Having just finished watching all there is to offer of this wonderful series at the moment, and having seen all of it, from start to finish, over a period of two or three weeks, I am struck by my usual 'what the hell do I watch NEXT?' quandary. To keep us going until we get the final seven episodes I thought I'd do a tribute to it, here, for fellow addicts!
So here goes with the rundown of my Top Ten favourite characters in Mad Men, in reverse order....
10. Just slipping into the top 10 after a few were rejected for this spot, I chose department store heiress Rachel Menken, from series 1 (I think I preferred the earlier ones), played by Maggie Siff, on whom I wasn't so keen in Sons of Anarchy but thought was great in this. Rachel was really cool, an independent, intelligent woman who wore amazing hats and didn't allow herself to go in for too much of Don Draper's idealistic romantic rubbish. A match for him, indeed. You were right not to go away with him, luv, but I think you sussed that out, didn't you?
9. Lazing about at number 9, the laid back and funny Stan Rizzo, played by Jay R Ferguson. Calls a spade a spade, but basically a nice guy. I love the way he seems to be laughing at his private jokes all the time and doesn't care too much what anyone thinks. Only question - WHY did he grown that awful fuzz all over his face, later??
8. Being dead straight at number 8, the delightful Henry Francis, played by Christopher Stanley. Quietly attractive rather than drop dead sexy, the perfect husband, especially when you've had your heart wrung out by the Don Drapers of this world! Even when he's being a bit shouty and laying down the law, you can kinda see his point. I love the way he told Betty he wanted to marry her within only a few short meetings. And meant it. The move of a confident man. Love it.
7. I thought Michael Ginsberg (aka Ben Feldman) was going to really annoy me when had his first interview with Peggy "hold on while I throw some more toys out of my pram" Olson, but he very quickly made me laugh instead - and didn't he always get everything absolutely spot on? That is, until the breakdown - I didn't see that coming but I suppose it happens to all the best creative geniuses (or genii!).
6. How could you not love Lane Pryce? Such a sweetie. I always felt sorry for him because he wanted to fit in with Manhattan so badly but didn't quite, even though he loved it. I also wish he'd had the courage to go off with the bunny girl he loved, instead of being so brow-and-literally beaten by his horrible father that he went back home to England. Sad, sad end. Come on, Don, you needn't have been so harsh, he would never have let you down again. Played by Jared Harris.
5. Into the top 5, and one of the best television deaths I've seen. Don's secretary for part of one series, after Joan decided he didn't need any more pretty ones: Ida Blankenship. Hilarious Brooklyn-Jewish accent, some great comedy moments. Played by Randee Heller.
....and the moment her demise was discovered....
4. ..... so said number five, Roger Sterling! Played by John Slattery, after a psychiatrist encouraged him to understand his true self, he described himself as an inquisitive child who happened to have a successful business and a huge bank account (or something). Totally hilarious, loved him.
I still think (hope) she'll end up with Roger...