Poor, poor Sally Draper. As if dealing with Betty “I’ll cut your fingers off!” Francis, Don “benign neglect” Draper, and Bobby “wait, so I shouldn’t lick the stove?” Draper weren’t bad enough, now she’s seen something that will undoubtedly traumatize her for life. At the end of last night’s episode of Mad Men — spoiler alert! — Don’s daughter accidentally spied Roger Sterling getting, er, a French lesson from Marie, her stepgrandmother. Sacré bleu!
Roger and Marie’s tryst is more than the event that will drive Sally back to Dr. Edna‘s couch. It’s also the latest example of a mini-trend sweeping through all our favorite TV shows: Old people having sex. Well, old-ish, at least. Mad Men actor John Slattery is 49 in real life; it’s quite possible that he’s a few years younger than the character he plays. Roger’s partner in crime was played by guest star Julia Ormond, who’s 47. Sure, neither one is exactly knocking at death’s door — but they’re both much more seasoned than the bright young things who usually knock boots on TV.
And they aren’t alone. Here’s a brief survey of all the relatively aged couples who hooked up onscreen last week:
Eileen (Anjelica Huston) and Nick (Thorsten Kaye), Smash
Months after kicking her no-good husband to the curb, this blunt-banged Broadway producer started putting the sex in “sexagenarian” by hooking up with hunky bartender Nick.
Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) and Dominik (James Purefoy), Revenge
Scheming can be exhausting — so it’s a good thing that the Grayson matriarch’s old flame stuck around long enough to help Victoria take the edge off. She can thank Cleopatra for teaching him those moves.
Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Catherine (Debbie Allen), Grey’s Anatomy
Three cheers for the oldest couple on this list! (She’s 62 in real life; he’s 57.) These two love doctors get bonus points for 1) hooking up even as Catherine’s son Avery was getting his own rocks off in the very same hotel and 2) traumatizing said son when he learned of their affair the next morning. Maybe Avery can call a now 50-something Sally Draper to see how she dealt with a similar situation.
Oh, and extra-special bonus points: Adele, Richard’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted wife, is apparently also getting her groove on with other folks. Just call Shonda Rhimes an old-people-having-sex pioneer.
It must be nice for older viewers to see that characters their age are being treated like people, rather than fossils — though there’s definitely something icky about that Grey’s storyline. Are you glad to see that TV’s sexual landscape is getting more diverse, PopWatchers? Or do you think the sexual shenanigans should be left to those who aren’t yet AARP subscribers?