Jon Hamm deserves an Emmy for Don Draper. I agree with Variety’s Debra Birnbaum about that. But, I find it unfortunate that voters would only now consider awarding him that Emmy. As Birnbaum wrote, Hamm likely hasn’t won in the past since “Don Draper … was a cheating husband, a neglectful father, an unapologetic alcoholic … it’s hard to root for someone seemingly so unredeeming.” So now since, at the end of the brilliant Mad Men series, Don Draper apparently finds his “good self” it might be OK? In my opinion, they’ve mistakenly diminished the complex demands on an actor...

MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 6 — Doing it her way has never been easy for Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss). For subtle but understandable reasons to me as a psychoanalyst, Peggy needs Don and yet hates herself (and him) for it. She’s just not as self-assured as she thinks she should be. Then, again, neither is Don Draper (Jon Hamm). They share this. Especially, where love comes into the picture. Episode 5 ended with Don triumphantly flagging down a cab … the line “everybody knows you’ve been stepping on my toes” from Waylon Jennings’s song, “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line,” playing...

MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 7 — Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin) is a mad man full of envy. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be so bent on getting rid of Don Draper. And, he wouldn’t be making unilateral decisions to be sure no one gets in his way. Contrary to what the soon-to-be-deceased Bert Cooper suggests, Cutler’s not a leader, a team player, or anything like that.  Ultimately, he wants to be the very thing he accuses Roger of when he announces the McCann merger: King.  Anyone who gets in the way of a King? Well, it’s “off with their head”, so to speak. Like a ruthless dictator,...

  MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 4 — The 60’s were the era of re-defining what tells us who we are. The country was at war in more ways than Vietnam. Women fought stereotypes at home and in the workplace. The Black Panther movement empowered marginalized citizens. This country’s cultural revolution was a sign of just how much oppressive status quos would be challenged. People like Don Draper (Jon Hamm) live under similar but internal oppressive beliefs originating from childhood trauma. Don’s is the dark specter of “the unwanted boy”, now being repeated at Sterling Cooper and Partners. Will Don survive being...

  MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 3 — It could have been the perfect day. For the first time in his young life, Bobby has his mom along for a field trip and he couldn’t be more excited.  It’s all going so well, too. “Me and my mom are having a conversation,” Bobby tells his teacher on the bus. He’s a very happy little boy. He’s staking out a special spot for just the two of them (“No you can’t sit here. That’s my mom’s spot.”). All Bobby wants is a special place in Betty’s heart and today he thinks he just...

MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 3 — Good relationships take trust and trust allows relationships to strengthen over time. As we’ve watched Don Draper over the years, we know he’s lied to the people in his life for complicated reasons. After suffering a series of humiliating defeats in Episode 3, it’s painfully illuminated to Don that the people who know him – from his wife Megan to his partners at SC&P – don’t trust him. Don is forced to face the reality that trust is hard to gain and easy to lose. Trust (and love) require being open to the hard work...

MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 2 — Is there any hope for love in Mad Men Season 7? Maybe between Don (Jon Hamm) and Sally (Kiernan Shipka).  But, first of all, Don needs to stop lying – and, finally, he’s beginning to come clean. Don’s lies catch up to him when Sally comes on the scene for the first time this season in Episode 2.  Sally is a lost 15 year old, with no parents she can count on – smoking with her boarding school friends, and on her way to a funeral for her roommate’s mother. She says, with typical teenage sardonic bravado,...

MAD MEN REVIEW: Season 7 Episode 1 — Could Sterling, Cooper, and Partners be an even worse environment for – and especially the women – as we enter Season 7, 1969? Each of the main characters seems poised for the struggle of their lives – as Mad Men’s psychologically-minded creator Matthew Weiner hints: “This season is about consequences…We don’t just throw stuff away after it has happened. There are shadows over this season that go back to the first time we met Don.” The premiere, “Time Zones,” let’s begin to check in with Joan (Christina Hendricks), Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), Don (Jon Hamm),...