Suzanne is a floor wax and a dessert topping!
Lurking around the InterTubez I see much criticism and disdain for Ms. Suzanne Farrell, school teacher and recently abandoned paramour of philandering ad man Don Draper, the meaty existential center of the tasty TV Beef Wellington that is Mad Men. Many ardent fans of the show would easily describe Suzanne as either the flaky puff pastry that distracts us from thoroughly savoring the beef or the chopped liver (ewww!) that ruins an otherwise fine cut of cow.
I think Suzanne is misunderstood and sadly unappreciated.
Remember The Gold Violin?
Suzanne is the Rothko.
The office is abuzz because Cooper has purchased some art. A few of the crew sneak into his office to get a look. On the wall is a Rothko. An abstract painting primarily composed of a few orange and brown rectangles. The college graduates ponder. The art student is confused and says it must mean something. The writer is reflective and says maybe it’s just meant to be experienced. The TV guy shrugs.
Some viewers watched Suzanne and felt conflicted. At first she might a hippie earth-mother type. Then she’s a concerned teacher type. Then she’s a drunk, horny, marriage-wrecking type. Then she’s a man-hating, psychotic, passive-aggressive type. Then she’s a weird, suspicious, radical type. Then she’s a depressed, lonely, boring type. Oooo! Wait, now she’s a loving sister and baker, cool!! Oh but now she’s a pathetic, deserted suicidal type. What?? Who cares?
Suzanne is the abstract work of art, designed to reflect the viewer’s projections. She is a simple canvas brushed with a couple of earthy colors. Play with the light; we’ll see a certain image. Look askance, we’ll feel a different emotion. Stare at it after a bad day at work, we’ll be frustrated. Study it after a fine meal, we’ll feel fulfilled. If you’re bored, she’s boring. If you’re seeking truth, she’s satori.
But what is Suzanne supposed to mean?
What are any of us supposed to mean? She means everything and nothing; she just is. She’s not a cipher or some dramatic archetype or some plot device. She’s a very human character, possibly the most ordinary human character on the show. She’s one of us. She’s stunningly simple and conflicted and complex all at once, at any moment. Are not we all?
More ways to appreciate Suzanne in the following days, I promise.
Feel free to comment. I don’t have a policy yet, I love sarcasm and wit and there’s never enough creative cursing for me.
Only rule: No ad hominems. Surest sign of no reasonable argument is to call people names. (Learned that from a fetching English Comp teacher named Denise; not aware if she baked though) Keep that shite outta here please.
UPDATING THE COMMENT POLICY: upon reviewing other blogs’ comment policies, LOM has decided to adopt a relatively Free Market approach to personal expression within this room. Sometimes you just have to call a jerk, You jerk! If someone, including LOM, types out some half-baked goop and she/he deserves to be baptized with a crude epithet because of it, let the ad hominems fly; we’re all adults here (I hope they’re still carding at the door).
Try to make them appropriate to the offending opinion, rather than their person and funny can never be wrong.*
*I still reserve the right to change my mind though.