Power Ranking Literally Anything: Don’s Girls

This is the first installment of Power Ranking Literally Anything, where I will power rank… literally anything.  First up Don Draper’s girls.  Over the last 6 seasons Donald Draper has found himself in and out of a lot of women.  Some of them even stuck around long enough to get a name.  The question is who was the best.  Not the best for Don, or best story line, just you know–the best.  All the other lists I could find of the ranking of Don’s relations were written by people who hated Don.  The fact is there isn’t a woman on this list who I like even half as much as our dysfunctional ad man.  Sure he’s a dick, selfish, misogynistic, and a terrible boss, husband, and business partner.  But he’s just the shit.  But I also love Marty Kaan so, maybe I’m fucked up.  I believe (in silence) that everyone wants to be Don Draper, minus the whole marriage with two kids nonsense.  But let’s get down to business.

12. Bobbie Barrett (Melinda McGraw)

Well here you are.  The lowest of the low as far as Don Draper’s conquests are concerned.  Bobbie was conniving, rude, boring, and cocksure.  But worst of all, she’s married to Jimmy Barrett and still manages to be the worst Barrett in the show.  She like many of the women on this show is a pseudo-feminist with a really bleak outlook on the woman’s role in society.  But most disappointingly of all is her dysfunction along with Don’s is destructive, culminating in a literal near death experience.  The one positive quality she has that she may be fucked up, but she understands that she is fucked up and just as much so as Don.  She goes into her relationship with Don with full intention of coming out bruised and broken.  And since Don’s fucked up personality is his most endearing quality I appreciate one of the only women to recognize how fucked up you’d have to be to love Don.

11. Megan Calvet/Draper (Jessica Paré)

People seem to be so very infatuated with the new Mrs. Draper.  I on the other hand loathe her.  The only reason she is not last on this list is because she is still on the show and might give her the ability to redeem herself.  Megan is the very unfortunate combination of boring and attention seeking.  She didn’t know what she was getting into obviously, marrying Don after one vacation, but I mean c’mon.  It doesn’t help that she is also quite literally terrible at every single thing she has ever tried to do.

10. Allison (Alexa Alemanni)

Again, boring as all hell.  Innocence is only an endearing quality in very very small doses.  Allison had it not only in spades, but in clubs, hearts, shovels, and gallon jugs worth.  I mean, what is there to say about Allison.  Don’s secretary, who didn’t even last long enough to get a last name, was one of his better assistants, and then she made the mistake of sleeping with him.  Don was single when he ruined Allison’s boringly innocent view on the world.  And with Don’s most misguided attempt at an apology he insulted her.  She turns into a sniveling mess before quitting and throwing—quite literally—a temper tantrum.

9. Midge Daniels (Rosemarie Dewitt)

Midge Daniels most redeeming quality is that she is one of the greatest moments in not only Mad Men’s long run, but in television history.  It is not until the last 3 minutes of the pilot that we discover Don is married, and to January mother fuckin’ Jones, to great shock.  Then a few awestruck seconds later that he has two kids.  Midge Daniels was fun-ish, at first at least, it really seemed like she was fun for Don, which Betty was evidently not.  But her rapid decline made her tiresome especially in relation to season one Don who is not the train wreck we see now.

8. Bethany Van Nuys (Anna Camp)

Bethany Van Nuys, unfortunately dropped right in the middle of two far more interesting women (Allison & Dr. Faye Miller) is the first woman we see Don date after his divorce with Betty.  She seemed interesting, if not all together intelligent at the beginning.  Unlike the plethora of women in the first three seasons Bethany was self-assured and willing to resist Don’s charms.  Unfortunately all it took was a run in with Betty Draper, newly Betty Francis, for her to cave in.  Two dates early she wouldn’t even kiss Don, but after the unfortunate exchange in the restaurant with ex-Mrs. Draper and one blowjob in the back of a taxi cab she was never to be seen from again.  Don summed it up nicely, “She’s a sweet girl.  And she wants me to know her.  But I already do.”  It’s true, the seemingly two dimensional character appeared only to be one dimensional after all.

7. Joy (Laura Ramsey)

We have reached the “ehh” category of this list.  Joy, a pretty non-descript run-in of Don’s as he is trying to escape in California.  Her most distinguishing quality was her very weird relationship with her parents.  But the truth is they were both looking for fun and no one got hurt in the process.  That may be the only relationship on this list you can say that about actually.

