Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Girls on TV: Peggy Olson (Mad Men)

Only recently I've begun catching up with the largely-hyped AMC Original Series Mad Men, about which, unless you completely avoid the media, you have probably heard a lot. One of the many things it receives praise for is its refreshingly honest portrayals of women, the three most important being of sexpot secretary Joan Holloway, disillusioned housewife Betty Draper, and unprecedented success story Peggy Olson. While Olson is characteristically underestimated by all, she manages to transition from Don Draper's secretary to his colleague, which, I'm sure you recall, was no easy feat at the time.
I've read one too many articles that have dismissed her with one-word descriptions such as the following: "frumpy", "ambitious"-- turning the focus to more overtly feminine counterparts, Betty and Joan respectively. While I adore both Betty and Joan, I feel that critics tend to tragically overlook Peggy-- I've almost come to find Jezebel's visible preference of seductress Joan over the blatantly more progressive Peggy offensive. Yeah, so sometimes she's a bitch-- she's human and every character on such a realistic show needs some weak points. But I can't do anything but admire her for skill, climbing the corporate ladder through creativity, not dirty tricks (which could be said, maybe half-heartedly, of her mysterious male double, Don). If she wasn't such a required focal point for the show, the pilot would not have revolved so much around her first day at Sterling Cooper. An outcast in both stages of her work environment, a great article I read on her suggested that her character's weight gain at the end of season one seemed to be a strong statement against the gender roles of the era-- the constant unspoken requirement of being pretty. Sudden physical anomalies aside, Peggy is promoted by her notably sexist male co-workers. These are just a few of the many reasons that I find her to be such an important, resonating character. Without her, I firmly believe the show could not go on.
So yeah, she may not be a Jackie or a Marilyn, but is that really such a hindrance? After all, I don't think anyone would want to be one of a hundred colors in a box, would they?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

OHAI! It's a pretty lovely spring day over in Oklahoma. My main lady V over at Savage Sunshine did this survey and suggested I do it too, so what can I say other than "I'm on it"?

What is your current obsession?
The new Bat for Lashes, which is wonderful.
What are you wearing right now? A plaid dress I bought from this bomb outlet store in Japan and 575 drainpipes.
Who was the last person you hugged? Mi madre, I'm exciting I guess.
If you were a tree, what tree would you be? Well Barbara, I think I would be a palm tree, cherry blossom tree, or def a bonsai tree if only because of its Karate Kid connections.
What’s for dinner? Too early for that shit. I sure as hell am Jonesin' for a burger.
What was the last thing you bought? Three muffins and I ain't even frontin'!
What are you listening to right now? Crystal Stilts "The Dazzled"
What is your favourite weather? Springtime in Los Angeles, especially in the Santa Monica area. It's warm but the breeze throws it off and gives kind of this cold front-y feel.
What’s on your beside table? Ain't got one, yo. I keep my phone by my bed though for an alarm clock.
Say something to the person/s who tagged you. V. I MISS YOU.
If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? Probably somewhere nice in Greenwich Village. But you know what? God, maybe somewhere in Paris or London.
Where are you typing from right now? My room, nowhere fancy.
A book you're currently reading? American Psycho and my friend's copy of The Time Traveler's Wife.
What would you like to have in your hands right now? It's not so much my hands as it is... oh shutupbrain.
What is your favourite tea flavour? Sleepytime. I cannot resist a tea with such a name, especially when it's flecked by an adorable bear in pajamas.
What did you eat for breakfast? A bomb as hell blueberry muffin, and because of this, I'm feeling like my day is gonna be a-okay.
What did you want to become as a child? A fairy princess. My mother asked me what I wanted to be and after thinking hard, I had made my decision. After she told me I couldn't exactly be one, I was never the same again. If it's ever possible...
What is your fantasy? Getting paid ridiculous sums of money to sleep. That is the dream. Then I could seriously do some damage in my waking life.

Obviously, I tag Erika. Expect more shit soon. Who knows what it will be.


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