Allison’s hair looks awful pretty

 Posted by on August 10, 2010 at 11:04 pm  Characters, Season 4
Aug 102010

In Christmas Comes But Once a Year, it looked like the Don and Allison story was over. And we’ve all watched plenty of television, so we know that an ending is an ending.

But in The Good News, Allison seemed distinctly–hopeful. And we’ve all watched plenty of television, so we know that means that the story is in fact not over.

Except for how this is Mad Men.

I cannot tell you how deeply it moved me, watching Allison try to be perfect for Don, and I’m not talking about being a perfect secretary, looking perfect with a perfect outfit and a hair style they naturally show. I will be wonderful. I will not at all express any disappointment in his treatment of me. And eventually he will see how wonderful I am, and give me another chance. And I will be prettier than he ever realized.

Yeah. Been there. 4,000 times, I’ve been there.


  28 Responses to “Allison’s hair looks awful pretty”

  1. I doubt their story is over – I'm sure there will be a lot of attendant drama. Since I've been reading Mad Style over at TLo, I've also noticed a very distinct style out of Allison that seems to be very much of late. But I'm hopeful that the case is sexually closed.

  2. Amen, Roberta. Amen.

  3. Yes, been there and done that too Roberta. Who says beating your head on the same brick wall repeatedly is boring? Never say that to a woman with a Plan.

    Needless to say, I'm not optimistic for Allison's long term chances of happiness as the next Mrs. Draper. I suspect she may not share that vision.


  4. What I saw in Allisons eyes as she received her bonus in Christmas comes was a heartbreaking moment for me. Don needs loads of therapy and Allison is too good for him!

    Don has been trashed by both my daughter and wife many many times this week…. but this I dont understand. Why do they both still like him?

  5. As long as Allison remains his secretary there will remain drama and angst, especially within her.

    I have a feeling Don is just going to think "oh good, she's over it and happy and efficient, I don't have to worry about her anymore" and just go on where he left off before "the couch".

    Now she is not going to feel that way. If she is already in love with him, working closely with him steadily is going to make it worse. If he gives out any teeny hint that he's still attracted to her it's going to get a whole lot worse. Remember it's not the despair it's the hope that leads to tragedy.

  6. Well said Josie.

    How long will Alison cling to that hope? It might seem easier to hold out hope, than to face the realization that Don Draper is not who she thought he was. And wanted him to be.

  7. In keeping with Matt Wiener's clever writing and unfurling this gorgeous, uncoquettish, honest woman that Don has ridden roughshod over; Janie Bryant and makeup have delivered us the "Perky Girl". How about that slightly flipped out hair? All she needs is the bangs?! Maybe not as flibbertegibbet as Ann Marie (Marlo Thomas "That Girl" 1966-1971) more Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke Show 1961-1966). I also wouldnt call Allison a whirling dervish, or anything-is-possible type of gal but a new woman was emerging then. The cuter, efficient and "…more streamlined than the overupholstered model that had reigned throughout the fifties. Swollen cleavages, Shalimar-scented lingerie and lace, big cherry-red-lipsticked mouths and baroque skyscraper high heels with seamed stockings appeared as suffocating to the sixties' pared-down feminine aesthetic as Loita's mother was to Humbert Humbert's fantasies" Sixties People, by Michael and Jane Stern, Macmillan 1990 p10

    Ouch Joan!!

    And as Josie says it is that "hope" in Allison's eyes that truly makes her a quintessential perky girl. Look forward to her evolution!

  8. I am glad that it appears to be a story-line and not just an incident. Don made possessive noises. Allison looked hopeful. It was just enough of a reminder of what happened.

  9. Actually, Allison's hair look good from the front, but they fucked up the back this week.

    Should have been smooth at the back until the flip at the bottom, but for some reason there were curls or waves or god knows what at the back above the flip, not period correct.

  10. I think frankly that Allison would be way better off hooking up with the cute young guy who was hitting on her.

  11. Allison dated Ken now and then in prior seasons. She seems to be sophisticated and mature when it comes to dating.

    Some comments say that there will always be some energy related to the fact that Don and Allison had drunk sex but I am not sure of that. I had some drunk sexual encounters in my time, having sex with a buddy I was in law school with. We had a great hot night, never spoke of it again and remained buddies. I felt awkward but just for a little while. After all, he had done the same thing I had done: gotten drunk and done something stupid.

    Allison will put her tryst with Don behind her. And so will Don. But I bet Allison is classier about it.

  12. I finally put my finger on who she reminds me of: Elinor Donahue. (Father Knows Best, Pretty Woman, a million other credits.) Professional, but wistful. The woman we all like, but don't really notice.

    Never a Joan, but "hmmmm, I might be interested under the right circumstances."

    Oh, Matt, track Elinor down and cast her as Allison's mother!

  13. I think we can file this one under, "Allison, be careful what you wish for."

    But yup, been there done that too, although not for a boss.

  14. Did you ever see the very first episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show?" Where Mary has moved to Minneapolis after living with a guy for two years and putting him through school, and then he didn't marry her?

    It reminded me of that. Like, what Mary must have been like right before she said, "Screw this" and moved to Minneapolis and threw her hat in the air.

    I get why Allison is behaving this way, but I certainly hope in a few years she's going to wise up and throw her hat in the air.

  15. I'm waiting for the time when Don says to Allison, "Just because I got drunk enough to sleep with you – once – doesn't mean you can ask me for [a raise/time off/whatever]."

    And to continue the "been there, done that" analogy, about 3 seconds after Allison gives up on Don and permanently moves on, he will realize how stupid he was for not noticing her. Been THERE, done THAT.

