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Megan Calvet Draper: Doesn't Cry over Spilled Milkshakes


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#571

Mariagonerlj

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 10:36 PM

And some of us think that Megan is a rich and flawed character entirely in keeping with everyone else on the show, and not remotely intended to be some divergent "ray of light."


That is what the etc. etc. is for. ;)

I am interested in the sheer range of views on Megan though-- I think she might be garnering some of the strongest reactions in the fandom so far, likely because she's new, people are still adjusting to her presence, and because she's so different in so many ways from the other characters. I keep thinking of Alan Sepinwall's recent review of Lady Lazarus where he calls Megan:

the one who keeps Don current, and she's the one who keeps him even vaguely engaged at the office. Joan suggests to Peggy that Megan is just another woman like Betty, but Peggy knows that she's more than that to Don. Megan is everything Don has dreamed of: the glamor and easy charm of Betty, the gift and (seeming) passion for creative work of Peggy, and the independent streak of Don's various mistresses.


In other words, she's the irreplaceable woman, the one vixen that can ever hope to tame the raging stallion that is Don Draper! And right now, I'm honestly puzzled about whether or not this is something Matt Weiner and the other writers want us to think. We can pick out flaws in her all night, petty or not. But are these flaws meant to be seen as such? Or are we supposed to glide over them, the way we might be asked to glide over Megan lying to Peggy and getting out of work for an audition since it was her dream? Are we supposed to be infatuated with Megan or not? The writers seem to be so far but I'm wondering if they're going to yank the rug under us any minute and stop it with her love-fest and their position her as being too good for [s]the world[/s] the cynics of Mad Men and Don in particular.

Where the hell are they going with her, that they're making her the most prominent character in the season, next to Don?

Edited by Mariagonerlj, May 7, 2012 @ 10:42 PM.

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#572

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 12:23 AM

ITA and part of me suspects this is just petty nose-thumbing by Weiner because he knows a lot of fans didn't think much of Pare's acting.

I don't recall "a lot of fans" complaining about Pare's acting last year. So at what point could Weiner have decided he needed to stick it to the fans? Heck, even the "Inside Mad Men" segments were filmed before Weiner had any idea how fans would react to Megan this season!

Not only that, the character of Megan was an aspiring actress before the fans even saw her on screen. We learned she wanted to be an actress mid Season 4 and that was a done deal before anyone had any sort of reaction to her.


I do think there is going to be some sort of twist with Megan, whether it makes us love her or hate her or remain completely indifferent to her (as I am). But I will say that just because I am not interested in the character does not mean something can't happen involving her that will captivate me, if it had deeper repercussions for more than just her.
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#573

rogaine2233

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 3:21 AM

Can someone help me out with my most likely fault memory here? I am recalling an interview with the actress (perhaps it was on the AMC website, but I can't find it), where JP was talking about how secretive the writers were and that at any minute it could be "there's the elevator shaft and the next scene is a funeral with Don eyeing some blond in the front row. done!"

She was talking about how she could come in one day and find that the writers had killed off her character. Maybe wishful thinking on my part and I'm remembering incorrectly, but the part about the elevator shaft is sticking in my mind.

Has anyone else read something like this?

I guess I'll keep Googling....
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#574

rogaine2233

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 12:03 PM

which only confirms my original opinion about Megan. She might not do it maliciously, but she's an opportunist and a user.


This is a quote from one of my posts on the episode thread. NewYawk posted a disagreement. I thought I'd expand on that over here.

As I said, I don't think Megan is necessarily malicious. But I think she embodies the season's theme of "every man for himself". She's opportunistic and IMO very conniving and a manipulator.

The old saying goes "it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one" and I can almost hear MME Calvet telling that to Megan as she got ready to launch herself into New York. If you look like Megan, I imagine you have no shortage of men wanting to date you. Yet she comes to SCDP apparently unattached. She worked there for....6 months?..more?..before becoming Don's secretary. Even by the time she was assigned to his desk, she had to have a sense of how erratic and moody he was. The secretaries gossip. I'm sure she knew a lot of his backstory (well, the public part of it, anyway).

