Toxic Cocktails: The Men of “Mad Men”

Since everything relates to “Mad Men,” but most of the armchair pundits I know focus on the women in the series, Lauren M.E. Goodlad’s meditation on the criminally handsome, monumentally repressed Don Draper and American masculinity is a thoughtful departure. From the Chronicle of Higher Education, here’s an excerpt from her August 31 essay, “Why We Love ‘Mad Men'”:

“Although Don Draper is the show’s center of gravity, a constellation of intriguing personalities surrounds him. Several of those characters suggest series that might have been: Mad Women, in which Joan Holloway and Peggy Olson take different paths in the struggle for integrity in a man’s world; Mad Closet, the story of Salvatore Romano’s slow-motion sexual awakening; Bad Men, a close study of Pete Campbell’s toxic cocktail of ambition and insecurity; Race Men, in which Paul Kinsey strives to be a hero in the civil-rights movement without exposing himself as an insufferable honkie; Sad Men, a nighttime soap in which Roger Sterling deludes himself about his impending mortality; and of course Mod Men, a show about style.”