"Great modern writing does not indulge our desire for villains and heroes."

Mad Men Will Never Give You What You Want—And That’s Why It’s Great

As a Man Men devotee, I, like most fans, love the show with a fervor usually reserved (in a televised capacity) for sports games and evangelical broadcasts. I watch, every week, with rapt attention to every detail, which I then dissect for days. The show’s nuances lend themselves to this kind of analysis and attention. And, like a sports fan, all I want from Mad Men is something I can put on a tshirt.

JOAN + PEGGY 4LYFE. Fuck Don. WWROGERD? These moments of moral clarity are the kind of thing we’re used to from television, and precisely what Mad Men will never provide. I imagine Betty, eyes rolling over her cigarette and one hand on an apron’d hip as she says to Sally in the kitchen, “He’ll never give you want you want, dear.” Mad Men is an exploration of the complications of the human condition, set in an era when the shape of culture seemed like a great, heaving echo of that inner turmoil. Nothing in the series is cut and dry. There is no good and evil, (this is true of so much good television, like The Wire. Great modern writing does not indulge our desire for villains and heroes.) there is just life, a series of choices made by characters whose relentless fallibility can feel almost painful to a loyal viewer. But it’s also what keeps us watching. In Mad Men, as in life, there is no true relief. The best you’re going to get is Bob Benson’s shorts. (Which, to be fair, is pretty good.)

As the sixth season draws to a close, and most of us start queueing up our Netflix to rewatch the five that came before it, we remain grateful that Mad Men refuses to make things easy for us, even as we cringe on our couch every Sunday night. 


  1. michaelosemoahu
    April 10, 2015

    do not want to join the Illuminati do not
    read this message. Rules * You must be
    above 18 years of age. * You must have full
    access to the internet. * You must not
    discuss the secret of the Illuminati to
    anyone. * We are not interested in anyone
    who has obtained their knowledge about
    the Illuminati based on what they%u2019ve
    HEARD from Mass Media (News or
    Performing Arts), Conspiracy Theorists
    (Amateur or Professional Authors or
    Speculators), Internet Rumors, or other
    HERESY. * Once you join the Illuminati within
    one week of your membership you will
    achieved the greatest goal in life and also
    have wealth and fame. * No one discard the
    message of the GREAT ILLUMINATI if
    discarded the person will be tormented
    both day and night. * Failure to compel to
    the order and rules of the GREAT ILLUMINATI
    shall see your fame and riches taken back. *
    The money ALWAYS flows TOWARDS
    Illuminati members…And AWAY from NON
    Illuminati members… One of the rules of the
    Illuminati is “We don’t talk about the
    Illuminati” so I can’t say too much about it
    here. If you are truly interested email us
    with michaelosemoahu@gmail.com or +2347013136793

  2. JonesIlluminati1
    October 26, 2015

    Are you a BUSINESSMAN or WOMAN, POLITICIAN, ARTIST OR ACTRESS, STUDENT and you desire WEALTH, INFLUENCE, FAMOUS, POWER AND PROTECTION and lot more, be a member of the great Illuminati today and receive $250,000 weekly and $500,000 monthly as
    membership blessing for you being a member of the Illuminati. With this all your dreams and your heart desires can be
    fully accomplish, for more information contact us on this email address: illuminatichurch11@hotmail.com or call this
    mobile line:+2348134250804. please no dirty games.

Post Comment