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Joan Holloway: Stand Up and Salute!


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#1

dreamy

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Posted Aug 30, 2007 @ 12:00 PM

I love Joan, who is one of the most technicolor characters on this show, literally and figuratively. She seems to run circles around everyone, but I wonder, what is her soft underbelly?

#2

tigerlily0

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Posted Aug 30, 2007 @ 12:35 PM

What is Joan's position, exactly? Is she the secretary to the top boss? She seems to do a lot more than that...

#3

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Posted Aug 30, 2007 @ 12:40 PM

I was just thinking she needed her own thread. I would have called it "Stand up and Salute"! I liked learning more about her outside the office life in the last episode. An affair with the big boss was not unexpected, and I liked that she is using everything she has to maintain her status.

The sad thing, if for some reason she pisses off her boss, she can be fired without any protection. That is total speculation, but somehow I don't see this Joan-Roger thing working out, and Joan is the more vulnerable party.

Edited by franabanana, Aug 30, 2007 @ 12:59 PM.


#4

dreamy

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Posted Aug 30, 2007 @ 1:01 PM

franabanana, I'm up for that change, if TWoP Mars would be kind enough do it. Great idea.

And you're right, of course about job protection, but I kind've believe that Joan always has a plan B in place, based on prior experience.

ETA: tigerlily0, nominally, she's Roger Sterling's secretary (I had to stop myself from typing 'assistant!')

Edited by dreamy, Aug 30, 2007 @ 1:08 PM.


#5

Pepper Mostly

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Posted Aug 31, 2007 @ 10:30 AM

She's not Sterling's secretary--Sterling's secretary is that mousy girl who couldn't recommed a hairdresser to Sterling's wife because she cuts her own hair. Joan's the office admin, she oversees the girls in the steno pool, seems to take care of budget and billing, and also provides support for Don Draper.

#6

redhairedgirl

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Posted Aug 31, 2007 @ 10:35 AM

The sad thing, if for some reason she pisses off her boss, she can be fired without any protection. That is total speculation, but somehow I don't see this Joan-Roger thing working out, and Joan is the more vulnerable party

She's not stupid and she is rather Machivellian. I'll bet you all the money I have in my pocket that she's got herself some "insurance" against that- she knows where the bodies are buried, and she wouldn't be hesitant at ALL to use that information to protect her girdled butt.

#7

Gracelessly

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 3:14 PM

I remember Christina Hendricks doing some Lifetime movie with Susan May Pratt (the successor to Tracey Gold in all eating-disorder movies). I can't remember if CH was the surviving sister or if it was SMP, but one or both had an ED, but I do recall CH being a stick-figure, so what happened? She looks lovely now.

#8

unclewiggly

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 4:03 PM

I just need to say how much I love that Joan -- the resident hottie -- rocks a particularly zaftig figure. She's got the Marilyn-esque hour-glass shape that defined sex-appeal at the time, and she looks fabulous.

Edited by unclewiggly, Sep 2, 2007 @ 4:03 PM.


#9

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 5:02 PM

I remembered the actress from her role on Firefly but it took me a while because she has filled out since then. It's very appropriate for this era; Joan in 2007 would be starving herself.

#10

Auntie M

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 8:45 PM

Joan's the office admin, she oversees the girls in the steno pool, seems to take care of budget and billing, and also provides support for Don Draper.


Thank you for clarifying that. I was confused when she basically ran the current project meeting with the guys and then was in charge of the "brainstorming" session. I don't think we've ever seen her sitting either. Probably because that would wrinkle her perfectly fitted dresses.

I also had that vague sense of recognition and now I completely recognize her from Firefly. She definitely does the femme fatale role to perfection.

#11

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Posted Sep 2, 2007 @ 8:56 PM

I love Joan's style. If only women's fashion today allowed for such awesome dresses and perfectly coiffed hair!

I was also pretty surprised that Joan ran the meeting. I would have thought something like that would be in Roger's domain, not Joan's.

I think she's by far the most confident woman on the show, even more so then Midge. I hope we get to see more into her character and history soon.

#12

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Posted Sep 3, 2007 @ 12:23 AM

Did anyone else get a vibe that Joan may be a closeted lesbian?

It first came to me in her conversation with Roger in the hotel--there was something about her explanation for why she liked having a roommate that made me wonder. Then when we got to meet the roommate I thought she came across as jealous of and threatened by Roger.