So she knows he's a womanizer and now a divorced man. And knowing all of this, she makes a play for him anyway, late at night in the office when they are alone. She puts forth an "interest" in copywriting, yet when Don goes into mentor/teacher mode, she puts her hand on his arm and makes it clear she's not there for the education. And Don, remembering the disaster that was Allison, actually resists at first. Yet she picks up on this cue and she assures him that she won't get emotionally involved.

Yet, she totally contradicted herself weeks later when they went to CA by telling him it's all she thought about. And she systematically auditioned for the part of Mrs. Don Draper...and landed it.

So when S5 opens, we find they are married and he has elevated her to copywriter. Megan may or may not have a huge interest in the job, she may be on the fence, she may be just playing along. We really don't know. But it's quickly obvious to her that if she's going to stay married to this man (to whom she perhaps did fall in love, because as MME Calvet says...), she's going to have to actively manage him and his dark side to make sure that all the emotional and verbal abuse he dished out to Betty, did not come her way. And she has to play the part of his mistress to keep him interested so he doesn't stray.

But Don's never a guy to do anything halfway so it's also quickly obvious to Megan that the guy insanely NEEDS her..to the point where he wants her at work and at home with him...24/7. At first, it's annoying to her that he won't even leave her alone at work to try to learn/do the job. That comes to a head in Far Away Places. Then she hits a lucky note with the Heinz business and she and Don tag-team to save the account and OH MY!!!! does that make Don Draper hot for her! So if you're Megan now you're thinking "shit, I am really trapped in 24/7 with this guy...he wants to be a professional power couple and of course totally entwined with me at home. When do I just get to be ME?"

Between those thoughts that could have been running through her head and her father's lecture, Megan sees a way to regain some independence and space from Don. And pursue something that she dabbled at before, but could not make a living supporting herself. It might be "all she wanted to do since she was a little girl" or she might again be putting on a good act for Don. I think Megan's enough of a realist to know that very few succeed in acting but now, with Don supporting her, she has a chance to play at it again..maybe have some success...and most importantly, GET SOME SPACE from Don.

I don't blame her for wanting space. I would find it suffocating married to the guy the way he is now. But this just might be the point where Megan makes her most strategic error. Don is adrift without Megan by his side 24/7. Whether he adjusts or falls into the void remains to be seen.

Also remaining to be seen is how Megan reacts to her newfound independence and how that affects the marriage from her point of view.

Does she love Don? Probably, on many levels. The guy is movie-star handsome, rich and powerful and most of the time, treats her very well. But it's got to be exhausting to stay 2 steps ahead of his dark side and to have to know you must manage that every day or it will eat you alive.
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#575

WaltzinSpringTm

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 12:53 PM

I wonder if Jessica Pare's subpar acting (which Weiner HAS to notice - he notices when excellent actors aren't on their game) is why they made her an actress on Mad Men. More promotion. Pare isn't just a good actress - she is playing a talented, passionate actress!!!

For me I couldn't help thinking how overly cutesy it was that Megan wanted to be an actress on the show and Pare wants to be one in real life and isn't there yet. Then I realized well, she's an actress in that she's paid for it.

I was reading on some other site in the comments section how the limitations of January Jones dovetail brilliantly with Betty's character, although honestly, I think it's more than that - she's truly good in that role. But it was speculated maybe Weiner thought he could make lightening strike twice because Pare is a beautiful woman with such an amiable vibe, and she's too untutored as an actress for that to be hidden. So that's fine, if Don wanted to be married to a sweet woman. But now she's some kind of copywriting savant with brilliant fits of inspiration in the shower and a burning talent to act - for which she apparently has some talent as she got a callback and thinks she came close to getting the role. And she's wise. They should have left it at sweet. I don't know what Weiner is obsessed with, but he definitely thinks he's smarter than the audience, he's hyper sensitive to criticism and there really has been a lot of Megan complaints, so I feel like this whole Megan thing is gonna screw us next season because he really hates to be told what to do.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, May 9, 2012 @ 12:57 PM.

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#576

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 1:07 PM

So that's fine, if Don wanted to be married to a sweet woman. But now she's some kind of copywriting savant with brilliant fits of inspiration in the shower and a burning talent to act - for which she apparently has some talent as she got a callback and thinks she came close to getting the role. And she's wise.


