Mad Men: Jon Hamm’s Emmy reel

Posted by Dan October 27th, 2009 at 04:59pm In Mad Men

don-betty-IMG_1977If you don’t watch Mad Men, you probably know at least a few people who watch it obsessively. While I wouldn’t say I watch it “obsessively,” I’ve been sticking with it pretty faithfully even though I’m tempted to dump it because I don’t think it lives up to the hype.

This isn’t the same battered wife relationship I have with Grey’s Anatomy, where I keep going back no matter how horrible it gets. My relationship with Mad Men echoes my real life relationships, where I keep going back time and time again until I’ve extinguished anything resembling a spark. And I invest way too much time and energy into it because I’m adverse to conflict and decision-making and I don’t want to actually make the move and end it.

Perhaps I’m getting too personal.

Moving on, though, if you watch Mad Men you may agree that Sunday’s episode was probably one the most emotionally compelling episodes of the series thus far.  I would even use one word that I rarely associate with the show: rewarding.

After Betty’s discovery of Don’s Secret Dick Past (SDP), I really didn’t expect her to call him out on it so aggressively. Sure, she’s been known to throw around her fair share of tantrums and ultimatums. And, yes, she did give him some tiny chances to fess up to his past.  But the way she threw down at the end of the episode basically paid off for two and a half seasons worth of waiting for the other shoe to drop on Don’s life of smoke and mirrors.

I was left starved for more. In fact, I wish that the scene with Betty and Don at the kitchen table (with her barking questions and him shaking as he held his cigarette) would have lasted for the last half hour of the episode. Sort of like the episode of Six Feet Under where David gets kidnapped — it’s a normal episode until halfway through, when it turns into a claustrophobic psycho-drama.

This was definitely Jon Hamm’s biggest acting moment to date. Don Draper is rarely caught off-guard and never flustered or vulnerable. To see his besuited, hair gelled shell crack (and crack wiiiiide open) was riveting to watch. Hamm did a great job. January Jones still can’t act her way out of paper bag, but pay no mind.

Now, let’s get Sal back and have him indulge all his ‘mo fantasies.  Then we’ll really be in business.


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