Mad Men Roundtable: Fat Betty

Some technical difficulties at FOI HQ have slowed the flow of podcasts, but that won’t stop us from registering our comments on the topic of the second episode of the fifth season of Mad Men. And whenever we talk Mad Men, we bring in an expert — Margarita (check out her new podcast, Fat on Film!)

Jenny: After being entirely absent from the season premiere, Betty Draper Francis returned to our screens Sunday night on Mad Men. Betty always brings with her some consternation, since she’s far from the show’s most popular character. But of course, this appearance added a new layer of controversy to our Birdie: a literal layer, in the form of a fat suit. This show is not new to putting its main female characters in fat suits – Elisabeth Moss wore one in the first season as Peggy, who was pregnant and didn’t know it. But this is the first time it’s been done as a way to manage an actress’s pregnancy.

As actual, non-fat suit-wearing fatties, I know we all have some opinions on this. So Margarita, as our resident Mad Men überfan, what is your initial reaction?

Margarita: At first I did think Betty was pregnant. I saw photos of January Jones on set a few months ago in fat suit and housedress, so I thought she must be pregnant with a Francis baby in order to lock down that situation. But it turns out she’s just faaaaaaaahhaaaat. It was interesting that her fatter (OBEEEESE) mother in law came to talk to her about getting on pep pills in order to stay skinny for her man. Though I think Henry Francis is sincere in his continued attraction to her, I think her mom is also touching on the fact that Betty can hardly stand to be seen while fat. 

It’s interesting yet frustrating how they kind of imply she is “eating her feelings” because she’s dissatisfied, even after the thyroid diagnosis. Why would she not have done so when she was married to Don for longer and had three kids? It all seems too convenient as a way to punish Betty for being vain, selfish, and a bad mom. 

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Episode #15 – The More Things Change…


Our pal and Mad Men megafan Margarita joins us once again to hash out topics surrounding the fourth season of AMC’s Mad Men and its season finale, including:

-Was the finale a poor episode, or are fans just upset that it didn’t go the way they wanted?

-Lamenting Mad Men‘s continuing racefail

-The long-awaited onscreen emergence of “Poan” (pictured above)

-Is Joan’s a “bad” marriage?

-How about that abortion storyline?

-Fat suit flashback

-Our ~*^hopes and dreams^*~ for next year


“Chalky White: Boardwalk Empire’ puts ‘Mad Men’ to shame” []

“No One’s Ever on Your Side: Betty Draper Francis Still Needs Your Love” [Tiger Beatdown]

“Do Multiple Abortions Actually Harm Your Ability to Conceive?” [Jezebel]

End music:

“Cato as a Pun” by Of Montreal


Episode #9 – Moving Up in the World

Jenny, Cynara and Margarita star in Fatties on Ice Episode 9: All Mad Men All the Time.

It’s a very special day here at FOI because we have a guest contributor for the first time ever! Her name is Margarita and she is a huge Mad Men fan, so we invited her to chat with us on our special Mad Men episode on the occasion of the show returning for its fourth season with the the episode called “Public Relations.”

Margarita lives in San Francisco. You may know her from places such as the Fatshionista Livejournal community (where she is a founding moderator) or the premier Mad Men fansite Basket of Kisses, where she is a new contributor. She blogs about fatshion on Tumblr, as well.


-All the ways in which Peggy dominates in the episode
-All the ways in which Don is recumbent in this episode
-Disability gets a feature role, and we get to see the way our characters react in the context of the 1960s kyriarchy
-Call back to Jon Hamm’s second Saturday Night Live appearance and that hilarious “Hamm and Bublé” sketch, at which point Margarita informs us that Michael Bublé once appeared in yellowface in a movie. o_O
-Betty: everyone loves to hate her and some people just want her off the show. We consider that an unacceptable reaction
-Joan as Femme role model; our hopes for our Joanie, which include us wishing for her rapist husband to die a horrible death in Vietnam
-The race issue. Seriously, this show is all about white people, and we can’t rationalize that anymore
-Some tangents on the subect of True Blood (can that show pleeeease stop brutalizing Tara now? Like, right now?) and also Joss Whedon’s apparent reluctance to accept criticism from his fans


Dear Drapers: A letter to ‘Mad Men’s’ first family from the Black maid” []

The Michael Bublé movie in question, Totally Blonde (2001) []

You can make Mad Men avatars just like ours! []

End music:

“Something’s Gotta Give” from Ella Fitzgerald’s 1964 release The Johnny Mercer Songbook.