I think MW and the writers just laid it on a bit thick wrt Megan being good at 'everything.' It's just a little too much. From a plot perspective, maybe they thought that Megan had to be naturally great at copywriting so that she and Don could be work partners, and he could come to rely on her before she pulled out the rug from under him. Or maybe they were trying to underscore that she is a true artiste because she could went back to acting after succeeding at advertising, not because she couldn't hack it. I don't know. Whatever their intention, after awhile it just became too much for me. I don't hate her or her character but it has kind of weighed down the show for me, for want of a better description.

From a personal perspective, I have observed that people who are very good at a lot of different things can really struggle with figuring out what they want to do in life. I think maybe that's supposed to be part of Megan's dilemma, but again, I just don't care.
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#577

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 1:40 PM

I could have lived with "She's good at everything," but my tipping point was when Don told her it had taken him 10 years to get to the point where she is now. She had a good idea for the Heinz account, but come on. That was some absurd overselling.

I was expecting his next line to be "Peggy will be lucky if she's there in 20!"

Edited by Birdhee, May 9, 2012 @ 1:44 PM.

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#578

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 2:10 PM

And, "she was way too ugly for me to even consider sleeping with.". Maybe there is more of a Peggy/Megan contrast than Betty/Megan. Megan, a true artist at everything. I want her to draw on a napkin and have the MoMA display it.
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#579

WaltzinSpringTm

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 3:13 PM

don't recall "a lot of fans" complaining about Pare's acting last year. So at what point could Weiner have decided he needed to stick it to the fans? Heck, even the "Inside Mad Men" segments were filmed before Weiner had any idea how fans would react to Megan this season!

Oh I think he knows and that's why the writing is so heavy handed- the entire season feels like a self-indulgent egocentric exercise. "I can write this into happening!" He's extremely astute about acting and with the caveat that MMV, far too astute not to see her limitations. In addition, the hard sell is unprecedented in his commentary and on screen, and it's there for a reason - she can't sell herself. It also feels to me as if Megan's passion for acting was pulled out of someone's hind end - sure she was an actress as part of her character description, but this burning artistic drive feels like an add on.

MMV also in that I did read complaints of Pare's acting last season, but I'm not speaking specifically of here!
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#580

Mariagonerlj

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 3:33 PM

Megan, a true artist at everything. I want her to draw on a napkin and have the MoMA display it.


I hope they're not going to ask us to see Megan as an actress prodigy, however. In fact, I'm guessing that Megan will likely end up a mediocre-to-terrible actress and we'll end up seeing why she quit acting in the first place, as well as how she acts when she doesn't automatically get what she wants easily. I'm half-heartedly hoping that maybe it'll complicate the character-- or at least speed up her exit from the show.
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#581

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 9:26 PM

Pare isn't just a good actress - she is playing a talented, passionate actress!!!

But she's not. The show has never sold Megan as a brilliant actress, it has constantly emphasized that she is a failed actress. She is lively and did a cute Cool Whip commercial (though many people have pointed out that Don/Hamm was the better "actor" in that scene within a scene), but that's not evidence of being a brilliant actress.

I can't buy that Weiner is preemptively sticking to the fans with Pare when he had no fan feedback for any of the material used for her. It's not that I don't believe that he wouldn't do that if he realized fans didn't like his choice, but whether or not he knew he was using a sub-par actress, he had no idea how people would react.
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#582

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 2:01 AM

I don't think it is about what viewers will make of Megan - although I think there was enough reaction to last season's finale and also to the demonisation of Betty for him to realise that some people were going to hate this Megan story - but that Megan has become his vehicle for writing about himself and his frustrations with the negotiations. He thinks he's an artist who shouldn't have to accommodate himself to what he sees as grubby commercial and political (within AMC) imperatives. He thinks he has massive talent and he was being asked to compromise his artistic integrity. He thinks AMC need him, regardless of the effects on other shows of his demands. What we have had with Megan is someone who doesn't really like the fake art of copywriting but wants to pursue her true artistic vocation as an actress; who is so good at copywriting that she can do with it what it took Don ten years to do and even cynical Joan who was so sure she would fail is proved wrong, and in injecting her talent into the firm Megan reveals how lacking in optimism and good grace the other characters are; and who is desperately needed by Don who has never needed anyone like this before and will now show that he recognises what he has in her by letting her fulfil her artistic destiny. I hate everything to do with this Megan show, but it suddenly hit me after watching the last episode that this might be its origins.