  16. BTW, the first time I saw this post, I read "Allison's hair looks pretty awful", so I popped it open to vehemently disagree 🙂

  17. I got the impression it was more like, "I will be wonderful. I will not at all express any disappointment in his treatment of me, and then everything can go back to normal."

  18. My fear is that Allison got pregnant. It wouldn’t be the first time a spontaneous tryst led to a baby on this show.

  19. Alison has this dewy-eyed, longing look in her eyes now when it comes to Don. It's pretty impossible to resist.

  20. This is why I was saying "No, Allison!" to the TV during her scenes with Don in the Christmas episode. Because really, how can you ever completely go back to normal? There is always going to be some kind of "undertone" there, no matter what. If he doesn't make any small talk with her, he'll come across coldly professional, which can make things awkward when two people work in close proximity. And if he makes comments/asks questions about things like New Year's plans, she can always start hoping that he's interested in including her in his plans.

    The only real hope is if Allison meets/falls in love with someone else. What happened between her and Don will still be there, but it will become a dimmer memory in her mind. Here's hoping for that!

  21. # 19:

    It seems like she has been on his mind. Notice that Candice goes through Don's kitchen in a way that calls back Allison's post-party visit. This prompts Don to change up the routine to include the couch.

    Not exactly romantic, but it suggests that Don has been thinking about Allison. Maybe it is just enough to feel mildly possessive, but it is not the same Don that literally forgot the car accident with Bobbie.

  22. #21:

    Nah, I think Don chose the couch because he didn't want to pollute the room where his kids stay with his "encounters". He specifically told Layne not to use that room as well.

  23. #12 Brenda

    You are so right! Elinor Donahue exactly!

  24. Remember the scene in "The Inheritance"? Don comes back to the office from dropping the family at home after post-stroke the visit with Gene and Gloria and the whole dysfunctional Hofstedt clan?

    "Donna" … "Allison" … "Of course!"

    I swear there are no throw away moments in this show!

  25. Cossatot #24, maybe I'm just tired, but I totally didn't understand your post.

    Who's Donna?

  26. Alison's theme song. Released in 1965

  27. This may sounds nuts … but Allison is a bit of an enigma to me. And a blank slate. If we all didn't know she let Ken chase her, pull up her dress, and tell the whole office what color her panties were (LOL as I write this … can you IMAGINE that happening today?), would we believe she'd act like that? I cringe in empathy when I see her shiny-bright hopeful eyes as she looks at Don. I was struck by how forthright she was with Don about her New Year's plans. She didn't make up some date to try to make him jealous. Nope. She just said she was hanging out with her married sister in the burbs and then going to Times Square with a bunch of girlfriends. And she didn't act like this was a "fabulous" thing to do. She was matter of fact about it. She doesn't play games. ("The Rules" authors would die!)

    What was interesting to me was how Don seemed a little too curious to know what her New Year's plans would be. To me he even looked a little disappointed he couldn't spend New Year's with her. (Or was he just pitying her?) I thought this was definitely an open-ended thing. Matt Wiener putting a "to be continued" bubble above Don's head.

    All these young women at this time are just finding their way, figuring out how to be single. It's too early for "I am woman, hear me roar" and later the "I'm single and I'm FABULOUS" era; the Doris Day-Rock Hudson-movie tripe of the career gal clinging to her virginity is past due, dead and buried. Yet you know these woman have relatives who are constantly saying, "When are you gonna get married already?" to them. So, my heart is out to them. They are figuring it all out the best they can.

    Sorry, this post is supposed to be about HAIR. Well, I don't like Allison's hair–whether put up or down. But I think it's realistic for that time. Regular gals with various hair issues couldn't all achieve the perfect Jean Shrimpton long hair. Yes, Allison's long hair let down reminded me a bit of MTM in the early episodes.

    Peggy's latest do reminds me of MTM's when she was on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

  28. #22:

    I am not so sure that having Allison on his mind and protecting his children's room are mutually exclusive.

    Don is extremely lonely. That is not exactly new, but it is now coupled with the fact that he is actually alone outside of the office much of the time. The effect is that he actually seems to enjoy having people around. That includes his kids, Lane, Candice and Allison.

    Look, having sex with Allison after the Christmas Party was pretty clearly a bad decision fueled by alcohol and depression. His treatment of her afterwards was horrible. However, there is a small silver lining.

    It was the first time in forever that Don slept with a woman that he both liked and respected. He plainly respects Allison at work within the confines of her role. He also appears to like having her around, since it was her nurturing that prompted his slightly out-of-character pass. I am not saying this is the stuff of great romance, but it is hardly the worst thing Don has ever done.

    Let's tick through his notable partners:

    – Betty: Don liked the Roman version of Betty and they appeared to enjoy each other at times in the first couple seasons. However, no one that knows Betty very well has any respect for her at all.

    – Rachel Menken: Don respected her, but I am not sure how much he really liked her. They always had their guard up around each other.

    – Bobbie Barrett: Don respected and even feared her a little bit. However, he did not seem to like her at all.

    – Suzanne Farrell: Don respected her to a point. For example, he plainly thought she was smart and enjoyed that. On the other hand, he did not seem to much like her. It seemed like he was handling lit dynamite.

    – Candice: Don appears to like her fine, since he included her in the joke about Norman Mailer. However, I sort of doubt that it is possible for a prostitute and john to have respect for one another.

    My guess is that the last time Don slept with a woman that he both liked and respected on any level was Midge in Season 1.

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