Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Don Draper voted the most influential man of 2009

Now this title would not seem so odd if it was a list of fictional characters, however Don Draper has landed the top spot on the annual list of the top 49 influential men in the world, the rest of the list comprising solely of real people and with Barack Obama claiming top spot in 2008. James Bassil (Editor-in-Chief of attributes Don Draper securing top spot for these reasons:
"In a turbulent 2009, men are seeking the tradition in masculine qualities that they imagine their fathers and grandfathers to have had. The character Don Draper brings all these traits together, and in doing so speaks directly to the modern man. He's a man whose time has come."

This position in the pole show how Mad Men has permeated popular culture far more than just for the fashion that features in show, but it strikes me as odd that a character who has cheated and deceived for most of the three seasons so far would be held in such a high regard as a traditional figure of positivity. These factors have helped him in to a position of success, he is in the business of selling and manipulating that these are seen as positive traits. However, the character is clearly not happy with everything in his life, this was highlighted when Peggy wistfully said she wanted everything he had, and that he had so much of it, but his response was less than thrilled.
I may be reading too much into a poll like this but it is interesting that men have voted for a fictional character, a character who I too really love despite his many, many flaws which can then lead on to another debate regarding the female reaction to Don Draper (more on that tomorrow).
I also think that this has a lot to with the brilliant work on Mad Men from all departments including writing, design and acting, as some of this has to be attributed to Jon Hamm whose performance in every episode makes a character who does some deplorable things so likeable and turns him in to a genuine anti-hero.
Matthew Weiner in a comment to Parade Magazine stated in reaction to this poll "It's interesting how drinking, smoking and carousing wins the race today. No offence to President Obama and Mr Bolt."

No comments:

Post a Comment