AMC’s madly addictive and popular show “Mad Men” has garnered attention for lots of things over the past few years; Don Draper’s double life has always been a topic of water-cooler conversation, as have the electric curves of actress Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Holloway on the show. The episode in which an unfortunate client gets his foot sheared off by a wayward John Deere tractor–in the office, no less–is still regarded as one of the best moments in recent television.
But perhaps the breakout hit to come from this season–which is only four episodes in–is Fat Betty Draper, which has spawned a song that parodies “Black Betty” by Ram Jam. “Fat Betty” has gone viral and is interspersed with scenes from the episode which addresses Betty Draper’s trip to the doctor and subsequent cancer scare.
It may be the fact that Betty is notoriously self-absorbed that makes her weight gain such a wickedly gleeful moment for us “Mad Men” fans; I can’t help but recall a scene in the first season in which Sally, Betty and Don’s daughter, runs into the kitchen with a dry-cleaning bag over her head and Betty calls her over sternly. The viewer fully expects the kid to get reamed for being so careless with a dangerous plastic bag, but Betty surprises us.
“Sally Draper,” she says between puffs on her cigarette, “If the clothes from that dry cleaning bag are laying on the floor of my closet, you’re going to be a very sorry young lady.”
This negligent parenting moment seems to sum up Don’s ex-wife in a small, sad way, and it’s probably a factor in the sick satisfaction some fans got from seeing her get the news from her doctor that she was going to be okay.
“Nice to be put through the ringer,” she says to her husband, “And find out I’m just fat.”