Mad Men: Betty Francis Gets Fat.

4 Apr

After 17 long months (I had TWO birthdays during the time one of my favorite shows was off the air), Mad Men returned to AMC last week.  Now set in 1966, the show opens long after Don’s marriage to young bride Megan and the birth of Joan’s son. This week, we finally learned what became of Betty Draper Francis after not seeing her in the season premiere: she got fat.

It was obvious to me why the plot was chosen by the writers.  January Jones was pregnant when the season began shooting, and how could Betty possibly have another kid after having Gene in season three? Two pregnancies for one actress in one television series is just silly.  January’s puffy face was clearly the work of makeup artists who chose to use whatever fake-looking prosthetics they always use to make a thin person look fat.  Remember that episode of Tyra where the model learned what it was to be fat for one day? Her face looked like it was melting off. January’s face was no different. The real problem is that from some angles, Betty didn’t even look that big.  It’s only when the camera got really close to her face or showed her profile that anyone would notice a significant difference.

Betty’s explanation for her weight gain is a thyroid problem, and the rest of the episode follows her terrifying quest to find out whether or not she may have cancer.  Despite that terrifying prospect, Betty seems to lighten up (finally) and finishes off little Sally’s ice cream sundae. Is that all it took for Betty to lighten up a little bit? Some ice cream? In spite of Betty enjoying that sundae, I predict she’ll develop some sort of eating disorder during the season.  A former model and wife to two powerful men, Betty Draper will. not. stay. fat. Will Betty get those diet pills she so desperately craves? An all-new episode of Mad Men will air this Sunday at 9/8 EST on AMC. I wish I were getting paid to say that.

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