Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zombie Mad Men: The Survival Guide

Earlier today, Matt Seitz tweeted about a dream he'd had that combined Mad Men with zombies, a not-so-odd amalgam when one considers AMC's relentless promotional buildup for The Walking Dead over the last few months. I haven't been privy to any early glimpses of the new horror series. But I do have a knack for overthinking anything concerning a certain fictional 1960s advertising agency, so I hope that Matt and his subconscious will forgive me if, in the spirit of the season, I shanghai his dream to entertain an important question: How would SCDP handle a zombie attack?

It goes without saying that the people of Mad Men are no strangers to violence. World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and John Deere have all had an unshakable impact on their lives. But a terrifying "Tomorrow Zombieland"? That's a whole nother campaign, my friends. After all, it's 1965: three years before Night of the Living Dead, nearly forty before the publication of The Zombie Survival Guide. An agency like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce depends on policies and procedures for its day-to-day operations. Without any precedent, they would have no idea what they were in for or how to respond.

In terms of pure gumption, then, plus maybe a dollop of luck, the question stands: Which of our favorite characters would be most likely to survive?

1. Joan Harris

Strengths: Quick-thinking, practical, resourceful; experience with administering first aid; would not hesitate to shoot Zombie Roger in the head.

Weaknesses: Red dress may draw unwanted undead attention.

Survival Odds: Even.

2. Pete Campbell

Strengths: Weaselly, conniving; short enough to hide in ventilation shafts; known for bringing guns to the office.

Weaknesses: Capable of rash decisions; insecure masculinity; overeager to prove himself.

Survival Odds: 3-1.

3. Betty Draper Francis

Strengths: Utterly self-interested, would sacrifice children to save self; experienced with firearms; laser stare could melt zombie flesh.

Weaknesses: Firearms experience only BB gun variety.

Survival Odds: 5-1.

4. Peggy Olson

Strengths: Smart, savvy, spunky.

Weaknesses: Faints at sight of blood.

Survival Odds: 10-1.

5. Dick Whitman Don Draper

Strengths: Korean War veteran; smooth sales-pitch; handsome.

Weaknesses: Cracks under pressure; frequently traps himself in bathroom stalls; opportunistic, could willingly turn into a zombie.

Survival Odds: 15-1.

6. Lane Pryce

Strengths: Stiff upper-lip; could be secretly a Watcher like Buffy's Rupert Giles.

Weaknesses: Daddy issues; overwilling to avoid confrontation.

Survival Odds: 30-1.

7. Harry Crane

Strengths: None.

Weaknesses: Many.

Survival Odds: 50-1.

8. Roger Sterling

Strengths: World War II veteran; witty quips.

Weaknesses: Drunken staggering slows him down; has trouble navigating flights of stairs; could be easily bitten by Lee Garner, Jr.

Survival Odds: 75-1.

9. Glen

Strengths: Small enough to hide; would lay down his life for Sally; the most principled character on the show.

Weaknesses: Ground zero of zombie pandemic.

Survival Odds: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000-1.

10. Megan

Strengths: Tall; pretty; good with kids.

Weaknesses: Possibly a bad wife, a scheming coworker, or a zombie. Time will tell.

Survival Odds: N/A.

Happy Halloween!


GregM said...

This was just awesome. Came here via a retweet of MZS. Thank you.

Jason Bellamy said...

I think you've overlooked a reason Lane might survive: he could very easily be mistaken for a zombie, thus allowing him to avoid attack. I think his chances fall somewhere after Betty's and before Peggy's.

P.S. How dare an insomniac have such a good dream!