Edited by Effra, Mar 31, 2013 @ 9:42 AM.

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#583

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 8:09 AM

I hate everything to do with this Megan show, but it suddenly hit me after watching the last episode that this might be its origins.


That theory has a lot of validity. My husband, who got hooked on the show through my recommendation, and caught up through Netflix (I caught S1-3 on Netflix and then S4 mostly live), was really looking forward to this season as good TV is really hard to find. He's been even more disappointed than I have. And after last Sunday, he told me that he'll watch it on DVR...maybe...but that he wasn't taking up sleep time on Sunday nights (he gets up early on work days) to watch a show with a plot he thinks he can catch on daytime TV. And I don't think he's far off the mark.

This Sunday, I'll be watching on my own and if it's another Megan show, Megadon show or we see Megan land some fantastical part....suddenly becoming an acting prodigy after supposedly failing before, I will NOT give this show another chance.

I'm already looking forward to Breaking Bad in July.
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#584

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 8:44 AM

I don't mind Megan much. She isn't my favorite character. They do make her up a bit too idealized.

My main problem with her is I just don't care that much about her that EVERY SINGLE EPISODE this year seems to be about her.

I wasn't aware the name of the show had been changed to Mad Megan. I waited a year and a half for new episodes about the agency, not about the new glorious Megan and her adventures in advertising land.

This season is much too focused on one character with not enough mixture of all of them.
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#585

rogaine2233

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

This season is much too focused on one character with not enough mixture of all of them.


Precisely. I don't really dislike her as much as I appear to when I post about her. I think what I dislike is all the air time she and she-and-Don take up in each episode. And I don't care how glorious and perfect she is (or most likely isn't). I feel like MW is shoving her down our throats and for a character that appeared on the scene late last season, it doesn't feel right. Even if she did wind up married to the main character.
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#586

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:14 AM

I think what I dislike is all the air time she and she-and-Don take up in each episode.


That bothers me, too, especially since I'd rather they focus on the other characters more.

But I've had that thought with most of Don's "women", especially Suzanne. It's just that the other ladies, aside from Suzanne, seemed interesting in their own right and I don't find Megan interesting. I also don't have much respect for Megan, so maybe that is also coloring my view of her.

Edited by izabella, May 10, 2012 @ 9:14 AM.

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#587

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:39 AM

My main problem with her is I just don't care that much about her that EVERY SINGLE EPISODE this year seems to be about her.


Yes, I have to agree it just seems like every ep is too focused on her, having important scenes in every ep and major storylines in most, it seems (we'll never see a "next week on..." without her!).

But I think the other reason that it sticks out at me is that the types of stories Megan gets are so different from what I'm used to on MM. I look back at the season and practically every story has Megan facing some challenge in her relationship with Don and then surprising him by meeting it in an unexpected way. Even if it's not a whole storyline, that seems to be the message of their scenes.

And that's just very unusual for MM. Sure there are scenes of every character where they succeed at something, but Megan's life is so surprisingly straightforward where each week she seems to meeting some clear challenge and do well with it. On this show I'm just not used to scenes playing out that way. Usually you can watch a scene and not be sure who "won" in it, or what challenge somebody faced.

Like in this ep: no idea how to describe exactly what effect things had on Pete. Or Peggy. Don still retains some ambiguity in that we feel that although he let Megan go he's very unsure what that means. But Megan had a straightforward challenge where we know what's right (Megan being true to herself and coming clean to Don) and know she did the right thing. In so many of her scenes it's just not as layered, like a lot of Codfish Ball was devoted to just playing out Megan having a great idea and acing the pitch.

And I don't want to jump on Pare as if it's her fault, but her lines do tend to feel just as straightforward. Which could be the writing. But I just think of the praise this ep has gotten for some of the great dialogue in scenes, like Peggy vs. Don in the lab and the convos Pete had with both Beth and Harry (or even the exchange b/w him and Peggy) and I can't picture JP playing those kinds of scenes. Like when she confesses her real feelings about advertising and wanting to quit...I think that kind of speech would come across very differently if said by one of the other actors. From Megan is just sounds like a girl who doesn't like her boring job and would rather be somewhere else. Pete's clearly flirting with the same kind of impulses in this ep, but it seems to be about something more. I feel like this is not secret to MW since it's been lampshaded in the script that Megan doesn't have those nuances that make a smile look like a smirk. But it makes it even more strange when her very different character suddenly gets so much screentime.
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#588

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:45 AM

I agree with you Sister Magpie . It seems as though every week is "this week, Megan solves this complicated problem."

