Peggy versus the world

 Posted by on December 23, 2014 at 5:14 am  Characters, Mad Men, Season 1, Season 7
Dec 232014

Mad Men "Time Zones" -- Peggy argues with Stan Time Zones

This is what Peggy said to Stan in Mad Men episode 7.01, Time Zones:

Well, I’m tired of fighting for everything to be better. You’re all a bunch of hacks who are perfectly happy with shit. Nobody cares about anything. No one wants things to be better? I got it. I’ll just stand out here, all by myself.

And this is what Peggy said to Don in Mad Men episode 1.12, Nixon vs. Kennedy:

I don’t understand. I try to do my job. I follow the rules and people hate me. Innocent people get hurt, and, and other people, people who are not good, get to walk around doing anything they want. It’s not fair.

To me, these two quotes are so clearly the same person. Peggy has grown a lot in the eight-plus years since the November 1960 election. She used to say “I don’t understand.” Now she says “I got it.” But she is still the one who wants to stand up and say ‘this isn’t right’ when no one else will do it.


  7 Responses to “Peggy versus the world”

  1. Of course in the later quote she’s just calling for more skillful and creative advertising: professional pride in lying. When she’s at the acme of her powers she does a brilliant presentation — much better, presumably, than the resultant ad could be — to suggest that the way to connect with family is to eat at fast-food joints not at home. Of course all this applies equally to Don and his “carousel” of memories. If any of you is in the ad game — sorry about that.
    What are these “rules” everyone keeps talking about?

    • I think that Peggy wasn’t specifically talking about advertising when she said “I follow the rules”, more that she does what she’s supposed to do and she doesn’t try to undermine people or treat them unfairly. For example when Paul Kinsey had a great idea and then forgot it, Peggy was quite nice to him in spite of the fact that he had previously been rude to her.

      Having said all of that, it could be argued that Peggy doesn’t follow the rules in the sense that she’s a career woman at a time when women were only supposed to want marriage and children.

    • Another thing, I personally think that Peggy was foolish to try and undermine Lou in “Time Zones”. Lou was a hack but he was also Peggy’s boss and trying to undermine your boss is never a good idea. In real life, the people who succeed in business aren’t necessarily the most talented or creative, they’re often the ones who are best at office politics (and who irritate the least number of people).

      • Prior to Lou, Peggy had never experienced a boss who wasn’t a mentor as well. Don was her first boss out of school, and then Ted. Even Joan was something of a mentor to her. I think she didn’t know what to make of Lou.

        • That’s true.

          It’s odd but I can’t remember that first quote at all (Peggy talking to Stan). I just looked at the Episode Guide and your recap, but that scene is still a blur for me. It surprises me because Peggy and Stan usually get along so well. Sure, things were rough when they first met–but they came a long way after that.

          Stan isn’t an angel and he has his flaws but he doesn’t strike me as a hack or complacent. So again, I just can’t remember the context of the scene and why she was so frustrated with him.

          • Lou accepted the first idea they presented on an ad. Peggy tried to pitch a better idea, but Lou didn’t care to revisit it. Stan and the others suggested she give up.

            • Okay, it’s coming back to me. Thanks. (Sounds like she was still kind of hard on him…but Peggy can be tough on people…)

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