Jump to content

Megan Calvet Draper: Doesn't Cry over Spilled Milkshakes


  • Please log in to reply

1582 replies to this topic

#271

Sister Magpie

Sister Magpie

    Stalker

Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 3:24 PM

So 4 episodes in (since the premiere was 2) it seems like it must be intentional that Megan remains completely separated from copywriter storylines. In this ep she arrived with another "Sorry, I'm late," and was there with creative when they were looking at the pictures, but not when they were discussing anything related to the creative work. She was alone in Don's office when he called, "keeping his chair warm" and telling him when she would be ready to leave. Even if she was doing copywriter work in his office, she's definitely putting her status as Mrs. Draper forward at every opportunity rather than trying to blend in. All her scenes were about negotiating her relationship with Don.

In fact, she was pretty isolated from all the work-related or society-related anxiety in the ep. The one time she was dealing with one of the anxiety-producing things, the pictures, she was accused of laughing them off. But otherwise she seemed significantly untouched by the dark, scary night that had everyone else tossing and turning. She simply disappeared and then reappeared to say she'd been there the whole time, experiencing the night as just Don being very sick with his flu.
  • 1

#272

rogaine2233

rogaine2233

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 3:26 PM

I keep hoping they transition her to a Jane sized role.
  • 0

#273

WaltzinSpringTm

WaltzinSpringTm

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 9:33 AM

I did actually understand Megan's point about running into Don's old hook up. They've apparently run into a bunch of them, and I guess her point is he was married when he was with a lot of them, and now he's married to her, so it almost sets her up to be the new sucker. I was actually impressed she didn't blame Betty and wasn't going the "I'm different and I won't make her mistakes, so it won't happen to me" route. She understands it was his thing and that's what she was saying - now she's the wife and it sucks just running into these women he was with when he was married to his other wife. It's like she's Betty's stand-in, even though he hasn't done it to her. You know the women knew he had a wife, and they see Megan's the new wife, and it's IS sort of like she's a pseudo Betty in that moment.
  • 1

#274

rogaine2233

rogaine2233

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:21 PM

Megan acted childish, but I think it was justified in a way. She saw right into Betty's marriage and it wasn't pretty. It's not a far stretch of the imagination to think "this could happen to me, too." I really don't like the character and I really don't like this Draper marriage, but good for Megan for telling Don exactly how she feels and not letting him gaslight her as he did to Betty.

I just don't know how long she can keep this up. It's going to be exhausting thinking up ways to keep Don's dumb-stick in his pants and keep him at home.
  • 0

#275

WaltzinSpringTm

WaltzinSpringTm

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

One aspect of infidelity is power - the other woman (or man) knows something about the wife's life that the wife doesn't know. Megan knows most of these women were affairs. When she's introduced as the wife, what might be going through those women's heads is Don is doing it to this wife too. It's a position Don has put Megan in because of what he did to Betty. Megan should have the strength not to care what strangers think, but it's still uncomfortable to constantly meet women he cheated on his wife with, and to now be the wife, knowing that the other woman she's meeting was complicit in Don's cheating. For one thing, they know Megan's husband cheats, even if they're not sure he's done it to her.
  • 0

#276

rogaine2233

rogaine2233

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

I went out for my run this morning and my Ipod shuffled over to one of my favorite Clapton songs (well, all Clapton songs are my favorite). I thought this could be Megan's future theme song, as well as Betty's past theme song, except I don't think it was released until the mid-1980s.


I CAN'T STAND IT

You've been told,
So maybe it's time that you learned.
You've been sold,
Maybe it's time that you earned.

[Chorus:]

I can't stand it.
You're fooling around, I can't stand it.
You're running around, I can't stand it.
You're fooling around with my heart.

I'll explain;
I feel like I'm being used.
Make it plain,
So you don't get confused.

[Chorus 2x]

It's time,
Time for me to let you know.
Ain't no crime,
No crime to let your feelings show.

[Chorus]
  • 0

#277

Rdnzl

Rdnzl

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

I like Megan.

I think she is naive and doesn't have a clue as to what she is doing romantically OR professionally, but I still like her. She is a young woman who fell for an older, handsome man and thinks it will be forever because they have fun together and have amazing sex, but she is in for a rude awakening. I can't see Don putting a neat little bow on his past issues, even if he has told her about being Dick Whitman, and his numerous affairs. Megan is making the mistake a lot of women in their 20's make, thinking her love and support can change a man. What she doesn't realize is that men like Don will always be men like Don, and if men like that want to change, they have to take it upon themselves and do some serious soul-searching. I am not looking forward to watching their relationship crash and burn, because it will eventually, and even if Megan doesn't always make the best decisions, she means well. It won't be pretty.
  • 0

#278

JudyObscure

JudyObscure

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 13, 2012 @ 1:17 PM

For one thing, they know Megan's husband cheats, even if they're not sure he's done it to her.

Interesting! I hadn't thought of that aspect. Megan probably thinks these women are looking at her as just the latest gullible fool in Don's life.

