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Television

Mad Men TV Club: Feminism is a Frilly Pink Dress

UGH. I enjoyed only one scene in this episode, and it was Don’s visit to the Francis household. Betty looked glorious in her ultra-feminine housewife drag, and I appreciated the moment when Don looked back at Betty, Henry, and his two sons, clearly farklempt about the nuclear family he could have had.

Mad Men TV Club: Repetition Compulsion

I won’t lie – this was an annoying episode, and such a disappointment after last week’s strong premiere. And it’s not just that I missed Rachel Menken (which I obviously did).

Choosing Our Role Models, and Letting Them Go

When I was younger, I used to love watching Hannah Montana on television. The lead character, played by Miley Cyrus, lived a double life as pop sensation Hannah Montana. Cyrus had so many fans, so many young not-yet-teenagers who looked up to her. I remember going to see her in concert when I was in fourth grade. It was one of the highlights of my year. 

Mad Men TV Club: Rachel Menken as a Symbol of Difference

I, too, was thrilled at the return of Rachel Menken on the Mad Men Season 7 part 2 premiere. The pleasure was all too brief, however, as it was soon revealed that Rachel had died. Tara described Rachel as “the one who got away,” and I’ve always felt that she was the one who got away from the viewers as much as from Don. From the moment we met Rachel, I wanted more of her—she was smart and elusive; beautiful and guarded; speaking her mind but in some way holding the viewer at arm’s length. 

Mad Men TV Club: The One That Got Away

So why is it that Rachel so strongly resonated with audiences, and what’s the significance of her reappearance and death? Sure Rachel was beautiful, but so are all of Don’s women. She was a career woman, like Dr. Faye and Bobbie Barrett—nothing too unique there. She was Jewish, but so was Roger Sterling’s second wife, Jane.

Lisa Edelstein

An actress with a long history of activism, House star Lisa Edelstein organized her first protest at age sixteen as a cheerleader for Donald Trump’s New Jersey Generals, outraged that the cheerleaders were forced to flirt in bars.

Melissa Gilbert

After a highly successful decade as the lead on Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert defied the odds for child actors by becoming a Hollywood power-broker as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001–2005.

Kyra Sedgwick

Kyra Sedgwick earned praise for a variety of supporting and starring roles in films, but it was her award-winning, seven-year stint as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer that made her a household name.

Sarah Jessica Parker

While she is best known as the iconic Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker’s roles in theater, television and film have run the gamut from instant classics like 1984’s Footloose and 1991’s LA Story to cult favorites like 1994’s Ed Wood and 1996’s Mars Attacks!

Judith Light

In her four decades as an Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, Judith Light has repeatedly taken on challenging and unconventional roles, from a housewife-turned-prostitute on One Life to Live to ex-wife of a transgender woman on the acclaimed Transparent.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Television." (Viewed on April 18, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/television>.

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