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Mad Men D+D alignment chart - The Ex-Communicator

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December 7th, 2010

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12:46 pm - Mad Men D+D alignment chart
andrewducker linked to a great Mad Men character alignment chart" (you know the 'chaotic evil/ neutral good' thing you get). And there's a great discussion of it on metafilter today.

This is what I mean about a proper TV show:
Pete is the Hellmouth
Betty is no more understandable than a demon that just waltzes along, fucking shit up.

I like this comment: 'My favorite mad men game to play is "I like to think I'm ... but I know I'm really ...". For women it's usually "I like to think I'm Joan but I know I'm really ..." I know I am Trudy. My SO knows he is Lane.'

OK: I like to think I am Don but really I am... probably Harry? Lazy, greedy and lucky?

And mightygodking, the creator of the chart, steps up to respond:
Speaking as the person who made the chart, let me just say that I only did it to drive more hits to my webcomic which you should totally read, but that having been said, in order:

1.) Lane is basically a decent person by Mad Men standards. He's polite and courteous as much as possible, generally tries to do the right thing, but always works within The Rules. LG, for a given value of the alignment that's time specific.

2.) I had more qualms at putting Peggy at NG than I did Lane at LG, because if we were gonna be all technical her G would be in parentheses to indicate tendencies, like we did in the old days when we had paramanders. But Peggy fits well enough here.

3.) Sally at CG was kind of a cheat. I could have gone with Sal, maybe. But fuck it, these things are never perfect and little kids are chaotic but Sally has a moral streak as well, so let's run with it.

4.) Joan at LN was easy. She knows the system and works within it. Peggy, less lawful than Joan, gamed it. Joan didn't, and that's what you need to know about Joan in this context.

5.) Don at N... the entire show is about Don trying to reinvent himself as a better person and how he succeeds and fails at doing that. Out of all my picks, Don was the defining one: he's the center of the alignment wheel and the center of the show.

6.) Harry at CN is definitely a bit of a cheat. I disagree with the person who said that Harry was just a weaker Roger Sterling; Harry's not as malicious as Roger is and has the capability for guilt, although he's definitely losing that as time passes. But he's more chaotic than Roger is: he creates his own opportunities and basically invents a new job where he does whatever he feels like.

7.) Pete was easy for LE: the Evil is obvious. (Don feels guilt. Pete almost never does. That's why Don isn't Evil and Pete is.) The Lawful is that Pete is cowed by and respects authority in a way that others (like Roger) aren't.

8.) Roger is totally self-interested and basically amoral. The second easiest alignment after Don.

9.) Now that I've been called out for being sexist for saying that Betty, the show's primary villain, is CE... Oh come on. Look, I totally agree that Betty is the product of abuse and totally fucked up in her own right, but Don is just as fucked up as she is and he somehow manages to not be borderline abusive, capricious as all get out, and just plain mean (and Betty quite clearly likes being mean on a regular basis). Just because there are reasons that Betty is a bad person doesn't make her any less of a bad person.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
I would find it awfully difficult to imagine myself as Joan either way (and why would one want to be married to the snivelling rapist?)

I'd probably want to be Peggy, but yes, Harry seems the likeliest match on the grounds you suggest.
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
You are probably more Lane*. The more I think about it, I am Harry: watches a lot of telly, eye for a pretty face, 'basically invents a new job where he does whatever he feels like'.

* as described above I mean, not as in 'gleefully sack everyone'

Edited at 2010-12-07 06:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
I like Lane, though I remain baffled that that's his first name, and I'd rather not be beaten up by his father. He had my two favourite lines of the season:

"Campbell is friendly, though I believe unintentionally..."

and (directly to Pete):

"On a personal note, I would like to add that I'm quite fond of you; it pains me to hear you say otherwise."

Edited at 2010-12-07 06:58 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Someone posted a Deadwood one

LG - Sol Star - Follows rules, does good. Really, he's the moral heart of the town.
LN - Seth Bullock - Follows/enforces rules, tries to do good, but his selfish streak is too strong.
LE - Al Swearengen - Uses rules/systems to benefit himself. Any act of kindness on his part is not altruistic.

NG - Joanie Stubbs - Honestly tries to do good, follows most of the rules.
N - Doc Cochran - Too drunk to care much about good and evil.
NE - E. B. Farnum - At best he's Iago the villain. At worse he's Iago the parrot.

CG - Tom Nuttall - One of the first settlers of Deadwood. Willing to greet a neighbor, but will have a knife in his belt as he does it.
CN - Calamity Jane - When she's sober, she's more NG.
CE - Cy Tolliver - Moreso than Al, he's the Devil. He doesn't care about building up the town, just what he can leech out of it.

Though I think the Doc is Chaotic Good and Wild Bill is the Neutral centre
[User Picture]
Date:December 8th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think the Doc is definitely Chaotic Good. He's drinking in an attempt to deaden his feelings, but doesn't manage it.

I'm not sure about Al. He's a lot more complicated than that description suggests; his acts of kindness aren't altruistic, but they aren't always self-interested either, as Trixie points out. I have a thing about the kindness of the amoral; I find it more touching, as it's not done out of duty.

If CE is the devil, then it ought to be Hearst, but I suppose that's what Tolliver would like to be.
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Oh I have been loving this!
[User Picture]
Date:December 7th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
I quite like alignment charts, because they are simplistic fun, like MBTI. I ought to do one for Breaking Bad, but nearly everyone is evil except Jesse.

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