I have trouble understanding Megan's speech. I don't know if it's her accent or the famous teeth, but I usually don't hear all her lines until I re-watch with the closed captions on. Thus my mix up about what she said on the phone to Don while he was in the bar. Her final words to him, due to his cold, were, "No smoking!" Maybe because of all that had gone before that day, I thought she was showing him she was no longer mad about the elevator girl and was teasing him with a light hearted, "No f*cking!" I actually thought it was a hilarious thing for Megan to say and probably how she should always sign off to Don.
  • 1

#279

WaltzinSpringTm

WaltzinSpringTm

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 13, 2012 @ 4:10 PM

It also crossed my mind that it might be weird for Megan's friends to have her married to Don. She appears to have mostly friends her own age. I was thinking of that Fire Island trip. My grandparents/parents went to Fire Island a lot in their dating/youth phase. I don't think it was something they did a whole lot once they were settled. If it's a whole bunch of people in Megan's age group, Don might stick out like sore thumb.
  • 0

#280

Twrites2

Twrites2

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

I keep wondering about Megan's "acting" career. She seems so anxiety ridden every time it is brought up that I am starting to wonder if perhaps she was acting in some sort of pornographic films or other adult entertainment, before she met Don. The girl is certainly no stranger to using her body and sexuality to get what she wants.
  • 0

#281

Riff Randell

Riff Randell

    Video Archivist

Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 7:02 PM

I keep wondering about Megan's "acting" career. She seems so anxiety ridden every time it is brought up that I am starting to wonder if perhaps she was acting in some sort of pornographic films or other adult entertainment, before she met Don.

I got the impression that Megan becomes upset whenever the acting mentioned because it's something she failed at, and she doesn't like being reminded of that wound. Most people don't like having their noses poked in their past failures. I wonder if an opportunity for her to pursue her acting dream will pop up again, giving her impetus to leave Don when things start crashing and burning between them. She'd drop that new decorative copywriting position in a heartbeat.
  • 0

#282

rogaine2233

rogaine2233

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 17, 2012 @ 7:53 PM

I like the theory that maybe she "acted" in some soft core porn. That would be something I could see MW writing into the script because Jon Hamm used to work as a set dresser for soft core films.
  • 1

#283

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:35 PM

I must admit that I love all the speculation about Megan having some sort of sexy, tawdry past that would actually make her a lot more interesting than the dewy-eyed-innocent-youthful-tender-yet-somehow-also-modern-and-career-driven mish-mash that she is presently... but I'm not getting my hopes up about those possibilities either. Unfortunately, I think Weiner and the other writers for this show are wedded to the idea that Megan has to be presented in the best possible light at all times, which is precisely why Megan is such a weird bundle of contradictory personality traits. (She's unsentimental when she's bedding her boss! Yet she's loving and romantic enough to marry a man she barely knows later on! She's mature and firm with Don about what she wants! Yet she's childish enough throw a tantrum with Peggy at a moment's notice anyhow! She's smart and ambitious about being a copy-writer! Yet she'll come to work at 11 in the morning and leave whenever she's upset!)

Expecting her to have an interesting past is like expecting Don not to eventually make a hash out of his social life. She exists primarily to give Don something to bounce off of, so expecting her to be interesting in and of herself seems a stretch.

Sadly, I think I've settled on seeing Megan as basically being the 1960s version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl: pretty much perfect in all her attributes (at least so far as the writers are concerned), with just enough "flaws" (she's quirky and a little socially awkward at times!) to make her seem endearingly "real." Her main function on the show is essentially to be a plot-device that forces Don to grapple with real happiness and monogamy for the first time in his life. So she'll say and do whatever it is the plot desires and if the contradictions in her behavior sometimes comes off as childish or deranged or just plain weird, we're meant to overlook that. (In other words, she throws a highly unprofessional temper tantrum at Peggy in episode 1 of this season? Not her fault! The people at SDCP are just so cynical and don't understand her pure heart!)

Like Sally's teacher Suzanne from Season 4, Megan's basically a thinly written "love interest" for Don that's supposed to make him feel sentimental from time to time. But unfortunately, unlike Suzanne, Megan seems to be in the show for the long-run. And I'm not feeling very optimistic about seeing her character grow more complex or interesting as time goes on. She's a dull character because even though she has a heap of positive traits loaded on her (she's supposed to be sexy, fun, adventurous, warm, smart, etc. etc. etc.), the writer and the actress alike have done a terrible job in fleshing her out and making her into something other than Don's anti-Betty/redemption/flavor-of-the-moment. She really has no reality to her.

(And Jessica Pare, though comely, has all the charisma of a plank of wood. She seems more intent on posing than actually emoting in most of her scenes, and she also tends to over-enunciate her dialog, which doesn't help either. She does look fantastic in the clothes of the late '60s though, which is a plus.)

All of the above is my opinion, of course. But although it would be fun, I don't think Weiner and company would ever give Megan all that interesting of a back-story. It would get in the way of her bland perfection, after all!

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:36 PM.

  • 1

#284

Jenn

Jenn

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 5:50 PM

Unfortunately, I think Weiner and the other writers for this show are wedded to the idea that Megan has to be presented in the best possible light at all times, which is precisely why Megan is such a weird bundle of contradictory personality traits. (She's unsentimental when she's bedding her boss! Yet she's loving and romantic enough to marry a man she barely knows later on! She's mature and firm with Don about what she wants! Yet she's childish enough throw a tantrum with Peggy at a moment's notice anyhow! She's smart and ambitious about being a copy-writer! Yet she'll come to work at 11 in the morning and leave whenever she's upset!)


