Arts & Culture

The Jewish Women of Mad Men

Over at Slate–a website that is seemingly as Mad Men obsessed as we are–our buddy Rachel Shukert wrote a piece about the Jewish Women of the show.  The article brings up an issue that has been debated here at Jews … Read More

By / October 5, 2010

Over at Slate–a website that is seemingly as Mad Men obsessed as we are–our buddy Rachel Shukert wrote a piece about the Jewish Women of the show.  The article brings up an issue that has been debated here at Jews Watching Mad Men, whether or not Doc Faye is a big J.  In the article she assumes that the answer is yes.

Her first point concerns the woman in the phone booth who said “Go Shit In The Ocean.”  Upon seeing that episode, it did not occur to me that this woman was Doc Faye until a Jewcy commenter pointed it out, but even then I wasn’t sure.  However, this week, when Doc Faye said, “Look at that Punim,” it seemed all the more likely that the woman in the booth was Doc Faye.  Why?  Google “Go shit in the ocean” and you’ll find that it is the translation of  a Yiddish saying.  Furthermore, Shukert points out that Doc Faye is a psychologist during a time when that professional was predominantly Jewish and even furthermore, that her father is a gangster, which points to him being either Jewish or Italian, sorry, that’s just how it is.  The article goes on to reminisce on the early Season One days of Mad Men that featured Rachel Menken, played by Maggie Siff who is perhaps the new most beautiful Jew in Hollywood and now stars in the FX series Sons of Anarchy, my favorite new TV discovery of the year.  Siff plays a girl that went to med school to escape her biker girl past, only to end up a doctor in her hometown, the old lady of her high school, biker gang sweetheart.  Siff plays alongside Katy Segal, who you may know as Peggy Bundy who is also tribe certified.

The article also beautifully characterizes the nuance of Mad Men, by pointing out the way the show is subtle about the Jewishness of its Jewish Characters.  Further reason why “Jews Watching Mad Men,” was totally a good idea in the first place.  See for yourself.