And it's a combination of the clunky writing and her lack of acting skills that make it worse.

The media is lapping it up. She was featured in a recent People Mag as "Mad Men's Breakout Star".
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#589

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

But she's not. The show has never sold Megan as a brilliant actress, it has constantly emphasized that she is a failed actress. She is lively and did a cute Cool Whip commercial (though many people have pointed out that Don/Hamm was the better "actor" in that scene within a scene), but that's not evidence of being a brilliant actress.

Actually she got a callback for her first audition in what we can presume is years, while she's still "rusty" and she told Peggy she didn't get the part but thinks she came pretty close. Taken with the rest of the writing and how effortlessly appealing she was supposed to be in the Cool Whip bit I disagree and think we're supposed to believe she's an extremely talented actress. Failed actors aren't without talent - as often as not the task of the survival job coupled with trying to get a toehold in an industry where so much of casting has nothing to do with talent (even then) and on top of that there are so few jobs, especially for women (more back then, but still a disheartening ratio) causes many to throw in the towel or just never get a break. As historically only 5% of the union members are employed at any given time (and fewer earning a living at it - and that's union members, not counting the many striving actors still struggling to qualify for union membership) then being brilliant as well as successful are not correlated. I think Weiner has hinted heavily in Lady Lazarus that she's damn good at it. As she is at everything.

I agree with a few things I've read around the web - one writer said "I am willing to care about Megan but do I have to care about her THIS MUCH?" I also agree that she's not really a side door into Don's psychology - we only get hints here and there. It really is about her and I wouldn't be surprised if the theory that Weiner is using her to punish AMC-TV doesn't have a lot to it. He's such a dick. He has a hit show (or at least a success d'estime) he's got every entertainment blogger sucking his dick and believing if they don't get an episode or are dissatisfied it's THEIR limitation, not Weiner's, and Weiner is still a pissy little bitch with resentments. I love the idea of him writing himself through Megan - the pure of heart, 30 million dollar man. This suspicion is reinforced by having characters we know and trust, especially a no-b.s.er like Peggy, mewl: "I think she's very brave." Yep, brave Megan, leaving the 9-5 to live the life of an aspiring actress who lives in a fabulous high-end apartment supported by a rich husband, doesn't have to work - can take classes and audition as it comes up, and not much step-mothering either as the kids live a conveniently far commute away. Where oh where does Megan get her courage! We can only admire her. And the sixty bazillion other aspiring actresses in the city of that time must be Joan of Arc by that measure.

I don't think the media is lapping it up - the entertainment media is largely just a promotional arm of the shows, and a show like Mad Men with its cryptic storytelling, self-importance, fabulous wardrobe and psychological pretensions is right up their alley.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, May 10, 2012 @ 11:25 AM.

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#590

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 10:20 AM

Yup, I predict that
Spoiler
Megan can do no wrong and I also see a lot of validity in the theory that she is being shoved down our throats as MW's basic F-you to AMC and Lionsgate.

Mad Men's "breakout star" my foot.

Edited to add spoiler tag

Edited by rogaine2233, May 10, 2012 @ 10:21 AM.

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#591

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 10:43 AM

Megan wears the best outfits on the show. If nothing else, she dresses up the set and allows the costume designer to flaunt her talent.

Nobody seems to mind that Don is a brilliant creative mind as well as the handsomest man in the world who gets every woman he sets his sights on. Why shouldn't his wife be beautiful and gifted as well? However, the fat lady hasn't sung yet . It remains to be seen if Megan is and will remain MW's poster child for artistic passion or if his interview was a red herring and there's something interesting in the works for her.
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#592

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:21 AM

I think his wife should be INTERESTING as she's a character on television. Instead she's a list of qualities that we're told about but are not embodied by the actress playing her. I hear the words, I see the clothes; it's not believeable OR interesting. MMV obviously, but Don is a believeable character. Megan is just a mannequin saddled with descriptives.