Sadly, I think I've settled on seeing Megan as basically being the 1960s version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl


Yes. She's just a combination of boring and confusing for me just now - and I'd prefer scenes focus on any other character but her.
  • 0

#285

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 6:05 PM

Yes. She's just a combination of boring and confusing for me just now - and I'd prefer scenes focus on any other character but her.


Heh, agreed! But as long as Don is married to her, I imagine she'll be popping up in the show prominently, since he seems intent on building a wall o' Megan around him to keep himself barricaded from his own poor impulses. Yet she's also a rather dull character-- and crucially, tends to make Don dull as well-- so I'm not sure how long she'll remain on the show.

Right now, I think that she'll eventually get an exit like Suzanne Farrell, who is the character she seems to most resemble. After all, like Suzanne, Megan's a bundle of positive traits that seem pretty much tailor-made to appeal to Don (Pretty! Brunette! Caring! Career-orientated! the Anti-Betty!) with little to her beyond that. (Have we even seen Megan share a major scene with another character besides Don? There was that scene with Peggy, but even that was really about Megan's feelings regarding Don. She's basically a satellite character that circles around Don endlessly whilst on-screen.)

So I'm predicting that Megan will end up being exactly what we see now: a beautiful woman with a bunch of positive characteristics tacked on to her that we're meant to see as being just perfect for Don. She'll have no hidden past or traumas, just the ability to make questionable decisions like marrying Don in the first place. Eventually, the marriage will implode somehow, Don will likely be at fault emotionally if not instrumentally (even if Megan is the one who chooses to end it), and he will spend season 6 and/or 7 moping over the end of yet another relationship.

And Megan will ride off into the sunset on a unicorn, one perfect tear falling down her perfect face and prodigious teeth, likely never to be seen again. (Unless she pops up in a cameo in the future.) She'll be written unrealistically positively the entire time and, just like in the case of Suzanne Farrell, Matt Weiner will keep claiming that he doesn't understand why people don't see her for the wonderful young spirit that she is all the way to the bitter end.

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 18, 2012 @ 6:15 PM.

  • 2

#286

Luciaphile

Luciaphile

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:02 PM

Sadly, I think I've settled on seeing Megan as basically being the 1960s version of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl


I was thinking Mary Sue, but MPDG works too.
  • 0

#287

WaltzinSpringTm

WaltzinSpringTm

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:10 PM

The costume designer mentioned how she loved the age difference between Don and Megan and playing off that - I think the writers/Weiner do too and that's why she's morphed from a demurely dressed Canadian ex-pat to a swingin sixties sexpot. But geez, enough. Don hasn't done anything this season so far - and I don't mean cheat. He has no story except Don Is Still Married to Megan. Hamm is like a cardboard figurehead so far. They let us know he still has it - omg he removes a shirt and the ladies swoon and his wife is turned on, and reminders that even without participating he's more successful in the whorehouse than the other guys. He hasn't had any interesting scenes, IMO, except the phone call with Sally. Peggy hasn't really had much. Pete got focus but his story was mega depressing. Betty's episode was the most successful, IMO. I feel like alright, I get it, Don and Megan are a contrast and Don is faithful. Please tell a story now.
  • 1

#288

Sister Magpie

Sister Magpie

    Stalker

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:56 PM

I'm trying so hard to like Megan, but every week I like her less. It's not so much that she's doing anything I don't like, but it's like I'll be watching an ep and as soon as I see her my heart sinks because I know I'm in for another kissy scene with Don that I don't want to watch. Don really hasn't had any story besides the fact that he's still married to Megan and omg, it's great! (No wonder his scenes with Ginsberg and Pete seems so compelling to me.)

Also I get frustrated whenever I read positive things about her in reviews etc., not because I think there's so much bad to say about her, but because it always seems like overpraise to me. Overpraise that I fear is supposed to be accurate. Like that she's a total career woman because sometimes she's reluctant to leave early or even stays the whole day. Or she's the one who controls Don (except that she has to leave early to keep him happy). Or that she's the first person who really understands him--as if every other woman he was with before was Bethany and no one ever actually stood up to him before or figured out he had a few kinks.

It also makes me feel like Betty gets unfairly compared to her since we only ever met Betty many years into her marriage. Like any little thing Megan does that's positive it's assumed that Betty would never do that thing, even if it's something that seems pretty easy.

Basically, I've heard MW say that Don and Megan's relationship is somehow an important focus this season but it doesn't yet seem like a story at all to me. She dresses well and he dotes on her like a golden retriever. In fact, we saw indications that this was pretty much how Roger and Jane's early years went, only Jane had some ugly spice to her while Megan's a ball of sunshine.

Edited by Sister Magpie, Apr 18, 2012 @ 7:59 PM.

