Since it became public knowledge that Mad Men was going to kill off at least one "regular character" (although other reports have put the tally as high as six), debate has swirled: should Lane Pryce return to London? Should Roger's poor work ethic and heart trouble conspire for the big pink slip? But one idea has gained momentum: Betty Draper must go.
The reason for this is obvious: she's no longer part of the main storyline. Sure, she snipes at Don occasionally and lets us see the kids, but I'm guessing few viewers are invested in the fates of Henry and Betty. In the last season, Betty's malevolence, irrationality and general lack of appeal became almost cartoonish: by the time she'd fired Carla, even her husband was sick of her.
You can debate all day whether January Jones' icy portrayal is a work of stylized brilliance or merely limited range, but it can't be denied that the character lacks what nuance she used to have. More to the point, as we move into the 60s and see the roles of female characters changing, the writers don't seem to know what to do with Betty's. We get it: she was a victim of her times. But short of a Valley of the Dolls downward spiral, there doesn't seem much place for Betty to go. At this point, she's largely playing off Sally — and Sally can carry things quite well on her own, thanks.
That said, let's call it like it is: If they're going to eliminate one character, with all due respect to the young actors in question, Bobby should be shipped off to boarding school. Has the kid had a plotline since the show started?
Send Betty To The Beauty Parlor In The Sky [Slate]
Matt Weiner's Talks For 'Mad Men' Mega Deal Could Collapse Over Cost-Shaving [Deadline]
Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Asked to Cut Six From Cast, Source Says [The Wrap]
AMC Wants "Mad Men" To Cut 6 Characters — Here's Who Has To Go [WSJ]