Edited by WaltzinSpringTm, May 10, 2012 @ 11:27 AM.

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#593

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:55 AM

I love Megan, and I especially dig the quasi-friendship between her and Peggy. I appreciate that the show didn't go for the cliche of making them bitter rivals (and even nodded at that approach by Don wrongly accusing Peggy of it). Pare and Moss have far more chemistry than Pare and Hamm, but that could just be because Moss is a phenomenal actress who has chemistry with everybody.

I wish we could've gotten more scenes of her with the creative team, rather than so many of her with just Don, because that moment when Ginsberg was asking her about acting was amazing, particularly her awkward responses. (Although I guess the whole point of her SCDP storyline was that she and Don were distinctly separated from them.)

And, "she was way too ugly for me to even consider sleeping with.". Maybe there is more of a Peggy/Megan contrast than Betty/Megan.

I agree. I absolutely feel that Don married Megan because he subconsciously wanted the connection he had with Peggy, only coupled with a face/body he considered attractive enough for him. The repercussions of Megan leaving SCDP is going to be much bigger for him than he realized. Megan knowing the Dick Whitman story (likely the abridged version, at that) isn't the equivalent of her knowing him on the level that Peggy does, and now that she's left advertising, the only things left are his attraction to her and her great ability with his kids. He's probably going to realize that it isn't enough.
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#594

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:19 PM

Weiner and company can entice, directly or indirectly, the media mags to promote his show right now because Mad Men is the reigning jewel. When they lose the Emmy this year (which I honestly think they will if it keeps heading this direction) the lustre will begin to fade on MW and Mad Men and so will his princely status. JMO of course.

ETA Why this is in the Megan thread? Her and her storyline are the cause of this ho hum year.

Edited by taipai, May 10, 2012 @ 12:21 PM.

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#595

mickbeth

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:54 PM

I am clapping harder and harder, because I just refuse to believe that Megan is some combination of Matt Weiner's "revenge" on AMC and his blow-up doll.

>>Clap, clap, clap<<

I mean, she's got to be a sort of stone chunked into the SCDP pond, some jelly thrown against the wall, a wrecking ball into the side of the Time-Life building meant to shake up these older characters who simply can't get married, live happily ever after, strap on golden parachutes and die in the 'burbs.

>>Clap, clap, clap<<

She's some kind of change agent, she's just got to be. Her presence turned several SCDP workhorses apostate and ready to form their own sect by the season finale, leaving us hanging from a cliff, yearning for season 6. Yeah, that's the ticket.

>>Clap, clap, clap, clap . . . <<

Edited by mickbeth, May 10, 2012 @ 12:56 PM.

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#596

Dev F

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:43 PM

Weiner and company can entice, directly or indirectly, the media mags to promote his show right now because Mad Men is the reigning jewel.

Or because they sincerely believe that it's still an amazing show. Obviously, everyone is free to disagree, but it seems awfully presumptuous to assume that any media figure who actually likes the show this season must be bought-out or bamboozled. It's an assertion for which there is no evidence -- for which there can be no evidence, absent an improbable confession of some sort -- aside from "Well, I don't like Megan, so clearly the critics can't genuinely like her either."

I agree with a few things I've read around the web - one writer said "I am willing to care about Megan but do I have to care about her THIS MUCH?" I also agree that she's not really a side door into Don's psychology - we only get hints here and there.

Considering her entire character centers around her being the psychological embodiment of the choice Don made at the end of last season, I think she's very much about Don almost all of the time.

Edited by Dev F, May 10, 2012 @ 2:02 PM.

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#597

Inquisitionist

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 2:04 PM

ETA Why this is in the Megan thread?

Good question. There is a thread in the General Gabbery forum for discussion and diatribes concerning Matt Weiner.

Considering her entire character centers around her being the psychological embodiment of the choice Don made at the end of last season, I think she's very much about Don almost all of the time.