  • 1

#289

rogaine2233

rogaine2233

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 8:54 PM

I so agree with all of this! MW saying he wanted to put Megan out there "fully formed" does still not jive with the complete differences in character between S4 and this season. Maybe it's poor writing. More likely it's poor acting. I agree she's a plot device but even a plot device doesn't have to be boring. They want to show her as hip and free spirited? Then get an actress who can play it, like the one who played Joy in CA several seasons ago. There's also no chemistry between the actors. I'm not sure this is all Pare's fault or not. It's got to be the writing too. I tend to think January Jones can't act her way out of a paper bag, yet Betty and Don had lots of on camera chemistry...even if Hamm did the heavy lifting in their scenes.
  • 1

#290

Annabelee

Annabelee

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:05 PM

I think Megan/Jessica makes January Jones seem like Meryl Streep. Her scenes with Elizabeth Moss are painful by comparison. I hate the way she bobs her head forward and kind of slinks along when she walks. And her voice is bad, too. Megan is a boring character and I don't think, with Jessica Pare's limits as an actress, anything is going to make her interesting. I can't see her becoming convincing if she moves up in the agency or if she cheats on Don or if Don cheats on her and she finds out. I agree there was a lot more chemistry between Don and Betty, as troubled as their marriage was. I was always rooting for them to find a way to be together. With Don and Megan, I am hoping for a split--and soon!

Edited by Annabelee, Apr 18, 2012 @ 11:08 PM.

  • 0

#291

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:29 AM

Also I get frustrated whenever I read positive things about her in reviews etc., not because I think there's so much bad to say about her, but because it always seems like overpraise to me. Overpraise that I fear is supposed to be accurate. Like that she's a total career woman because sometimes she's reluctant to leave early or even stays the whole day. Or she's the one who controls Don (except that she has to leave early to keep him happy). Or that she's the first person who really understands him--as if every other woman he was with before was Bethany and no one ever actually stood up to him before or figured out he had a few kinks.


Heh, I agree that Megan tends to get wildly overpraised for some of the weirdest things she does-- such as the idea that her calmly handling a spilled milk-shake during a work-trip automatically means that she must be up for mother-of-the-year status, not just in Don's eyes but in ours as well! And of course, it doesn't help that some people honestly believe that disliking Megan's inconsistent characters means that her critics are misogynists that can't appreciate strong or sexual women. (Never mind that Joan and Peggy are probably the most popular characters among fans of the show and neither of them are fainting flowers or untouched virgin brides either.) Besides being a shallow love interest for Don that's so much less interesting than some of Don's other matches (I still wish Dr. Faye was on the show, damn it), that's something else that tends to stoke resentment against her.

Of course, I think the writers were in something of a corner with Megan, who pretty much has to have all the qualities Don could ever want in a woman, ever. So to be Don's dream woman-- the one he would forever forsake the pleasure of strange pudendum for-- Megan needs to be two contradictory things. She needs to be both a beautiful young woman optimistic (or stupid) enough to marry a divorced older man she barely knows without mercenary movies... and someone canny and sharp enough to go toe-to-toe with Don. So she needs simultaneously be someone dewy and idealistic enough tell Don (and believe!) that it doesn't matter who he was in his past life so long as he loves her... while also being tough and shrewd enough to keep a keen eye on an ever-tempted Don and never let him let him gas-light or control her.

Were the writing top-notch enough or if Jessica Pare were talented enough, I could potentially see the character as bridging this rather weird divide. But Jessica Pare is no Maggie Schiff (who played Rachel Menken) and IMO, she doesn't do tough-yet-tender very well. She's good at opening her eyes wide and looking shocked and dewy and supportive as needed. She's makes a lovely ingenue and works well as the second trophy wife of an older man. But when she needs to look intellectually engaged or emotionally enraged, I can practically see the wheels turning in her head as she tries to pose out the emotion. She looked particularly actress-y in the season premiere, when she tried to look enraged at Don as she was conspicuously cleaning in her underwear in front of him. Rather than feeling titillated, I mostly ended up feeling embarrassed for her.

I think Megan/Jessica makes January Jones seem like Meryl Streep. Her scenes with Elizabeth Moss are painful by comparison. I hate the way she bobs her head forward and kind of slinks along when she walks. And her voice is bad, too. Megan is a boring character and I don't think, with Jessica Pare's limits as an actress, anything is going to make her interesting. I can't see her becoming convincing if she moves up in the agency or if she cheats on Don or if Don cheats on her and she finds out.


This is definitely how I feel in a nut-shell. Megan's a very... protean character as written out, and Jessica Pare's inability to convey negative emotions very convincingly keep me from being all that engaged with her. Look at this gif of Megan throwing her little tantrum with Peggy in episode 1. If you saw this out of context, would you think Megan was really feeling all that upset? She looks like an inexperienced actress trying to look upset-- look at that constantly moving face and hands! those desperate attempts to invoke deep conflict!-- than a woman actually experiencing a storm of negative emotions. Needless to say, this doesn't exactly make me thrilled at the idea of seeing yet more scenes of Megan being emotional with Don in the future.

In comparison, whatever other limitations January Jones has, she makes for a fantastic Betty. She may suck at every other role she takes on but when Betty is feeling wounded or petty or angry or unhappy, she truly makes me feel those emotions, in that clipped-off, silently enraged way that Betty has long since mastered. JJ inhabits Betty and makes her seem like a real, albeit often unattractive person. Jessica Pare, on the other hand, can't bring that same sense of reality to Megan, no matter what great qualities Megan supposedly has. I'm always aware that I'm seeing an actress on screen when I see Megan-- I just can't find an inner life to her.

