Get your martini ready
It's a Mad Men world but let's hear it for the women (with video)
Don Draper may be the handsome mystery at the center of Mad Men, the AMC series that's become a cultural icon. But as the series begins its fourth season on Sunday, it's about time the most captivating characters got their due, and they aren't the ones smoking in skinny-cut suits.
Betty Draper, the pretty housewife. Joan Holloway (now Harris), the sexy secretary. Peggy Olsen, the career girl. In the wrong hands, these characters could have become stale cliches, but in the hands of show creator (and Sopranos vet) Matthew Weiner and talented actors, the women of Mad Men are in many ways more interesting than the men.
As season four begins, spoilers are scarce. It's now 1964. The ad men of note — Don, Roger Pete, etc. have struck out with their own agency, rebuilding their success from the ground up.
Betty Draper has divorced Don and remarried Henry, though it remains to be seen if she has escaped her gilded cage or just moved to where the grass looks greener.
Peggy is gaining confidence in her professional life, and Joan is back in the office after her ticket out — a successful husband — turned out to be more ephemeral than she imagined.
I don't want to short-change the men, who struggle with finding their footing in a world that keeps changing around them. But learning that Weiner's writer's room is stocked with mostly women makes it clear why the women in this show are both so complex and so captivating.
Don Draper will still sizzle and seduce, but on Sunday I'll be watching for the girls.