Tag Archives: Mad Men

New Layout: Uncorked!

Hey there, reader(s)!

I’ve been working on a new design layout, and I’ve finally got most of the components the way they looked in my mind! So, without further ado — I present you with the new and improved Lena’s Beat!

Feel free to look & click around, and tell me what you think!

The icons on the right will lead you to the following categories:

Viewpoints: posts about pop culture, current events, politics, school, psychology, updates on my life, travel, health tips, and other goodies.

Eats: posts about food, of course! I mostly cook from vegetarian recipes, with some meatier ones featuring ground turkey, grilled chicken, and salmon.

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TV: posts about the plethora of shows I love (up to and including  Queer as Folk, Dexter, 24, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Glee, Parenthood, Alias, Beverly Hills, 90210, Buffy, Californication, Frasier, Roseanne, and more!)

Photos: Stay tuned for posts featuring some of the photos I’ve taken! As a full-time student and part-time employee, this growing hobby often takes a backseat right now, but when I do get to use my lovely D-SLR, it’s a happy day for me, and I look forward to sharing it with you!

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Thanks, and enjoy!

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This is ‘Mad’ness

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Today, Mad Men fans shed a collective tear for the delay of Season 5. The network released the following statement about the show…

“While we are getting a later start than in years past due to ongoing, key non-cast negotiations, Mad Men will be back for a fifth season in early 2012.”

The tears are mitigated by the fact that at least there will be a season 5 (er, well depending on who you ask; see below), but for such an immensely popular show at the prime of its life (with riveting plotlines, character development, and intrigue), it’s a mystery why the Powers That Be have decided to give it a mid-life crisis.

Let’s hope it won’t be its last season when it returns, like with the prolonged hiatus of The Sopranos.

Signing off,

A bitter yet hopeful Mad Men fan who misses Donny Don.

Undraping Don Draper

Today I wrote a family therapy case study based on another newfound yet instant favorite character: Don Draper. To say that he’s been on my mind lately is an understatement, as we’ve been watching Jon Hamm’s gorgeous face on our TV almost every night these past two months. This complex ad man emerges from a decidedly simpler era – 1960s Americana. He has pretty much what any stereotypically “red-blooded” man would want: an office stocked with endless supply of booze and smokes, a considerable salary, the admiration of his entire office, and the perfect homemaker wife and kids. And yet beneath the surface there’s so much more going on – that image, is in effect, a persona – a draping for his real identity.

So who is Don Draper?

I’ll try to be gentle with the spoilers, but still be forewarned – some mild ones do occur. None that you won’t find out very early on in the show,  though.

First of all, his name isn’t really Don Draper. He was born and raised Dick Whitman, and escapes his impoverished, unnurturing family by joining the army. Upon arriving at his post, he learns that only one another serviceman has arrived so far – a lieutenant by the name of, you guessed it, Donald Draper. Turn of fate, they’re attacked and the real Draper dies, leaving Dick the sole survivor. The opportunist that he is (although not maliciously), Dick sees this misfortune as his ticket out of war and out of poverty at home, and switches their dog tags.

Back in the States, his career flourishes independently of his namesake’s. As an advertising director, he spends his days finding creative ways to reinvent the image of cigarette companies and department stores, but his secret is that in fact he has reinvented his entire life, and he’s suffering more than he can bear it. Perhaps that’s a critique of culture, always wanting more and new without appreciating the old, and perhaps he is the fulfillment of the American Dream – grassroots success no matter what the means.

Regardless, his inner turmoil lurks beneath the surface of his debonair exterior, and his life is mired with complex emotions that he can’t deal with. At home, he has the ‘perfect’ blond homemaker wife who’s clueless about his real identity, the golden retriever, and the two and a half children, but outside he seeks out the company of ambitious brunettes with careers who don’t need to know about his dark passenger. He’s overcome with guilt about what he’s done, but he’s been Don Draper for so many years that he’s stuck with it. On the one hand, it seems he’s miserable with the facade , but on the other he’s terrified that his world will come crashing down if he’s exposed.

In the end, he battles two social constructs: what he wants versus what people expect from him, and the battle is the sheer genius that is Mad Men.