#13

lilarose6

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Posted Sep 3, 2007 @ 2:37 AM

No, I never got the vibe that Joan doesn't like men. Lots of women have roommates. Apartments in New York are expensive.

Edited by lilarose6, Sep 3, 2007 @ 2:39 AM.


#14

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Posted Sep 3, 2007 @ 9:04 AM

I loved the little interaction between Joan and Roger in the last episode. I bet she already had plans for a weekend lovers' retreat with someone else- that travel case looked like the perfect thing for a quick plane hop. Wouldn't it be a stitch if she is sleeping with Bertram Cooper as well? She's definitely got more than a few tricks up her sleeve.

#15

Watchmaker

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Posted Sep 3, 2007 @ 8:18 PM

I'll second Bentley's hypothesis about Joan being gay. lilarose6 is right that apartments in NY are expensive, and there's nothing explicit that's been said or done that makes me think she's gay... it's just a vibe at this point.

Still, Joan's clearly extremely smart, good with men, and a total knockout - she clearly could have had any husband she wanted by this point, or be the top woman at a more prestigious place than Sterling Cooper, or be the mistress of somebody much more wealthy/powerful than Sterling himself, but she chooses not to. And, as this episode shows, it's not like she has an overwhelming amount of affection for Sterling - or anybody else at the firm that I can tell.

So it makes sense to me that she stays at Sterling Cooper because she's gay - she can manage her position at SC without any great amount of effort, and spend the rest of her time as she chooses - with the roommate, presumably. It's the best reason I can figure as to why she is where she is, unless somebody can suggest otherwise.

#16

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 7:31 AM

So it makes sense to me that she stays at Sterling Cooper because she's gay - she can manage her position at SC without any great amount of effort, and spend the rest of her time as she chooses - with the roommate, presumably. It's the best reason I can figure as to why she is where she is, unless somebody can suggest otherwise.

She could be gay. But I don't think that's why she's at S&C. I can't imagine her having an overwhelming desire to spend a lot of time with anyone. I agree though that she can do her job there without working too hard.
I assume S&C isn't top tier (maybe second tier), so it's easier for her to rise to a certain level of power there. It's a relatively small place of power, but it's her. I thinks she's probably a little lazy. In a first tier or cutting edge company, she would have lots more competition - for both power and attention.

#17

Atlantaloves

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 9:31 AM

{snip}

Edited by TWoP Mars, Sep 4, 2007 @ 7:19 PM.
Off topic/opinion as fact


#18

Watchmaker

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 10:25 AM

{snip}

True, Atlantaloves, but the irony is that Joan is a loose woman by the standards of the times, and doesn't seem to be going out of her way to appear chaste. We've seen her do some things to keep up appearances - waiting for the cab while ignoring Sterling, frex - but I'm guessing she would live alone, like Midge, if she wanted.

Again, I recognize that she might not be gay - she might very well have the roommate to save money, or because she really enjoys her company, as she told Sterling. But I think it's plausible, and if nothing else it wouldn't surprise me if the writers and producers wanted to add another gay character to the show, in addition to Salvatore.

I assume S&C isn't top tier (maybe second tier), so it's easier for her to rise to a certain level of power there.


roseyrose, you're dead on there. Weiner says in this interview that SC is a third-tier agency at best, and there's plenty of context to support that - aside from their out-of-step opinions on Nixon and Elvis, they're clearly not the kind of guys who are shaking things up a la the Volkswagen "Lemon" ad.

Edited by TWoP Mars, Sep 4, 2007 @ 7:21 PM.
Removed off-topic post


#19

unclewiggly

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 12:54 PM

We've seen her do some things to keep up appearances - waiting for the cab while ignoring Sterling, frex - but I'm guessing she would live alone, like Midge, if she wanted.


I don't think she would. Midge is anti-establishment, whereas Joan is fully invested in the cultural status-quo. She wants the life of suburban security as much as any other girl in the office -- she's said so obliquely more than once. She couldn't live Midge's bohemian lifestyle without compromising her chances of landing a "good husband" who will maintain her in comfort and style out on the island or in CT.

#20

dreamy

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 1:28 PM

Midge is anti-establishment, whereas Joan is fully invested in the cultural status-quo.

What a great point, unclewiggly. Although I recognized this, I didn't quite think of it this concretely. Joan has her dreams and desires, but she's doing rather well by the cultural standards, and wouldn't necessarily be in the front lines chanting about a revolution.

