Home Television Mad Men: Betty Draper Now Officially Worst Mom in TV History

“Mad Men” Episode 5, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: It’s official. Betty Draper, now Betty Francis, is the worst mother in TV history. Even as much as I thought Hope Steadman was a bitch on “thirtysomething,” Betty takes the cake.

Tonight she slapped Sally for cutting her hair. Then she wished her fingers would be chopped off rather than have the girl be caught masturbating. I give January Jones credit: her scene in the psychiatrist’s office was splendidly full of tics. But then, to send Sally with Carla the housekeeper rather than take her, herself…Wow. (Sally Draper is the Tabitha of “Mad Men,” no doubt about it.)

At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Roger Sterling continues to show his sensitivity. Last season he performed in blackface. This week he attacked Japanese executives from Honda.Roger invoked the name “Dr. Lyle Evans,” which has sent millions of people to Google and other resources to get the reference. I don’t think he exists. But Matthew Weiner made him up to mess with all the fans who immediately trace the minutiae. Funny.

In the news: the Selma marches and riots are mentioned. Last week, Peggy asked her assistant if he’d realized Malcolm X had been killed. “You know who he is, right?” she said. So we know it’s mid April 1965. Malcolm X was killed in February.

“The Chrysanthemum” is the first episode this season not written by Matthew Weiner. It’s credited to a woman, Erin Levy. Honestly, it was the best episode since #2 this season. Last week was so out of balance that there was no room for Bert Cooper. Bobby Morse sat in the reception area and read a magazine in the background during one scene. This week, most everyone was in the game. I loved Peggy’s sort of cameo riding the Honda around and around.

Lots of comedy: Mrs. Blankenship, the ruse of making the commercial, etc. We have to be careful here. We inch ever so close to “Bewitched.” Mrs. Blankenship is on my nerves.

One more reference to last week, when Ken told a joke and used the word “retarded.” Funny since Jennifer Aniston got in trouble for using the word recently. Times have indeed changed.

One last thing: Vincent Cartheiser is really just great this season as Pete, better than ever before. Pete is still full of mystery and questions. Cartheiser will get himself an Emmy nomination for next season. For this one, let’s hope Jon Hamm, John Slattery, and Christina Hendricks get their statues.

17 replies to this post
  1. Am I the only one who thought this episode jumped the shark? Don and Betty are so loathable now, why would I watch or care about them? Mrs. Blankenship is out of a bad sitcom, the Japanese stuff was blatantly racist (they were portrayed as stupid and leering, can’t justify THAT as being a 60’s thing), and John Slattery was the only thing that made the episode watchable. Bad writing!!
    I used to love this show. Over it now, won’t watch again.

  2. I think we are going to find out that Betty was molested by Dad as a child. Which is at least part of her problem. That, and her mother, aware of the situation, blamed Betty and called her a whore, as is often the case. When Dad moved into the Draper home, he alsod also molested Sally, which is why Sally so angrily discussed his passing and why she is so sexually aware at age 10.

    Am I the only person who can’t stand the Pete character and wish they would write him out of the show???

  3. Betty is the worst! My heart just goes out to Sally and I’m a wreck thinking about how this girl is going to turn out. There are some major drug years ahead, for certain. That said, Don isn’t much better. His moment of honesty with the agency psych expert just made me feel awful for the kids these two “gorgeous” people created. Loved the left turn Don gave the other agency. And Anna not being home to get his calls, well, that’s not good news.

  4. That fucker, Matthew Weiner. He took a perfectly complex character and turned her into a one-note villainess in order to please the show’s fans. This is some of the most bad writing I have ever come across.

    Thanks a lot, Weiner, for ruining my enjoyment of this show. Stupid motherfucker!

What do you think?

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