(The headline is going somewhere. I promise)
Everything I need to know about Jon Hamm I learned while he was accepting awards.
That’s actually probably very true and very funny-sad, since it’s so obvious that we don’t know anything about the people we pay so much attention to. But really, we watch him, we see how he reacts, we analyze it until the next time. When he won shortly after breaking up with Jennifer Westfeldt, yes he still thanked her. He’s that guy, or he wants us to think he is.
And last night, when he accepted his award, you could see him realizing that he’s part of an old guard that’s gone by. Mad Men’s eligibility is a little wonky relative to other shows—but Hamm and Don Draper belong to an era that contains serious sad men like Walter White and Frank Underwood and other ciphers. You could see him realize, as he won, that everything was moving on without him. Mr. Robot and NARCOS and Empire and The Affair didn’t exist in the heyday of Mad Men, and he was…he kind of seemed like a relic. I know that’s silly, the show just finished airing—but there’s been a shift. So I thought he seemed a little exposed that way.
But the real nudity came when he (appropriately) thanked Matthew Weiner, complete with self-deprecating humour, for writing Don and sticking with—Hamm’s words—‘this horrible person’ all the way to the end.
Hamm thinks Don is horrible. I don’t think Don is horrible. In fact, I think the struggle between his base sides and his ‘good’ sides is interesting because he knows good often wins and he doesn’t WANT good to win because it’s not good for business.
I had no idea he thought he was horrible. I can’t argue it, because that would affect the way he played the character and I love the character.
But it tells me a hell of a lot about Jon Hamm. Don’t you think?