I don't know if I every *liked* Betty Draper, but I did feel sorry for her in the first season and felt that she had a lot of lost potential. I thought she was a victim of her parents, her husband and her times and while that didn't translate into admiration, it did translate into sympathy.
However, Betty has lost all of my sympathy as she's become crueler to her children and is taking out quite a bit of the neuroses of the first marriage on Henry Francis. Even more damning, three and a half seasons of Betty-time has convinced me that she really isn't a victim of her times whose potential was quashed by a hierarchal society. She hasn't really shown ingenuity or imagination or skills beyond being a trophy wife. If Betty existed in 2010, I feel pretty firmly that she would be a retired model who became a cold, angry trophy wife hung up on her fading beauty and quick to punish everyone around her.
Meanwhile, Pete Campbell is a perfect illustration of a character that I *hated* at first and came to....tolerate/find positive qualities for. I think at heart he's a conniving, slimy person. Yet, he's a conniving and slimy person who's found a way to become a valuable contributor to his business and household. Becoming a partner at SCDP has actually been a good thing for his character. He's been a more responsible and prudent stakeholder of the company's interests than Don or Roger. He's been a more dynamic and talented rain-maker of a partner than Roger, Pryce and likely Cooper. I give Trudy most of the credit, but Pete also deserves props for having arguably the healthiest marriage on the show.
Edited by wwhk, Sep 25, 2010 @ 12:40 PM.