6. Candace (Erin Cummings)

Candace, again, a hole bag of “ehh who cares”.  She’s a prostitute and Don’s a regular.  And what she says about Don is far more interesting than Candace herself as a character ever could be.  Turns out Don is tired of dominated and annihilating every woman he comes across, and I guess likes to get slapped really hard in the face?  I had honestly forgot all about Candace until thinking up what to write for this list.  She’s neither loathsome nor likable, which lands her smack dab in the middle of this.

5. Suzanne Farrell (Abigail Spencer)

And here we have it.  We have arrived at the section of this list that comprises not just degrees of bad but actually good women.  Suzanne Farrell is Sally’s teacher so some people take issue with that, I don’t really care to be frank.  He is also married to Betty still at that point, again a red flag to most, but then again, Don is Don.  And were it not for the ill-timed arrival of her dysfunctional brother Don might have actually found happiness.  She was a free spirit, smart, understood Don much unlike Betty Draper; basically everything Don wanted.

4. Betty Draper/Francis (January Jones)

How does one describe Betty Draper.  She’s a hero to some and a villain too many, but regardless of who you are there’s nothing but pity for her throughout the first three seasons.  Then it turns out that Don may have been a large part of the issue but Betty herself is no peach.  Hated by her husband, the senator, and doubly so by her children there are few redeeming qualities to Betty Draper after the third season.  Actually were it not for the fact that I’m kind of in love with January Jones on the, not-so-low, I think by now I would have grown sick of her entire storyline.  Maybe it’s because I have always despised the white picket fence, 2.5 children nuclear family, two people pretending they can live together until they die bullshit but I always thought the façade that the Drapers put up was boring at best, and at worst tragic.  Betty Draper always had her moments but give any of these women enough screen time they might have their moments as well.  I pity her yes, but she is also a fascinating person.  Able to be strong and independent when necessary but still with the ability to “play the game” when necessary.

3. Rachel Menken (Maggie Siff)

Menken is basically the female version of Don.  Powerful, passionate, and too busy giving no fucks at all to worry what anyone thinks.  Rachel is entirely too smart for season one Don who is basically still a child.  Actually its Rachael’s fault Midge got thrown to the curb.  When Don realized what he really liked in a woman, why he had gotten sick of his life in the suburbs it was clear the beatnik photographer was of no interest to him.  I still to this day, wish that Rachel had said yes to Don’s proposal, but also had she it would have undermined her character entirely.  It was clear they both really loved each other.  But unfortunately stupid fucking Pete Campbell had to ruin everything.

2. Dr. Faye Miller (Cara Buono)

Ugh there goes that awful Megan in the background
The general consensus among fans of Mad Men, that if there ever was a “one” for Don Draper it is Dr. Faye Miller.  Smarter, more interesting, and better suited for Don than any other woman on this list.  If there is one thing our good old friend Dick Wittman is, it is aloof.  But someone the psychologist gets him to open up.  The one time Don Draper gets to be really himself with a woman, not named Anna, was with Faye Miller.  The biggest mistake Don ever made was choosing Megan over Faye.  And the truth is he chose Megan because he is beyond self-destructive.  As is evident from his impeccable timing with alcohol and floozies.  The one thing Don fears more than his true identity being exposed is happiness.  Right when he finds the ability to grow up, right when she manages to challenge him enough to make him step up he runs scared.  Plus she is endeared to me because she hates children as much as I do, may be the stereotypical mark of a “professional woman” on television, but I was still a fan of her distaste of Don’s rugrats.

1. Sylvia Rosen (Linda Cardellini)

And here we are.  The part where I make everyone really mad.  Even if I haven’t already, I’m going to, right fucking now, so take a deep breath.  Sylvia and Don’s relationship was fucked up.  They were both married, living in the same building, and Betty is friends with Sylvia and Don is friends with Dr. Rosen.  The relationship may have been surrounded in dysfunction but you couldn’t tell when they were alone.  There was something about Sylvia that I won’t even try and define here but it was clear for the time being that they were together that they were perfect for each other.  Then of course family fucked it all up.  Plus Linda Cardellini is just the best.

1 Comment

  1. habibilamour says:

    Faye is my favourite on the list, sure psychologists can annoy me but it’s funny to me to see Don deal with a very successful woman who can make him open up (And while I don’t hate kids I don’t want one either)

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