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:39 AM.

  • 0

#292

Bawoman

Bawoman

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 1:03 AM

Like Sally's teacher Suzanne from Season 4, Megan's basically a thinly written "love interest" for Don that's supposed to make him feel sentimental from time to time. But unfortunately, unlike Suzanne, Megan seems to be in the show for the long-run.


Man, it's funny you should mention Suzanne, because she and Megan happen to be my absolute least favorite of Don's girlfriends. In fact, they are the only 2 of Don's women that I have had any dislike for at all. They're both wishy washy brunettes with an annoying air of innocent, free spirited wholesomeness and zero character development other than being lifted up as Earth Mothers over Betty's Ice Queen.

Strange thing is, allthough I think I hated Suzanne more (she never struck me as genuine, and seemed like a potential bunny boiler), at least she had a personality of sorts, even if it was a crappy one. I felt something about the character. Megan is just dull, I get nothing behind her eyes. Nothing. I don't know her, and the worst part is is that I don't really care to. She has no distinguishable personality traits whatsoever. She does not exist outside of Don's orbit. She claims to want to be a copywriter so badly, yet it's been 5 episodes and all we have seen her do is draw coupons in one of them, and sit on Don's chair for the rest of them. Where's the substance behind Megan? She just seems like a projection of what Don thinks he needs in a woman now, not a fully fleshed out character. And where's Weiner going with this? This is a show famous for its meaty characters, and this season we seem to have a dry chicken bone smack in the middle of everything.

ETA: Mariagonerlj, I had already read that blog you're refering to, and let my opinions be known. Smart discussion my ass.

Edited by Bawoman, Apr 19, 2012 @ 1:13 AM.

  • 0

#293

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 1:25 AM

Man, it's funny you should mention Suzanne, because she and Megan happen to be my absolute least favorite of Don's girlfriends. In fact, they are the only 2 of Don's women that I have had any dislike for. They're both wishy washy brunettes with an annoying air of innocent, free spirited wholesomeness and zero character development other than being lifted up as Earth Mothers above Betty's Ice Queen.


Great point! Suzanne, in fact, seems to be a runner-up to Megan in some ways-- like you said, she's supposed to be all free-spirited and earthy and motherly, especially in contrast to Mean Ol' Betty that poor Don was practically forced to cheat on. (Because she was just so darn mean and unable to magically read his mind and understand all his childhood traumas!) And like Suzanne, Megan was able to act in some very weird and/or childish ways (seriously, what was up with that babyish temper-tantrum to Peggy in episode 1? Is Megan 26 or 6?) while having it excused by the writers. They're just a free spirits, after all. You can't expect them to uphold any standards of professionalism!

Where's the substance behind Megan? She just seems like a projection of what Don thinks he needs in a woman now, not a fully fleshed out character. And where's Weiner going with this? This is a show famous for its meaty characters, and this season we seem to have a dry chicken bone smack in the middle of everything.


Ironically, I think the weird blankness behind Megan's character comes because of the fact that the writers want so desperately for her to be the cause (or at least potentially the cause) of Don's new-found faith in life-- and to be so amazing that when Don (inevitably?) sabotages his relationship with her, he'll feel terrible about letting such a fantastic woman go.

I mean, every other person of note in the series has serious, serious flaws-- Betty has her iciness and inability to be happy, Pete has his pettiness and ingratitude, Peggy has a streak of social ineptitude that sometimes seriously affects her, Joan has her streak of cruelty and self-inflicted blindness, Lane has his difficult relationship with his father, wife and home-country... and let's not even get into what's wrong with Don. But Megan's had over 6 episodes-- almost half a season-- to have a prominent spot-light shone on her... and what's the worst thing we've learned about her?

She's unprofessional at work-- but apparently that's because her co-workers don't understand how to have a good time.

She sometimes has fights with Don-- but that's because of the skeletons in his closet, not hers.

She doesn't take Don's concerns or desires seriously at times-- but that's okay, since he'll do whatever it is that she wants him to anyhow, whether it's go to Fire Island or a party in the suburbs or whatever.

She's a little socially awkward-- but always in an "endearing" way (like when she shouted Cynthia's name at the dinner party), never in a way that actually brings her harm.

In a cast full of freaks, geeks, weirdos, losers, head-cases, and the cripplingly socially inept, Megan has demonstrated no major-- or even inconveniencing minor-- flaws. And I think she's that way because the writers wanted to elevate her over the other characters and over the other women Don has ever known... but instead, it just looped back around and made her dull and rather unrealistic compared to all the flawed but three-dimensional characters around. (Though the terrible acting-- this is Megan being maaaaaad, everyone!-- doesn't help.)

I mean, if you think about it, there's no wonder that people speculate over whether she might have a porn-star past or had botched abortions or whatever else in the past. She's so squeaky clean it's downright strange next to everyone else. And the writers probably designed her to be that way to make her likeable and what have you-- but instead, she just comes off as the odd woman out.

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 19, 2012 @ 1:31 AM.

  • 2

#294

theponderer

theponderer

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 2:35 AM

Mariagonerlj, you have expressed most of my problems with Megan (and Jessica) very well.

