Sure, “True Blood” and “Mad Men” don’t have a whole lot in common—”True Blood” is a fast-paced vampire dystopia that manages to be as sexy as it is gory, while “Mad Men” is a hyper-real slow burn about advertising dudes in the 1960s. And yet, these two shows are starting to be linked in my mind because they now air back-to-back on Sunday nights. But maybe these shows have more in common than meets the eye? Last night, there was a sex scene in “Mad Men” that reminded me a whole lot of that freaky Bill Compton moment on “True Blood” a few weeks ago. I’ll explain what I mean after the jump, for folks who haven’t had a chance to watch yet.OK, so here’s what happened during last night’s “Mad Men.” It’s Thanksgiving, and while Betty is at a not-so-successful dinner with her new hubby’s family, Don opts out of celebrating the holiday with Roger and instead calls over a prostitute. (Or, a “strumpet” as Franklin called it an hour before on “True Blood.”) As this woman grinds away on top of him, Don asks her to give him what he likes. At which point, she begins slapping him across the face repeatedly. Now, we’ve seen Don have sex before on the show with someone who isn’t Betty. But never, I believe, with someone he paid for. (We should also probably note that his mom was a prostitute.) And who knew Don Draper liked it rough? The scene showed in a big way that, geez, Don really kind of hates himself.
This scene reminded me a ton of Bill twisting Lorena’s head around 180 degrees as they did the deed a few weeks ago. It’s basically the “Mad Men” equivalent. Both scenes were about giving in to self-loathing and showing the male lead’s internal struggle with his true nature. And both rough sex moments were game-changers. After the Lorena incident, Bill calls Sookie and tells her he doesn’t love her anymore. And a few scenes later on “Mad Men,” we see Don at a lunch with a reporter, just like in the first scene of the episode. But while he was completely unwilling to answer the ridiculous question “Who is Don Draper?” before, this time Done excitedly offers up a story. He’s been arm-wrestled into playing a game he’s thus far refused to play.
Obviously, the writers of these shows had no idea what the other was planning. But it’s interesting that they wrote such similar plot twists, no?
Though I have to say that if a vampire starts working at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, I am out.