Don Draper and Other Men That Don’t Do It for Me

SO HAPPY that Mad Men is back on.

I know a lot of other women who are happy about it, too, but for another reason. …

The other night, Superman was telling me about a female friend of his at work who announced, after seeing the third episode of Mad Men: “That’s it! I’m leaving my husband for Don Draper!”

I laughed and told him I’d heard this sentiment once or twice myself. I’ve heard it on many of the blogs, often on Twitter, and several times with my own divas over at popculturedivas.

Don Draper — clearly — is a heartthrob.

Most of the women who say this are, I believe, responding to Jon Hamm’s good looks, not Don Draper’s character. Because Draper on Mad Men is, without a doubt, morally ambiguous. Most of the time, he’s being selfish and arrogant while looking dapper in his one-button suits and tapered slacks. And most of the time he’s cutting a woman off (emotionally, literally) while cutting her that look he does from under his eyebrows. He throws her that grin, but in the next scene he’s being a jerk.

So I’m assuming (hoping) that the women who want to “leave their husbands for Don Draper” are simply responding to his tall-dark-and-handsomeness, not his weird alpha-male-selfishness.

But here’s the thing — even on looks alone, Don Draper just doesn’t do it for me. I hear other women swoon about how gorgeous Jon Hamm is, and I think, really? Am I missing something? I mean, he’s nice looking and all, but he wouldn’t make me look twice if I saw him in a church parking lot.

But this certainly wouldn’t be the first time I feel out of step with popular culture — that everyone else in the country is in love with a book/character/movie/storyline and I’m just standing there, my hands at my sides, thinking … really?

For some reason, it seems particularly strange when it has to do with looks. Because looks seem like such an obvious, cut-and-dry thing. But clearly they aren’t. Clearly they have to do with some kind of “chemistry” even though you’re looking at a screen — I guess “chemistry” can still come into play, even without face-to-face contact? Weird.

So how about you — What television or movie heartthrob have you felt out of step with?

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10 thoughts on “Don Draper and Other Men That Don’t Do It for Me

  1. Well, let me say first off that I am relieved that I won’t be left for the likes of Don Draper. To be left for a hunk is one thing but to be left for a jerk, well that’s just sad…
    Anyway, I know what you’re talking about. I have that same feeling about Julia Roberts. I just don’t get it. I know that her first really big hit was “Pretty Woman” and maybe people just bought into it. I never thought she was particularly attractive; you know in the “movie star” classic sense. Rita Hayworth-attractive; Ann Margaret-attractive–get my point?
    Though I must confess that while I never really liked her acting (at least John Hamm is a very good actor…) I did like her acting in the Mike Nichols’ movie “Closer.” A good director can do wonders.
    Interesting post Laurie, and I like our talks on the subject too.
    I’ll see you at home; and this time WITHOUT my Don Draper mask!!!!

  2. I never got the whole Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise thing…even in their prime. Good looking, but nothing to write home about.

    But I think it is the character that I fall for more than the actor. I always teased my husband that I adored Orlando Bloom, but really, I just liked his character in Pirates of the Caribbean. Outside of that? Eh, he doesn’t really do if for me. Or the first time I watched Twilight, I really didn’t think Robert Pattison was that good looking with the white makeup and dark shadows under the eyes, and I wondered what all the fuss was about. But by the end of the movie, I was enamored.

    In fact, there are very few actors that do it for me on a looks only basis. I find myself developing crushes on book characters more often. 🙂

  3. Superman — Interesting that men can feel this way, too. And Julia Roberts would probably be perplexing if she doesn’t do it for you because she’s always named as one of the most beautiful (highest paid? something like that) actresses. So, hmmm … Ann Margaret, huh? … 🙂

    Posey — Okay, now I have to go look up Jeffrey Dean Morgan. … Oh! Okay. Grey’s Anatomy guy. I don’t regularly watch that show, so I must’ve missed him and his allure. But yeah, I can see your point there. And Gerard Butler is a good one: I found him very attractive in pictures, but the first time I saw him moving and speaking, I lost all attraction. Which brings me to …

    Janelle’s point — Excellent. I think this is exactly it. Or part of it, anyway. I think there’s sort of a mix of character/looks/action that needs to come into play for a character to become “heartthrob” in our minds.

    But perhaps that’s what confuses me about Don Draper so much: I don’t get which part of his character we’re supposed to fall in love with. He IS charming, granted, but his selfishness … I just can’t get past it. Maybe if his character was completely adoring, he’d be sexier to me?

    And Janelle, I’m with ya’ on Tom Cruise. (But I’ve always been a Brad Pitt fan.) And Orlando Bloom was “cute” to me in Pirates, but Johnny Depp is the one I’ll watch. …. ; )

    (Robert Pattinson is too young for me to even think about.)

  4. It doesn’t take a psych degree to know what’s going on here. Laurie, you’re not into Don Draper OR John Hamm because you’ve got Superman at home and he’s BETTER looking than what’s on offer on TV. I got my own superdude, and he is too, but I admit, Johnny Depp might catch my eye at a party. So maybe I need a psych degree after all. 🙂

  5. Ha, thanks, Nancy!!! Yes, true. And, again, it’s the whole package we fall in love with, huh — including the humor, sweetness, intelligence, dedication, generosity and everything else. We caught us some winners! 🙂

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