Why Don Draper is one of the most powerful men on TV

  • ANI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2015 10:37 IST

Mad Men is one of the most recognized shows on television and while every character is full of depth, there's no getting past the aura of the lead character Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm.

Draper truly personifies the fast and cut-throat world of New York advertising agencies in the 1960's and has earned a great number of fans for himself and the show since it first premiered in 2007. Featuring some of the best writing in recent history, the show has an authentic feel that is rarely seen on the small screen.

Although it is set half a century in the past, every lesson Draper has to offer remains pertinent to today's business and fashion climate. Several magazines and online spaces have named the fictional Don Draper as the most influential man in the world, ahead of real-life figures. Draper is viewed as one of the most successful smooth-talkers in business since he transitioned from Dick Whitman to his new assumed identity, and is also quite a ladies' man.

Even though he has a model wife Betty Hofstadt, he repeatedly cheats on her, and is quite the womanizer. However, he never lets his various relationships, and the turmoil ensuing from them, affect his career. He is also one of the best-dressed men on television, and his sense of style adds a great deal to the character. The staple of Don Draper's wardrobe is the classic American suit, popularized in the 1950s and 1960s by companies like Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers, and they primarily expresses his individuality with textured weaves and patterned colors.

When it comes to drinks, whether he's entertaining clients or meeting Megan for dinner, Old Fashioned is one of Don Draper's favorites. The cars in Mad Men are not just shiny props, instead, they help make a statement and keep the plot rolling. From a used car salesman, Draper moves on to buy a 1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville once he is invited to sit on the board of the Museum of Early American Folk Art, a validation of his rising stature as a hotshot creative director.

Don Draper is constantly embracing change and leaves no stone unturned to make it to the top. Despite his outward cynicism and arrogance, Don is portrayed as having a strict code of personal ethics, insisting on honesty and chivalry in his subordinates and is occasionally shown to regret how he treats his family. He comes from a very intense upbringing that includes abuse, the death of a parent, and confusing situations, which leads him to have a somewhat dark disposition, given to brooding, self-medication, self-destructive behaviors, and infidelity. He has a kind of charm that can be both warm and seductive, but he can also have a temper that can flare up in an instant and can be cutting and cruel.

Don Draper is THE man when it comes to making life-changing statements. Some of the most famous lines from him are - "Fear stimulates my imagination", "You want some respect? Go out and get it for yourself", "Even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary", "I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent" and the best of all- "You're born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts. But I never forget. I'm living like there's no tomorrow, because there isn't one."

also read

Mad Men ends with surprises spreading happiness all around
Show comments