HomeTelevisionOur Favorite TV Moms

Our Favorite TV Moms

Nellie Sterling, Mad Men

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Roger Sterling’s (John Slattery) mother was a Mad Men footnote, but she loved him dearly. She talked about him with such wholehearted approval that he becomes the glowing center of her own funeral. But though Roger throws a tantrum and retreats upstairs during the proceedings, he’s unable to cry. He later describes his mother’s love as an invisible parachute he never knew about, even when he jumped off mountains. But we feel her love throughout the series, because though they can seem the same, “unconditional” is not synonymous with “unremarkable.” It takes the news of a shoe shine’s death to knock him open. Being so thoroughly loved, Roger was the last to notice how much that meant.

Mad Men is a montage of mothers, mostly downbeat. It’s easy to see where Sally (Kieran Shipka) got her toughness, where Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) got his sourness, where Don (Jon Hamm) became the burdened ladies’ man. But Roger Sterling walks on air because there’s no danger below. Who was this delightful man, this sometimes arrogant (spoiled, perhaps), ever buoyant radiance? Who was this “curious child with a full head of hair,” as his therapist calls him? Where we’re delighted by Roger’s presence, we’re adoring his mother’s child. Think of how people feel when Peter Campbell dominates the room. And how they feel when Roger does. Motherly ghosts lurk behind these characters, and where some move cloaked in shadows, others against tugging wires, Roger walks around in sunshine. –Matt Havilland, Editor-at-Large


[php] wp_link_pages(array(‘before’=>’


‘)); [/php]


Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

Most Recent

Stay Connected