Mad Men: The Best Character In Each Season | ScreenRant

While it's fun and entertaining taking a trip back to the '60s, and the fashionable world of advertising is a fascinating setting, it's the characters who make Mad Men such a beloved show. Although some characters are more likable than others, as fans love following Peggy and Joan's journeys but find Don's behavior problematic, everyone adds something special to this popular drama.

RELATED: 10 Low-Key Villains On Mad Men

It's true that every episode features a few different, compelling storylines and every main character has a great arc each season. But there's one character who is the most memorable from every season and who truly gets their chance to shine or, in some cases, whose poor behavior stands out.

7 Season 1: Peggy Olson

Peggy Olson changes a lot on Mad Men and she has a super powerful journey in season 1, making her the best character from the show's first few episodes. After getting hired as the secretary to Don Draper, she quickly learns the ins and outs of the office. Viewers see that life for young secretaries in the '60s was tough, as they observed sexism on a daily basis and weren't considered important.

Peggy has some true ups and downs in season 1. It's thrilling to watch her become a copywriter as she begins to see that a better life is out there for her, as long as she's willing to stand tall and ignore the naysayers. When Peggy has Pete Campbell's baby and didn't even realize that she was expecting, it's heartbreaking and tough to watch. It's impossible to imagine this show without Peggy and by the time that season 1 is over and she gives the baby up for adoption, she learns that she's so much stronger than she thought.

6 Season 2: Betty Draper

While fans get to know bored housewife Betty Draper in season 1, it's season 2 that is her most compelling season because it's when she begins to imagine a life outside of her miserable marriage.

RELATED: 10 People Betty Should Have Been With On Mad Men (Other Than Henry)

When Betty has a crush on Arthur Case, who she sees while horseback riding, she realizes that other people find her attractive and interesting and that she might be able to move on from Don eventually. Betty can also tell that Don has been having affairs and fans see a new, stronger, more independent side of Betty. This is an important season for this character since she shifts the power balance in her relationship and takes it back, letting Don know that she can tell what he's been up to.

5 Season 3: Pete Campbell

Season 3 is when Pete Campbell really stands out as a character as he thinks more seriously about the kind of career ambitions that he has. He's excited to be given the title of Head of Accounts but it turns out that he and Ken Cosgrove are going to do the job together, which makes him angry. Things get even worse for Pete with the news that Ken is getting a great promotion.

Mad Men fans feel sorry for Pete in many instances because while he makes some terrible decisions and treats Peggy badly, he does just want to be happy and successful and it often seems like those things are both out of reach for him. When season 3 ends with the main characters creating their own company, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Pete is among them, and while viewers don't love him all the time, it's relatable seeing Pete struggle with his job.

4 Season 4: Don Draper

Don Draper is definitely the core and heart of Mad Men, as fans learn more about his tragic childhood, the man's identity who he stole, and debate whether he's even capable of loving someone. Don is the best character in season 4 of Mad Men because he's desperate to figure out who he really is, especially since he is getting divorced.

When Don learns that Anna Draper, the wife of the man whose name he has taken, has cancer that is fatal, he's devastated and begins remembering the pain that he felt when he was growing up. Up until this point, fans know that Don is sad and searching for something, but this season really drives home how much Don struggles. When Don and Megan Calvet get engaged, fans know that something will likely go wrong yet it's hard not to wish them the best.

3 Season 5: Joan Holloway

Joan Holloway is always known as a strong character who gets what she wants, but season 5 is when Joan really stands up for herself. It's also a season when fans realize how much people want to use Joan because of her good looks and her body. She's raising her child on her own since Greg is in the Army Medical Corps, and she talks to him about how he raped her in an earlier season and she doesn't want him anywhere near her or their baby.

While this is a heartbreaking storyline, Joan, like Betty, is taking back her power. Things get worse for Joan when the executives at work decide that she will sleep with a potential client so they can make a deal, one of the most upsetting storylines from the entire show.

2 Season 6: Megan Calvet

Season 6 sees a lot of change happening in Megan's life. It seems like she assumed that marrying Don would make everything in her life totally perfect, but that's definitely not the case.

RELATED: 10 People Megan Should Have Been With On Mad Men (Other Than Don)

It's fun and entertaining watching Megan try to make her acting dreams happen and her best episode from this season is "The Better Half" when the director of To Have and To Hold doesn't love her work as twins. Megan is much more likable than some of Don's other love interests as she seems sweet, free-spirited, and like she does her best to be a good person. When Don tells Megan that it would be a good idea to move to California in the season 6 finale, viewers wish that it'll be a good place for them to rekindle the spark in the marriage, although it doesn't seem possible for Don to ever be happy.

1 Season 7: Sally Draper

While some parts of Sally's Mad Men character aged poorly, she has a fascinating character arc in the final season that fans still remember.

Sally has always struggled with the love that she has for her father and her realization that he's deeply flawed. In the season 7 episode "The Forecast," Sally watches Don hit on her friend, which feels horrible, and a few episodes later, she learns the terrible news that her mom is dying of cancer. Fans see Sally grow up a lot during this rough time as she realizes that it's a good idea to take care of her siblings and help Henry once Betty is gone. It's moving and beautiful to see Sally step up as she's often been a tough and rebellious kid.

NEXT: The 10 Saddest Things About Sally On Mad Men, Ranked



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