seeing Megan with her shirt off – and later reading that note from Don to his new wife – must have shattered Fat Betty's self confidence a lot.

Guilt
She certainly is trying, but after that encounter with Megan, Betty just had to go straight for the fridge once she returned home. I don't know why, but in that split second she was opening the door, I couldn't have been more interested. What was she going to choose? Carrots? A ham? Ice cream? Nope, she went right for the whipped cream, and took it to the face like a pro. The guilt hit her like a ton of bricks, however, and watching her spit the cream out into the sink was hilarious.

Joy
Although she showed many emotions in taking that lone bite at dinner, my favorite to see on Betty's face was joy. She was happy to be eating a wonderful piece of food, and because her relationship isn't what she wanted it to be and she seemingly has no friends at this point, that one bite was the happiest she is going to be for the time being. As she chewed, though, it seemed like she also felt more guilt, then confusion, the sadness, jealousy, and joy again.

Jones was great in this episode, and she did it so quietly. There were no "That's what the money is for!" outbursts leading to this high praise. She subtly put forth a fantastic performance around many other great performances.

The other Draper ladies were amazing as well, especially the scene between Megan and Sally. To paraphrase Don, which one was the child? Sally had complete control over Megan as she demanded to know who Anna was, and basically was telling her stepmother to give her what she wants and then keep her mouth shut. "Don't you dare tell Don I asked you." She is feisty, and Keirnan Shipka was unsurprisingly wonderful.

As much as fans have begun to hate Megan as much as Betty lately, I remain steadfast of the opinion that she is good for Don. Take, for example, when she told him about what happened with the whole Sally/Anna/Betty thing. He was fired up and ready to call Betty to yell at her, but Megan calmed him down, and explained that Betty wanted nothing more than that. She reasons with the man who sometimes can seem as unreasonable as they come.

Finally, "Dark Shadows" was also filled with some great SCDP drama. Don dealing with Ginsberg's rise to success, but mostly that single creative meeting in which they both pitched their Sno Ball ideas, was intriguing to say the least.

Both ideas were enjoyed by all. The difference seems to be that Michael is coming up with a million ideas all of the time. They aren't all that thought out, they're not that brilliant, but they're funny. Don, on the other hand, spends hours and hours thinking of one idea. It is also funny, but it's a very different style, and I can see the advertising world slowly moving in Michael's direction. He is a rising star, and that might cause even more trouble for Don in the near future.

What did you all think of this week's episode? Were you as impressed with Jones as I was? Are you afraid of Michael Ginsberg for Don? And how many more times is Pete going to dream of a naked Rory Gilmore this season?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (47 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I'm constantly befuddled by people who say they "hate" characters on a show, or that they think someone is "good" for someone, as it the characters themselves have an actual identity in some kind of alternate universe. This is a scripted show, not a reality show. And the script is written by writers, not the characters. And the script is attempting to depict the lives of people at a certain time in a certain place. So Megan isn't someone to hate. She's someone about whom I'm curious - she is there to play the new generation. She's there as a contrast to the Betty's, who were groomed only for marriage. And in that role, she's in between generations. Betty plays a part that is meant to depict women who reached marriageable age during the late 50's. Some of whom grew to resent women who extended themselves beyond home and family. The show has a story to tell, not just about the characters themselves, but through the characters, about a time of change, and the impact of that change on the people who transited through it.

Ava-mila

@Olga, you're right.. I never thought about it like that. There's nothing about Megan I could relate to. While Betty has been through so much and has done so many stupid things herself, she always stayed her crazy, weird, elegant and wise self.
Megan changes every five minutes, one minute she wants to be like Peggy, than she wants to replace Betty as a mother, and then all of a sudden her dream is acting. One day she is fun, the next she's psychotic. She confuses me.

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Megan is just there for Don's story. Character-wise, she is not even a Mary-Sue, just a plot device. She has no faults, she has no quirks, she has nothing - only a dry list of qualities: "money, beauty, youth, many talents, luck, and the main character in her bed". Is she interesting? Is she at least hate-able? Gods, no. If something horrible happened to her, if she went through some horrible trauma... maybe she'd become interesting. But as it is, we have no feelings for her. She's just there with her bras and lashes, like an ornament - even the weird Betty-Don "relationship" born of bitterness and jealousy is more interesting. Hopefully Megan's character would be at least instrumental to Don's development, his writing block and his priorities. And Henry, it seems, is a wonderful husband to Betty, and Betty, being cold but wise, cherishes him(see their midnight scene). Sigh. But all in all, I miss those little signs of Pete-Peggy pairing.

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I have no idea who hates Megan but they are crazy. I mean you can see what a good influence she is on him this whole season and each episode you see different ways how she is able to calm him down and make him reason with his wife rather than just ignore her as he did with Betty. I am really loving this season so far and have found that each season has improved on the one before which is a rarity in most television shows especially going on this long. Heres hoping it ends well since we are getting closer to the end and hope for season 6 to surpass this one.

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*whimpering*

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I never knew I would actually dislike a character more than Betty but surprise surprise, Megan takes the cake. Now all I feel for Betty is empathy. Don needs to go back to being the brilliant creative Don of seasons past and quit being a wimpering puppy that megan has by the collar.

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The answer to your final question is a resounding "not nearly enough."

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I have to agree with some other people. I usually don't critic reviews, go ahead look at my history if if you don't believe me, but I really disliked all the "Fat Betty" remarks. Betty may have gained some weight but she's still very attractive woman. My youngest sister struggles with her weight and she's constantly being teased at school and considers herself ugly. She doesn't eat anymore than the normal person, her body is just made that way. So it really infuriates me when I see people make ignorant "FAT" jokes, especially if they're public. It's no wonder eating disorders are still so common with females. Betty may not be the most likable character on T.V but that has everything to do with her attitude, not her weight.

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I do agree that there is too much of Megan this season, and I'd like to see more about the private lives of some of the other people in the office. I always am interested in Peggy and Joan's storylines, as well as Betty and her family life. I think January Jones is perfect as Betty, and brings a lot of mixed emotions into her role, and that isn't easy. I think they really made Don look like he was a vampire from "Dark Shadows", when he's yelling at Sally in his pj's. I think since Megan has left the office, his character is getting darker and meaner and more desperate to succeed at work, in his marriage, and with his kids.

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Megan does everything well, but she's not arrogant about it. Her natural abilities just come across effortlessly. Those kind of people you kind of want to see fail. Did I say that out loud? Sally's character is getting more interesting every season. Roger and Joan could never be happily married because they both have to strong a propensity to break the rules. Betty's fat suit needs to go. Her face doesn't go with the suit anymore.

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 9 Quotes

You know Don; tall guy, short temper.

Michael

Stop telling me things I said that night. Like I know I didn't promise to re-marry right away just to save you alimony.

Jane
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