Don Draper is no Walter White
We’re trying Mad Men as a replacement for The Tudors, and frankly, I’m beginning to wonder why. I get that the series is a period piece on the 1960s, and that Don Draper is supposed to be the stereotypical American male of the era, self-absorbed while living the American Dream ™. The sets are wonderful, and the costumes are period-perfect.
But what is the point behind Don Draper? He is, as the Wikipedia page notes, often cast half in shadow or in such a way as to show only half his face, which plays into other little facts they reveal on the page (I swear, they need to create and start posting a spoiler alert template).
At least with Breaking Bad, AMC’s other dark serial drama, you understand why Walter White does what he does. Cancer can push you to do crazy things to secure your family’s future, like synthesize crystal meth. I get Walter White; I don’t agree with his tactics, but I understand him at some level. I don’t understand Don Draper, at least not yet.
I’ll give it a few more episodes, but I sense the scale slowly tipping in favor of watching something else. That being said, Jon Hamm plays the role perfectly well – dark and mysterious, but socially open at the same time.