Monday, 10 October 2011

The Eternal (and unisex) Appeal of Don Draper.

Obviously I'm a huge Don Draper fan.

Its hard to pin-point where the appeal lies.We know so much about him because he is the protagonist of Mad Men. The show focuses primarily on him, so we are quite familiar about his life, and his work etc. However, strangely enough, the more questions the show answers about him, the more question arise in our minds in regards to him. Simply put, we just can't get enough. Our understanding of him is just so intangible that we can't help but want to know more.Its hard to figure him out and put him in a box, which frustrates us because in this day and age we have become obsessed with figuring stuff and people out.It eats us if we can't . That's why we can't get enough of Don.
Don Draper is unlike any other character we have been introduced to in a very long time. His complexity surpasses fiction and settles itself comfortably in reality because the truth of the matter is Don's appeal lies in how relatable he is. That's not to say that we can completely understand him, because we can't- but we want to, the urge is the same as the urge to make sense of our own lives which, for the most part, we have trouble understanding as well.

Its nobody's fault, it's just the nature of things.

Since I'm a girl, of course you could say that his appeal for me lies in just how ______ he is.Okay,  so, yes.He's sexy beyond belief.His voice is comforting and agonizing at the same time,he knows how to wear a suit and rev up an engine.Its a pleasure to watch him , and a greater pleasure to hear gems of wisdom come out his mouth. The kind of manliness he embodies is now a rare-extinct-quality no longer found in the present generation (maybe we should wait for them to turn 40 though). He's a man. And he seems the sort who would  make you feel like a woman, just by being in his presence.You know what I mean?

I'm only in Rome for one night. I won't have my heart broken.

But hey, that's just me and perhaps half the female population of the world.What I would like to bring to attention is that Don Draper isn't just a  ______ for the females. Men are equally enamored by him. And no, not because they want to ____ him as well. Its the charm and what he represents. Which brings me back to the point that I was originally making. Don Draper appeals to us because of how human he is.
There is this silent melancholy that always surrounds him. His outwardly perfection is just a clever facade of the wreck he is inside.We are introduced to his inner conflicts over his identity, his actions and his past. We see his inability to break-free from the ghosts of  his past because he can never let the guilt dissipate. He just never lets go. The threat of facing the consequences of his actions never lets him be. Everything he does, it seems is to escape his past, because he is just so ashamed of it. In doing so, he alienates those who are closest to him.
He's always distant, slightly aloof. I think to Don himself, his life seems like a perfectly constructed egg-shell with nothing inside it.Since he is well- aware of the vaccum that exists, it becomes that much more important  that the egg shell never cracks. I think we all somehow can relate to that. Perhaps not entirely, but in some part, somewhat. That's why Don Draper has become the icon that he is today.
Not just because of the smoking, drinking, and general promiscuity that we see  in his life and think 'How cool!',  but despite seemingly having everything, he isn't happy and he isn't content. And its got nothing to do with what he doesn't have , but because its something that is beyond his control.We all have a tendency to be self destructive and Don shows us that.He's not perfect and neither are we.

Coming back to shallow-er things he's such a gentleman and looks so damn good in a black v neck sweater.

Now that you have been patient enough to hear me ramble about him, I present to you, something you and I will never have ; being in the same room Don Draper shirtless.

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