“Who is Don Draper?” People have been wondering that for years, not excluding Don himself, but no one has expected such a straightforward answer as the journalist from Advertising Age looking for material for his article on Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s superstar creative director. Like many before him who have asked in one way or another, he doesn’t get an answer. Don is not only still guarded and reluctant to hand out details, but seems genuinely mystified why anyone would care about him apart from his work. But Don’s life and work has changed over the past year, and this episode of his life is about him learning to understand what’s happened and how to change with it.
If Don Draper has said it once, he's said it a hundred times: when it comes to marketing to women, focus on pleasing the men. Because that's what women want too, in the end. According to this advertising logic, a shrill, silly Ann-Margret type singing "Bye Bye, Birdie" in a commercial will sell diet cola to women, and, in the Sterling Cooper conference room, the men are already sold on the idea. Peggy, however, is disgusted at the suggestion that either women or men would be attracted to a woman whose shtick is to "be 25 and act 14," and her confusion and disagreement over how women are supposed to appear, behave and choose sets up the underlying theme in this chapter for many of the women in Draper's circle.
It's Don Draper's birthday. Or, rather, it's Dick Whitman's birthday, but since as far as the world is concerned Dick is long gone, presumably the only people who now know, or will know by the end of the day, his true birthday are a drunk stewardess in Baltimore and himself. He begins it by reliving the tale of his conception and birth - the unwanted child of a prostitute who died while giving birth left with his father and his father's bitter wife - as he warms milk for a pregnant Betty Draper.
So, Mad Men. You might have heard about it, especially if make a habit of hanging out around here, because I've long been of the vocal opinion it's the most worthwhile original drama out there now, regardless of medium.