Sally Draper Needs A ‘Mad Men’ Spinoff, Because She’s Definitely Earned Her Own Show By The Series Finale
You may not know how to comprehend it, you may know how to deal with it, but Mad Men has finally come to an end. It left us with lots of questions and only a few answers but it wouldn't be the Mad Men we know and love if it didn't leave us wondering, even in its last moments. One of the highlights of the series finale was our final glimpse of Sally Draper. Sally needs a spinoff, I'll just say it now. Sally Draper earned her own show in the Mad Men series finale and I'm not the only one who thinks so — even Jon Hamm agrees.
Jon Hamm said of Sally:
We want to watch Sally grow up and live through the 70s and turn into a rockstar and turn into, like, Joan Jettor something. You know, ride a motorcycle and kill a guy and make a bunch of money and become Oliver Stone in the 80s and then date Kurt Cobain in the 90s because she’s just so cool and she’s a touchstone for every generation. I mean, yeah, I’d watch that show. I think everyone would watch that show. Sally Through the Decades.
Played by Kiernan Shipka, Sally Draper has never been simple or one dimensional. We have watched Kiernan Shipka grow up, both as an actor and as her character, over the course of Mad Men's seven seasons on air. Shipka's delightful performance of Sally captured our hearts from day one and the journey of watching Sally grow from a small child from a broken family into a beautifully complex and nuanced young woman who learned from her parents' mistakes has been an absolute pleasure to watch.
Kiernan Shipka absolutely knocked it out of the park as Sally Draper down to her very last moment, which is why this hopefully isn't the last we see of Sally Draper. She needs her own show and the whole word is asking for it. Let's just hope the world grants us a gift from heaven and allows it to happen.
She's Killed It Since the Beginning
It would be difficult to be a child actor starting off your career alongside incredible actors like Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks. Kiernan Shipka was cast as Sally Draper at the formidable young age of eight. In Kiernan Shipka, Matthew Weiner found a goldmine because Shipka has been fabulous as Sally from the beginning. In an article entitled " Mad Men Eulogies: Sally Draper," Greg Olear, writing for The Weeklings, says of Shipka:
Matthew Wiener may be a genius, but he cannot predict the future, and there’s no way anyone could have foreseen just how superb an actress Shipka would turn out to be. She’s every bit as strong as Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss, and orders of magnitude better than January Jones, with whom she’s had to play a vast majority of her scenes. And she needed to be that good, because if she wasn’t, we wouldn’t believe this was Don Draper’s daughter ... Can you imagine the long chances of frinding a freaking eight-year-old who can be a mini, female Jon Hamm?
Shipka was phenomenal down to her last scene and I know I'm not the only one hoping that Sunday night won't be the last we see of Sally Draper.
She's Not Afraid To Call Her Parents on Their Flaws
One of the most heart-wrenching things about Sally's character is that, from an early age, she realized that there was something wrong with her family. She saw her mother's selfishness and her father's philandering and she didn't let it slide. It's scenes like the one pictured above that made you respect Sally because she's smart enough to hold her parents accountable for their mistakes (and learn from their mistakes as well) while still managing to love them.
She's Grown Up to Be a Great Big Sister
The tragic news of Betty's cancer rocked the Draper/Francis family and Sally is somehow the key piece holding everything together. One of the most touching scenes from Sunday's series finale was the moment in the kitchen when Sally realizes that Bobby knows about his mother's fate.
One of the biggest commonalities between Sally and Bobby is that they both carried themselves with the air of a much older child from a very young age. Necessity forced them to grow up because their parents couldn't and the touching scene between Sally and Bobby in the finale proves not just that they love each other but that they are both capable of handling far more than people think that they can.
She's There for Her Parents When They Need Her
There were several heartbreaking moments in Sunday's finale, but the one that stands out in my mind is Sally's phone call with her father in which she breaks the news to him about Betty's cancer. The phone call quickly goes from Don smarting off about Betty being a hypochondriac to Don realizing that the mother of his children is about to pass away. The emotional weight of this scene bowled the audience over and Hamm and Shipka played this scene to perfection.
She Handled Betty's Illness with Grace
Henry is the closest thing to a normal parental figure that Sally, Bobby, and Gene have. So, when Henry can't keep it together upon hearing the news about Betty's illness, Sally, like she has been forced to do for most of her life, steps up and takes charge of the family. She breaks the news to her father and asks him not to intervene, she discusses it with Bobby, and she is also the one who will be responsible for arranging her mother's affairs after she passes.
Just like it always does, Mad Men forces Sally Draper to be the adult in the family one last time for us and in the toughest of circumstances. Sally, as is to be expected, handles it with grace.
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