This is an odd show regarding the writing of the women's parts. Peggy and Joan are great. But Suzanne struck so many of us (I noticed it being mentioned again above) as a bunny boiler, that is made no sense to me that she wasn't, and just disappeared.

Fay was set up as having Mafia connections and being furious with Don for dumping her...and yet, no repercussions. Not even a dead fish in the mailbox.

Edited by theponderer, Apr 19, 2012 @ 2:36 AM.

  • 0

#295

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 6:25 AM

This is an odd show regarding the writing of the women's parts. Peggy and Joan are great. But Suzanne struck so many of us (I noticed it being mentioned again above) as a bunny boiler, that is made no sense to me that she wasn't, and just disappeared.


Mad Men has a very inconsistent track-record when it comes to Don's mistresses and various conquests. While the writers seem to lavish a lot of loving attention and care on the "core" characters who show up season after season (ie. Peggy, Pete, Joan, even people who came in relatively later like Lane), Don's various love interests can drop in and out of the show in very strange ways. Sometimes it makes sense for them to leave (like Rachel) and other times, they simply seem to vanish from existence because the show doesn't need them to spur change in Don anymore (like Suzanne, who Don rather arbitrarily chose never to see again because the more interesting divorce plot-line came along to take up the writers' attention).

I think there's a high chance that after the writers get bored of Megan or after they're done exploring Don's attempt at happiness in monogamy (that'll probably take up the remainder of the season), she'll drop out of the show, probably leaving lots of unresolved plot-lines behind her. The writing has been damn sloppy in regards to her and sometimes appears to have made up hastily. (Engagement in Tommorrowland, anyway?) The timing seems off in terms of Don having found happiness so far ahead of schedule, considering this show is supposed to have 7 seasons. He needs to have more conflict ahead of him and frankly, if we have 2 1/2 seasons left of seeing him be eternally devoted to Megan, it'll be excruciatingly dull.

We're just waiting for the writers to get bored of Megan and the "happiness" she brings Don, I think. Unless the writers want her to stick around so badly that she'll do so even after Don eventually runs into a new mistress that they badly want to see him with... which, dear god kill me, would make her a permanent fixture on the show after all.

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 19, 2012 @ 6:40 AM.

  • 0

#296

WaltzinSpringTm

WaltzinSpringTm

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 6:37 AM

Basically, I've heard MW say that Don and Megan's relationship is somehow an important focus this season but it doesn't yet seem like a story at all to me. She dresses well and he dotes on her like a golden retriever.


Cracked me up.

Megan needs to be two contradictory things. She needs to be both a beautiful young woman optimistic (or stupid) enough to marry a divorced older man she barely knows without mercenary movies... and someone canny and sharp enough to go toe-to-toe with Don. So she needs simultaneously be someone dewy and idealistic enough tell Don (and believe!) that it doesn't matter who he was in his past life so long as he loves her... while also being tough and shrewd enough to keep a keen eye on an ever-tempted Don and never let him let him gas-light or control her.


I feel like every television "critic" got the memo to call Megan television's "it" girl. I use quotes because tv critics don't really critique Mad Men, they write think pieces about the show - they're groupies and fans. One critic decided he was the one who needed to change his expectations. God forbid he criticize the show.

Maybe because so little is happening on Mad Men AMC went all out promoting the one new thing which was Megan (ripping a single of Zou Bisou was a tip off for one) but she's pretty much replaced Betty, Sally and Peggy as far as Don's interactions with women and if she'd replaced Roger I'd have lost it. This show is a critic's darling so now they can push a non-actress wish-fulfillment character front and center and get every critic to fall in line and put it on the audience if they don't like her. It's like Weiner's infatuated with creating a star out of clay but he doesn't have much to work with. Don's living in a cool apartment but every time I see it I dread it because I know we're getting another Megan scene showing off how well she "manages" Don.

The actress has gotten so much promotion it makes me fear she's the only game in town this season and that's why they're telling us how fantastic she is. Everything else is more or less a one-off (the Betty episode, the Pete episode) - "bottle episodes" while the long story is all Don/Megan all the time. There's a "protege'" vibe I'm getting from Weiner's interviews, like he's coaching and shaping - instead of casting an actress who could do it out of the box, the way he does with other actors (I doubt he'd let an underemployed naif play Bobbie Barrett or Rachel).

I can't believe Weiner defended Suzanne/Don. I missed that. For real? That guy has so many blind spots. Glen. Not the bathroom scene by itself, but Glen's relationship in toto with Betty, and Betty's enabling of it, made him inappropriate for Sally - and Weiner was just like - I don't get it - it's the way my son looks! It's the bathroom! No, MW, it's Glen and SALLY - not Glen on his own.

Suzanne - I'm sorry, she was one of Sally's teachers and met Don when his wife was pregnant. His wife had two little ones and a baby at home. I'm not gonna like her.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, Apr 19, 2012 @ 12:37 PM.

  • 0

#297

Inquisitionist

Inquisitionist

    Stalker

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 8:29 AM

I do find it curious that we've seen Megan almost exclusively in scenes that include Don so far this season. Even the scenes with Peggy were really about Don. But we've learned that Megan has a thriving social circle that Don has allowed himself to be dragged into, though he (in typical Don fashion) complains about it. And through that brief phone call with her mother 2 weeks ago, it appears Megan had a happy upbringing and is still close to her parents, who support her emotionally. (I would have expected some trepidation about their "baby" marrying a divorced father of 3 who is 14 years her senior.)

