Deanna Littell's Charm School

MASTER OF CHARM-THE CAD VERSION

In Master of Charm on November 18, 2008 at 1:30 am

Dan DraperDan Draper, the darkly compelling protagonist of the 1960’s advertising drama, Mad Men, is posing a problem to some modern women who seem to be attracted to his latter-day charms. His effortless masculinity and swagger suggest that old movie star glamour-dark, handsome and distant-sometimes trumps the stay-at-home-dad on the “sexy” scale, according to the New York Observer.

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  1. As an ardent fan of “Mad Men”, I am definitely physically
    attracted to his dark, handsome looks, but I’m more intrigued
    by his demonstrated smarts and the air of mystery that surrounds how he came to be who he is. I’m turned off by his
    selfishness with regard to his own physical needs, yet still
    warmed when he has a touching momment, however brief, with
    his kids, or fellow employees.
    While he is physically attracted to “bad girl behavior”, he
    wasn’t exactly turned on when his wife entered the hotel suite bedroom clad in a black seductive corsalette and
    long black stockings, as I recall it. Even the contrast
    of his wife’s cool Grace Kelly looks in this alluring get up
    didn’t seem to truly ignite him. I guess his image of her
    as “the good wife and mother of his children” trumped her
    naughty charms.
    ba

  2. Letter to the Editor,
    As an ardent fan of “Mad Men”, I’m definitely physically attracted to Don Draper’s dark, handsome looks, but I’m
    even more intrigued by his demonstrated smarts on the job,
    and the air of mystery that surrounds how he came to be who
    he is. I’m turned off by his selfishness with regard to his
    own physical needs, yet still warmed when he has a touching
    moment, however brief, with his kids or his fellow employees.

    While he is physically attracted to “bad girl behavior”, he
    wasn’t exactly turned on when his wife entered the hotel
    suite bedroom clad in a seductive black corselette and long
    black stockings, as I recall it. Even the contrast of his
    wife’s cool Grace Kelly looks in this alluring get up didn’t
    seem to truly ignite him. I guess the image of her as “the
    good wife and mother of his children” trumped her “naughty
    charm”.

    Perhaps he’s not really in love with her, and views her only
    as a key accessory in his carefully constructed reinvented
    life. He respects her for her good management of the house,
    care for their children and for him, loves what a great
    impression her good looks, good manners, and beautiful home
    reflect on him, but he doen’t really connect with her and
    give her what she wants.
    The idealistic “happily ever after”in me roots when they
    show scenes of their rare intimacy, like when she wowed
    his business associates and clients with her perfect be-
    havior because he let her become involved and have owner-
    ship in his success, and she says “We’re good together!”
    Even though her exclamation was met with one of his cool
    stares and no comment.
    I realize what a key role the popular culture and manners
    of the time period have on all the characters and their
    situations. Being a woman who lived through those times
    and accepted the raw deal that women got then, I can still
    enjoy the nostalgic look back, yet be very happy that I
    lived to see and enjoy more eguality between the sexes, and
    more freedom of expression and feelings of relatedness that’s
    possible in relationships.
    Thanks for taking me on this little exercise of how I feel
    and relate to this fictionalized group of characters and
    their lives in early 60’s New York.

  3. Sandi, Thank you for making me think even more about this. I do think he really loves her,but I think his abandonment by his father,means he never was really loved as a child. His search for a new identity, I think, is his need to wipe the slate clean,without ever dealing with it. His search for love is very difficult for him. He is so cut off from his feelings that he can’t recognize love when he has it. He can’t deal with his beautiful wife & family (probably doesn’t think he deserves it). He probably can only “feel” when he’s doing something forbidden. The Frank O’Hara poem on the voiceover, probably holds a clue.”Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again,and interesting and modern”…..but i”m not sure how to interpret it.

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