Imagine for a moment what would happen if Mad Men's leading man, Don Draper, was struggling with something bigger than a coy grade school teacher, a Kodak pitch, or a wife on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Imagine if Don Draper was gay. And smitten with Roger Sterling.
That's the premise of this remix clip, made by Elisa Kreisinger, the Pop Culture Pirate. If you've seen her queering of Sex And The City, you know that by carefully editing together clips from existing shows, she builds an entirely new, provocative narrative.
In the original AMC series, Don and Roger represent the ideal man, reminding us of a time when gender roles were even more rigid. I wanted to tell a story about these two men who once preserved concepts of manhood and masculinity but then found relief and happiness in each other, becoming a threat to the very same patriarchal system their power and privilege was based. It was important to me that the remix be as heavily coded with subtle signifiers as the original but tell a subversive story. Finally, because so many male fans aspire to be Don Draper, he was ripe for subverting into a literal man's man.
Mad Men is pretty great just the way it is, but it did seem like they missed a chance, with Sal, to explore homosexuality and masculinity in an uptight era. Kreisinger's remix hints at the intense, heartbreaking and revelatory possibilities.
Mad Men Remix: Don Loves Roger [Pop Culture Pirate]