Tag Archives: Temperance Brennan

TV: Ambition as a Character Trait

“Even though success is a reality, its effects are temporary. You get hungry even though you’ve just eaten. […] But what is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness. I won’t settle for 50% of anything. I want 100%.” – Don Draper, Mad Men 5×12, “Commissions and Fees”.

“I want everything too much.” – Rachel Berry, Glee 1×08, “Mash-Up”

There’s something really powerful about looking at a television character and seeing yourself. It’s a powerful feeling, of being recognised and legitimised by something greater than you. It goes right down to basic representation of minorities and women, sure, but it effects every viewer whose life is depicted, represented, on screen. How those traits are expressed are a reflection of societal attitudes of people, and what they mean for those being depicted.

So in the wake of the most recent Mad Men, which had lots to talk about, I’d like to talk about the element that worked like a mirror, showing me a reflection of myself, and how that trait is depicted in television: ambition.

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