Mad Men is one of the best television shows to ever be shown. Every episode is one that some person, at some point, can relate to. Anyone who has watched the series finds one of the characters that they latch on to, and find themselves invested in.

What does that say about me?

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Donald Draper is smooth as silk, to say the least. His words are stern, yet comforting; he is aggressive, yet passive; his entire life is a lie. The show is based around both his personal and business life, which – more often than not – seem to intertwine. He is a devoted family man, yet a frequent philanderer. He looks for anything, yet he is aware that he has everything at home. Too many traits that Don Draper exhibits are traits that I can find in myself, yet there is only one person that I continually relate to.

Roger Sterling.

Roger Sterling can’t help himself. He loves his daughter, values his wife, and knows that he should be….appropriate. But Joan Halloway is his kryptonite; a brunette call-girl is his weakness. He knows the difference between right and wrong, yet he can’t seem to adjust his sights so that they match up with his heart. And the more episodes of the show I watch, the more I find Roger Sterling to be the one character at Sterling-Cooper that I can’t escape.

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We all have that ‘one’. The one person that we can’t escape. No matter who we fall in love with, or who we end up with……we always reminisce. The downfall of humanity is our own minds. ‘What if?’ is the most dangerous question in the world; Roger Sterling always asks himself (sub-consciously) “What if I met Joan Halloway before I was married?” I realize that I ask more “What If?” questions than I have answers to. I have tried to figure out the reason for this,  and then I realized: I don’t have the answer because I don’t WANT an answer. An answer equates to finality; if I don’t have an answer, then I could always make up a different ending, no matter how many times I replay the situation. An answer means the end. I would rather have the means.

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In every scene of Mad Men, someone is either drinking or smoking. It is supposed to show a commonality between the characters; a uniformity between anyone who lived in the 1960’s. But the more I watch, the more I see that the drinking and smoking is exactly how it is currently…..it’s a crutch. Employing an outside interference to mask an interior insecurity. We all do it. For the cast of Mad Men, its alcohol and tobacco. What is it for us? What is it for me? Blogging? By the time we (I) figure it out, it may be too late. Roger Sterling had two heart attacks…..yet, to this day (in the series) he smokes at least a pack a day and cohorts with women that he knows should be forbidden to him. He and I are the same only because we know what is best for us, yet we still do what is best for our image.

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About Jamaal

Sporadic writer, avid reader, and lover of all things cinema. View all posts by Jamaal

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