Exactly. I don't think we have to care very much about Megan as a stand-alone character (even though I do find aspects of her personality interesting). It's really all about how her presence affects Don,and to some extent the others at SCDP. As this terrific recap/analysis at Vulture put it (actually quoting Deborah Lipp of Basket of Kisses):

No one has an accurate perception of Megan's decision. We know that Megan was unhappy at work, that she wasn't nearly as thrilled with her Heinz win as she had a right to be, that her father's visit had rekindled her desire to fulfill her acting dreams. Peggy's snapping at her that the job would be precious to someone else probably moved her to decide. It's pretty clear that she's been afraid to face Don down, but this is what she wants. Yet Don blames Peggy for jealousy and competitiveness, Peggy blames herself for being too hard on Megan, Joan sees Megan's love as gold-digging, Stan sees it as an escape from the compromise and mediocrity of advertising: In other words, they all see themselves in the situation.


Megan is indeed a different type of character for Mad Men. She's relatively straight-forward. Perhaps we're not seeing sub-text because her role is to reflect and crystallize others' stories rather than her own. In that respect, she is unsettling both to the other characters and to some viewers.
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#598

Sister Magpie

Sister Magpie

    Fanatic

Posted May 10, 2012 @ 3:06 PM

Megan is indeed a different type of character for Mad Men. She's relatively straight-forward. Perhaps we're not seeing sub-text because her role is to reflect and crystallize others' stories rather than her own. In that respect, she is unsettling both to the other characters and to some viewers.


Yes, I loved that recap pointing out how all the other characters projected their own feelings onto Megan quitting. The only thing that bugs me is when other characters are sometimes, in recaps, cast in the villain role where I don't think it's fair. Peggy refreshingly stood up to this with Don, pointing out just how supportive she's been of Megan, and I think the show's also made a point of showing Peggy being good to her and even other characters being nice to her. But for instance in the Orange Couch recap it talked about Megan being "sick of" everyone seeing her as a projection of themselves. And that seemed unfair because it's more that many of them (Don excluded) saw her as what she said she was. For instance, it's not Peggy's fault that she treated her like an eager copywriter who wanted to be like Peggy since Megan claimed to be...exactly that. Megan was in large part caught in *her own* trap in this ep since she was the one who claimed to want to be a copyeditor.

But I still think there's way too many signs of Megan being flighty to see her as a simple Mary Sue. There was simply no reason whatsoever to stick in a line from Ginsberg about how Megan's a big moocher despite having her entire salary as mad money, yet they put it in. There was no reason to raise the problem of Megan leaving work undone just to have her easily agree to leave at lunchtime. (Sure many will claim that was because Don told her to leave, but the rest of the ep is Megan showing she does what she wants when it matters to her.) Her handing Peggy that pile of folders was hilarious.

So yeah, I see a lot of signs in the show that Megan is uncomplicated and straightforward...but that this can definitely have its drawbacks. For instance, I made the comparison between Megan and Pete both considering the possibility of going after some "truth" that might leave others in a lurch and be selfish. But I'm not so sure that MW isn't well-aware of and lampshading that Megan's not taking that much of a risk and that the things she's destroying are mostly things that matter to other people, not things she's worked so hard to build herself. That's why Megan's choice to change her life can be an uncomplicatedly good thing for her.

Edited by Sister Magpie, May 10, 2012 @ 3:09 PM.

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#599

Annabelee

Annabelee

    Channel Surfer

Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

When Joan said, in effect, that Megan was a gold digger, she may have been projecting. Maybe Megan really is a modern woman who admits to herself and her husband that she can't be happy unless she follows her dream and then does it. But what about what Joan said about Don? Don isn't breaking through any societal barriers. (Why would he?) He didn't marry Megan because she was an advertising savant. If he had wanted a woman who was accomplished in the advertising world, he had one: Faye. He married Megan because she was young and pretty and sweet and had a nice smile, just like he said Betty did when he told Anna about her. And he didn't bring her into SCDP because it was her dream (despite what she claimed) or because he thought she was talented. It was because he wanted her around so he wouldn't be tempted to stray.
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#600

theponderer

theponderer

    Loyal Viewer

Posted May 11, 2012 @ 1:23 AM

Jessica Pare is the "breakout star"?

Call me jaded, but maybe Matt Weiner is having his own mid-life crisis and has fallen in love with her, the person.

I can find no other logical reason for why this bad actress is being so pumped.

If Megan was who she is but was played by someone with some spunk and chops, I might even like her.
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