Back in the 1960s, life was very different. While young people protested against the Vietnam War and looked for peace and love, married housewives across the country struggled to find their identity. No series portrayed this attitude toward life as aptly as Mad Men.
Critically acclaimed, the AMC television series followed the lives of young advertising executives who believed that a woman’s place was in the home. The series’ most tragic character, Betty Draper, played by January Jones, epitomizes everything that is wrong with this way of thinking.
A wife and mother par excellence, she played the role brilliantly for seven seasons and went on to embody similar characters in other projects.
Mad Men” brought attention to the way women were treated in the ’60s
Here’s why “Mad Men” star January Jones will probably never answer this 1 question (so don’t ask)
‘Mad Men’ was one of the first series produced by AMC. Its success paved the way for other iconic programs like Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.
The series collected 116 Emmy Award nominations from 2007 to 2015, winning 16 times. The long-running series focused on the fast-paced lives of New York advertising executives during a time when men dominated the workplace.
On the show, Jones plays an unhappy housewife struggling to maintain her identity while upholding an image of perfection. Married to the series’ leading man, Donald Draper (Jon Hamm), she strives to make others believe she leads a perfect life.
The picture perfect beauty is fixated on her appearance and comes across as icy and aloof. Her weaknesses are exploited by her womanizing husband, who is frustrated by her dissatisfaction.
Fans of the series will never forget how Jones grabs a shotgun and shoots at the neighbor’s pigeons to get rid of her aggression. The scene is symbolic of her attempt to gain power and take control of her life.
January Jones had to deal with an unfaithful husband in “Mad Men”
January Jones first auditioned for the role of Peggy, not Betty, on “Mad Men”
The distracted housewife values her physical beauty above all else, even her children. Her philandering husband, an advertising executive, has led her to believe that her only value is her beauty.
The handsome couple seems to live an idyllic life, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although they look so good together, Draper has an abusive relationship with her husband and children. She wants the world to believe that she has it all together, but secretly she hates being a mother and the work that comes with being the perfect housewife.
Draper realizes that her appearance is her most valuable asset and must find a way to overcome her feelings of inadequacy. Esquire highlights that despite her flaws and constant struggles, Draper “was truly a force to be reckoned with.”
January Jones is ‘Spinning Out’
Still killing it https://t.co/u37QOtkTEd
– Mad Men (@MadMen_AMC) February 7, 2020
January Jones has an encouraging attitude about being single – “I don’t feel unhappy or lonely
The “Mad Men” actress got her start in the industry in 2001 when she played a beautiful seductress in the movie “Bandits.” After that, she got smaller roles with some of Hollywood’s biggest talents. It wasn’t until 2007, when she won the role of Betty in Mad Men, that she began to become a household name.
Jones received two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2010 for her role as Betty Draper.
IMDb said, “Her cool, Grace Kelly-esque blonde ice queen looks – counterpointed by her soul burning in her bright blue eyes – established her as a retro icon of the 21st century.”
When filming on Mad Men ended in 2015, Jones played Melissa Chartres on the Fox comedy series The Last Man on Earth until 2018. She then worked on the television series The Politician and currently plays Carol Baker in the Netflix original series Spinning Out.
The series focuses on Jones’ character, who is the mother of two competitive figure skating daughters. According to Deadline, “Carol pushes the girls fiercely to become Olympians, to fulfill the dream she herself could never achieve. At the same time, she struggles with personal demons that threaten to ruin her relationship with her daughters.”