Besides, I like Joan too much in that red dress than to wish the turtleneck and leggings look on her!

#21

unclewiggly

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 1:31 PM

I enjoy Joan more and more -- she's so nuanced and mercurial, and Christina Hendricks is doing a great job with the role.

#22

Watchmaker

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 10:35 PM

I don't think she would. Midge is anti-establishment, whereas Joan is fully invested in the cultural status-quo. She wants the life of suburban security as much as any other girl in the office -- she's said so obliquely more than once. She couldn't live Midge's bohemian lifestyle without compromising her chances of landing a "good husband" who will maintain her in comfort and style out on the island or in CT.


unclewiggly, I'm not sure she wants that life - if she does, I can't figure out why she'd be sleeping with Sterling, who's married and shows no intention of leaving his wife, instead of going after an eligible, unmarried guy. I think she recognizes that most women consider suburbia the top prize, but I don't think she agrees with them.

#23

unclewiggly

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Posted Sep 4, 2007 @ 11:44 PM

I don't think her affair with Roger is incompatible with a wish for the suburban ideal; she's savvy, and confident in her brains and sexuality, and knows how to get men (and women, for that matter) to do what she wants. Roger is the most powerful man available to her, so she got him (and his pearl necklaces, and his trips to Puerto Rico, and his bollocks in a box). She told him point-blank that there would be a time -- and soon -- when she'd be trading up for someone "more permanent." I don't think she has any illusions about true love the way Betty undoubtedly still does, but I do think she wants to meet the right guy and get hitched.

Her comments about Lady Chatterley's Lover are somewhat telling; she doesn't think much of the book (except for "a few good parts" that the book "falls open" to), and derides it for being proof that most people "think marriage is a joke." That would seem to say that she doesn't think marriage is a joke.

#24

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:03 AM

I don't think she has any illusions about true love the way Betty undoubtedly still does, but I do think she wants to meet the right guy and get hitched.

I think you're on target with that. She's not exactly a romantic. Her idea of the right guy is going to be totally different than Betty's is. Joan's not going to settle for middle management. She's going to want someone with serious amounts of money. So, in that way, I don't think she wants the house in the suburbs. She wants to be at the top of the hill. I'm not entirely sure how she'd fit in on that hill, but it would be much better than how she'd do in the suburbs. She'd be bored stiff with the other housewives, she'd hate being isolated, and would probably want to hang herself after a year. I can see her wanting someone who still lives in the city.

#25

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:08 AM

I agree. I'm sure she wants to stay in Manhattan, have a glittering social life, decorate her penthouse terrace apartment tastefully, shop at Saks and Bergdorf's, travel a great deal, and get mentions in the society pages for soignee little dinner parties and chairing charitable committees. She aims high. Higher than Roger Sterling. He's getting a little too territorial, and she's getting annoyed by it.

#26

jackiecarr

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:16 AM

I agree that Joan wants to ease into that second wife spot. We haven't seen much of Roger's life, but I'm thinking wealth, Park Ave. apt, summer house in whatever was "the Hamptons" of 1960, etc. Though I don't know how well his social circle would take to "the floozy secretary homewrecker" in their midst.

#27

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:22 AM

Joan's too smart to fall into that trap. If she becomes a second wife, you can bet it'll be to a youngish widower or the injured party in a messy divorce. She won't be a homewrecker. She'll be that lovely girl who gave a lonely man a new lease on life. And "floozy secretary"? No way. She's a college graduate who worked for a few years before she got married.

#28

roseyrose

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:26 AM

Though I don't know how well his social circle would take to "the floozy secretary homewrecker" in their midst.

I think that will definitely be a problem for her, in the city or the suburbs. I also believe she'll be shooting way higher than Roger Sterling. I'm sure he's well off, but Joan is looking for buckets of money.

#29

jackiecarr

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 1:36 PM

I think she'd fit right in with the Rat Pack.

#30

dreamy

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 1:56 PM

Reading your comments, I'm starting to think of Joan as that strategic second wife, and it fits. For some reason, I started to envision Pamela Harriman; not that Joan has political aspirations, but more that she could be a powerful 'woman behind the man' who ends being a powerhouse herself by the 70s and 80s.

Am I thinking too much about this show and these characters as if they are real? Perhaps.