Suck It And See (2011)Arctic Monkeys 
(Bridget Hall by Arthur Belebeau)

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What I love about Betty’s depression is that there isn’t a firm reason for it. Many TV shows would say, “Oh, she had a controlling first husband” or “She had a bad relationship with her mother” or “She’s stifled by her life as a housewife.” Mad Men says it’s all of those things, but it also says that there’s something undefined about it. Betty will never be whole. She’s always going to be looking for a magic fix that won’t come, and even Henry—who really does love her unconditionally—is someone she’ll push away in bitterness, just because she doesn’t know many other ways to relate to people. When the series started, it seemed like Betty was going to fill the show’s “housewife becomes feminist” role, but she didn’t really do that. Instead, she increasingly became isolated, both because of things others did to her and things she did herself. She was miserable, and maybe she’ll always be miserable. The show teases us with the idea that she’ll someday become a “better” person, as if that means anything, but I think it’s clear, now, that she won’t, at least by the standards we’d like to put on her. Nothing will ever quite fill the hole. (x)

This is why Betty is one of my all time favorite television characters. There’s no back story given that explains why she’s such an ice princess or why she’s constantly unhappy. Usually, writers feel the need, especially for female characters, to include a reason for why a certain character is bitter or evil or discontent or whatever, but in Betty’s case, she just is. I hope that in the final episodes of Mad Men there isn’t some sudden explanation for why she is the way she is, because that would take away from what makes her so great.

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