As the premiere of series six approaches, things are a-changing when it comes to playing the game of which-girl-in-Mad-Men-I'd-Be. So who resonates most with us now? Alexandra Jones discusses
When I was little I always wanted to be Ginger Spice. There was just something about that fanny-skimming Union Jack dress/ glitter platform boot combo that really appealed to me; Baby was too saccharine, Posh too sulky and Sporty and Scary didn't count (they just didn't).
So it was inevitable that Christina Hendricks' Joan Holloway - she of the flame hair and formidable bosom - would be my first Mad Men lady-crush.
As the seasons have passed, however, her supremacy in my "which Mad Men woman would I be" fantasy has started to be slip. Back in the day (i.e. the first season) no one could match Joan for razor sharp put-downs and sage advice, she was like the Dalai Lama except snappier and in a girdle.
And despite that teeny weeny bit of prostitution in season five, you can't help but admire that a) she threw her husband out for being a dick and b) is now single handedly supporting her baby son and busybody mother. So it's not that Joan is any less awesome; it's just that some of the other characters have begun to surpass her in awesomeness.
For a start, there's Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) who started off a little shaky - what with the not knowing she was pregnant and all that (dude, seriously?) But she's put all that behind her now and, armed with a bit of sass and a whole lotta talent, is taking the ad world by storm. She's calm, assured and has mastered the art of the "don't-eff-with-me stare (even in a Peter Pan collar and pillbox hat).
There's also Megan Draper (Jessica Paré), who followed her dreams into acting even when Don really wanted her to stay at home, eating orange sherbet and having babies. We don't know her quite as well as the others, but judging by her killer hip-wiggle when she sang that Zooby Zooby Zoo song (yes those are the words), she's one groovy chick.
And let's not forget imploding Stepford wife and mother, Betty Francis (she'll always really be Betty Draper though, won't she?) Betty's got issues, Betty's got spite, Betty's a bit misunderstood. I don't think anyone ever really wanted to be her, but you know that scene where she shoots her next door neighbour's pigeons while puffing on a morning ciggie? The. Best. Thing. Ever. Hell hath no fury like an ex-model going mad in the suburbs.
Finally, there's the one I've totally got my eye on to take the crown; the Mad Woman (see what I did there?) that I think I'll be most intrigued by in Seasons 6: Sally Draper, played by Kiernan Shipka. Yes, yes I know, she's young, she's – to quote Britney – "not a girl, not yet a woman", but that's what'll make her character all the more compelling this season.
She's not navigating teen-dom at any old time; it's the late Sixties and they're on the cusp of a sexual revolution. And on the evidence (running off to the city with a boy; getting caught almost, well, you know, in the living room at her friend's house; generally being impish and feisty) she's going to be a handful. So, my series six Mad-Woman-I'd-be is a teenager who's got some series issues and isn't afraid to let them all hand out. This probably says more about me than the show...
Mad Men, series six, starts on Sky Atlantic tonight.