Let’s talk TV. (Warning, spoilers ahead.)
Just like many other people, I too watch the misogynistic den that is the show Mad Men on Sunday nights. (Actually on Monday nights, because we don’t have cable anymore and need to wait for the apple upload.)
I never liked Don Draper. I was annoyed, bored, or indifferent to his plight from episode 1, season 1 until now. I see him as the embodiment of times past and as such I am happy that he is an exaggerated metaphor and nothing more. His first wife Betty comes across as weird. However, being a house wife in the 60s in suburbia, I would wager that being weird was one of the few options you had. Also, she has some rather nice zingers every now and then. Don’s second wife Megan bores me to death.
I like Bert Cooper, Joan Harris and Peggy Olson. I don’t give a fig about Roger Sterling, and Pete Campbell is just a little weasel to me. I did not watch the show for any of those characters at first. I watched it for the intermittent glances of Harry Crane.
Harry Crane showed up with his nerdy glasses, his dimples and his Lolli and he was the cutest guy on the whole show. Add to that his bumbling ways and his in the beginning still intact moral values and you can see why I enjoyed watching him.
In the first season he struggled with the sleeping around norm that characters like Don and Roger carelessly propagated. He wanted to enjoy women in the limited capacity that a married man could. He messed up and slept with his secretary and felt very sorry and awkward about it later on. He did not just brush it away and he also had to face consequences for it. He could not go home for a while and had to spend his nights in the office where he set his trash can on fire and gave deep advice to Don.
The scene that showed how much Harry was really still able to feel was when Don introduced the carousel and Harry cried for the family he had almost lost. That was the Harry I was looking forward to see.
I also liked him when he politely asked for his own department and got it, when he tried to understand art, when he tried to make decision by saying that he would first do nothing and not make an idiot out of himself like he usually did and when he wore a yellow baby bonnet with all the dignity he could muster.
Then the seasons rolled on and Harry changed. Gone were the bow ties and the timidness. He started chasing skirts around whenever and wherever he could. He developed a sense of entitlement toward sex. He cowardly aspired to be like Don and failed. He took to drugs like a fish to water and his looks turned continuously worse.
First it was the diarrhea brown suit and big bulky glasses in the Zuo bisou bisou episode and now it is his whole look all of the time. Granted, the fashion of the seventies weren’t kind to anyone, but light blue suits, bell bottoms, shaggy bangs, mutton chops and brick like glasses seriously kill any good looks underneath. Add to that the overblown sense of entitlement he now has and the way he treats women in general and his habit of complaining about everything instead of actually working and you’ll see why I do not like his character at all anymore.
Last episode he was lying on a couch, answering some question and I wondered: “Who is this ugly guy?” Then I recognized him and thought: “Ah yeah, that’s slimeball Harry.”