I have no problem with Jessica P's performance. Her flailing arms in the scene with Peggy are less egregious to me than some of the bizarre looks Jon Hamm has had plastered on his face in almost every episode so far this season. But I am wondering if and when we'll get to know more about Megan on her own terms, or if she'll always be a "satellite" to Don. Some on-set photos that appear to be from next week's episode (I posted them in the Spoilers thread a few days ago) suggest
Spoiler
.
  • 0

#298

Sister Magpie

Sister Magpie

    Stalker

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:32 AM

Man, it's funny you should mention Suzanne, because she and Megan happen to be my absolute least favorite of Don's girlfriends. In fact, they are the only 2 of Don's women that I have had any dislike for at all.


Me too--and there again there tended to sometimes be an idea that Suzanne was hated because people hated all Don's mistresses when really for me it was just Suzanne. And now Megan. For very similar reasons.

I think to be fair, some of it does have to do with Don. Don's an interesting, basically desirable man when he's with a smart, mature woman who's somewhat of a criminal herself--for me. People who have a toughness to them--Rachel, Bobbie, Faye. Scrappers. Midge wasn't scrappy but she had that disinterest in Don that worked just as well. Betty looked like she was innocent, but it was all so brittle and underneath there was misery. (I just realized I kind of like Don with women that remind me of the one time we saw his birth mother!)

But when Don finds himself an earth mommy he just gets embarassing to me. Part of the Don Draper mid-century mystique is that he's not a little boy. Also there was that weird thing with Suzanne, for me, where she was presented as this great lover of children and cared so much about girls like Sally while having an affair with her dad and this was no way a contradiction or a betrayal of Sally.

Also, I get really frustrated at the idea of disliking Megan=misogyny idea, I think in part because part of the reason she's off-putting to me is that she's a male ideal. Suggesting that it's mostly women who hate Megan because they're jealous and she's pretty, pre-emptively blocking the idea that maybe part of the reason she's liked is that she's pretty. There's an implication that the flipside is fine--men seeing lots of positive characteristics in Megan because she's pretty. If you just let go your jealousy at not being a goddess yourself and stop being so "cynical" you'll see that she's delightful.

I mean, at the end of the season when Don proposed that felt like a slap in the face to me, and given things MW has said I don't think that was far off. He admitted--and Peggy saw this on the show--that Don had been progressing and then regressed with his hasty marriage. Part of the narrative of that was that Don spent the season building a relationship with Faye, a woman characterized like the other people at the office. She wasn't model-beautiful, she was closer to his age, she had character flaws like we're used to seeing at play with other characters. Then at the last minute she's humiliated and dumped for the girl who's young and beautiful and sweet--just what women have been told to be for centuries. Because she's those things, other things get projected onto her. "She's like you!" says Don to Peggy. She's an independent working woman--even if she actually did get her job as a gift from her new husband and is never shown being very connected to it.

I do worry if MW really thinks Jessica Pare is that great because it does seem like it'll create more of that disconnect. But in the past when I've worried about that he's often proved me wrong. Like I remember listening to the commentary of the Roger/Jane scene in the hotel and MW said he wanted to show this scene to show that she wasn't a golddigger, that this was a love match, that they were in love. And I worried that he was actually saying that no, this is awesome that he's marrying her! This is the way to happiness etc. But no, right away he also started playing the problems in their relationship. Roger had to talk to Mona or Jane to have real conversations and companionship. Now he's miserable, more miserable than he ever was with Mona. He chose the fantasy instead of the friend.
  • 2

#299

Mariagonerlj

Mariagonerlj

    Couch Potato

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:39 AM

I feel like every television "critic" got the memo to call Megan television's "it" girl. I use quotes because tv critics don't really critique Mad Men, they write think pieces about the show - they're groupies and fans. One critic decided he was the one who needed to change his expectations. God forbid he criticize the show.


Oh god, I wish I was surprised! Perhaps you could give me a link to this in the Mad Men in the Media thread? But yes, it's sad when even professional critics don't feel they can critique this show! I'm obviously an enormous fan but I'm not blind to the show's faults, which often manifest in its sometimes bizarre treatment of its female characters. (Like the way poor Betty was made into Snively Whiplash last season.) It's sad to think that people feel they have to love Megan, lest they be barred from all the pleasures of the show.

I do find it curious that we've seen Megan almost exclusively in scenes that include Don so far this season. Even the scenes with Peggy were really about Don. But we've learned that Megan has a thriving social circle that Don has allowed himself to be dragged into, though he (in typical Don fashion) complains about it. And through that brief phone call with her mother 2 weeks ago, it appears Megan had a happy upbringing and is still close to her parents, who support her emotionally. (I would have expected some trepidation about their "baby" marrying a divorced father of 3 who is 14 years her senior.)


I'm cynical enough to find the lack of any Megan seems outside of Don or Don's interest less curious and more inevitable. I honestly think that the entire point of Megan's character is essentially just to revolve around Don and give him something to react to, rather than be fascinating or interesting in and of herself. We keep being told things about her-- she has lots of friends! she knows parts of town where men she's known bibically before dwell! she's educated and has a loving family!-- but they don't actually have any impact on the plot and could be changed without any fuss at all. If Megan had been a British orphan high-school drop-out with few friends in the city, she probably still could have been played pretty much the same way she is now. She'd just have to come up with other reasons to be alluring to Don to get him to fall madly in love with her. Her past is just window-dressing, after all-- that she's alluring and attractive is what's really important about her.

Also, I get really frustrated at the idea of disliking Megan=misogyny idea, I think in part because part of the reason she's off-putting to me is that she's a male ideal. Suggesting that it's mostly women who hate Megan because they're jealous and she's pretty, pre-emptively blocking the idea that maybe part of the reason she's liked is that she's pretty. There's an implication that the flipside is fine--men seeing lots of positive characteristics in Megan because she's pretty. If you just let go your jealousy at not being a goddess yourself and stop being so "cynical" you'll see that she's delightful.


Sister Magpie, you're going to have to stop being so brilliant all the time. It gets embarrassing quoting you so frequently. ;)

(No, I fib outrageously-- do not stop! You're one of the best commentators on this board and I've loved your insight since your HP days!)

But yeah, one of the other things that irks me about Megan's character is that she's so often treated as some wonderful, three-dimensional personification of feminine spirit and independence when... no, no she's not. She's the most idealized woman on the show, free of all the flaws and limitations that weigh down everyone else. She's young and beautiful and idealistic enough to marry an older man with plenty of flaws and yet, just mature enough to take care of his children and soothe his egos and his hurts and his man-pain when needed. And even though she's supposed to be "independent," her life on-screen basically revolves around him, she has no on-screen contact with anyone but him, and she has to constantly be around him to make sure he doesn't stray.

She's the perfect woman, in fact: beautiful, easy-going, always up for kinky sex, just "independent" enough not to let you trample on her (though you don't even want to, since she's sooo amazing), and always there to guard you from your own worst impulses. She's the Ideal Woman of our times in all her glory. So forgive me if I don't see her as some wonderful three-dimensional figure. She's just the culmination of Don's hopes and dreams, not a person of her own.

Her flailing arms in the scene with Peggy are less egregious to me than some of the bizarre looks Jon Hamm has had plastered on his face in almost every episode so far this season.


Heh! Between Jessica Pare's broad ACT-TING and the gormless looks Jon Hamm plasters on his face to see madly in love with Megan, their scenes are sometimes embarassingly gooshy. I agree with Sister Magpie-- Don only has sizzling chemistry with women who push back at him with ferocious will, which is one of the reasons why I actually thought he and Betty actually made sense as a couple that sometimes drove each other mad with frustrated, even anguished, betrayal and longing. (And why their love scenes in Italy were so scorching hot together as well.)

I never believe Megan when she's trying to act "stern" with Don, and Don just comes off so dopey with her. It's like he regresses a few decades in the scenes he has with her.

Edited by Mariagonerlj, Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:18 AM.

  • 1

#300

Betsyb

Betsyb

    Fanatic

Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 10:47 AM

Part of the narrative of that was that Don spent the season building a relationship with Faye, a woman characterized like the other people at the office. She wasn't model-beautiful, she was closer to his age, she had character flaws like we're used to seeing at play with other characters. Then at the last minute she's humiliated and dumped for the girl who's young and beautiful and sweet--just what women have been told to be for centuries. Because she's those things, other things get projected onto her.


But that is completely realistic, to me. Most men like Don don't marry people like Faye as their second wives. Don doesn't want to marry his absolute equal. Someone his own age, who has flaws, who just accepts him for him. He wants an ideal. He wants youth. He wants someone to inspire him to be better (which is obviously a flaw). At the same time, he wants those realistic women on the side. Betty was all of those things in the first couple of seasons. She was dying inside but she was like that on the exterior. When Betty became far more distant and more of obviously bitter and angry as a person he needed Suzzanne to embody them (whom I also hated). In a strange way in Season 3 it all flipped where Betty was the challenging real woman he craved while also needing the stabilizing docile maternal woman. I don't think those are admirable qualities but they have been consistent and there was never a point when Don would stay with someone like Faye forever. I assumed he would marry Megan the moment she helped Sally combined with Faye's earlier marriage statement and I think it was fairly well plotted and obvious. Don was miserable as a bachelor and Faye was not wife material for him.

I don't love Megan but I don't dislike her the way I did Suzzanne. And I have always loved Jessica Pare and I don't see her as being a bad actress, at all. I also don't think she is Manic Pixie Dream Girl. First of all, I don't see her just a tool for Don's happiness. She wants her own career, she doesn't want a child, she doesn't want to have to go home with him every day etc. MPDG are just tools for the main character's growth and enchantment they don't resist in that way. I don't see her as pushing Don constantly to embrace life as a MPDG is supposed to. She just wants a normal relationship. Suzanne and Midge were that in different ways. But I don't see it in Megan.

I also don't have a problem with Don being faithful for awhile. First of all, I don't think he would cheat this early in his marriage. When he was with Rachel he wouldn't sleep with Betty. He does want to be faithful on some level it just he can never be satisfied with one person in the long run.

Edited by Betsyb, Apr 19, 2012 @ 11:06 AM.

  • 0