15 ways in which Masters of Sex' Bill Masters and Mad Men's Don Draper are alike

Anyone who possesses even passing knowledge of Showtime's Masters of Sex and AMC's Mad Men will know that the two shows are similar-ish on the surface.

But when you dig into the two male protagonists – Masters of Sex' Dr. Bill Masters (played by Michael Sheen) and Mad Men's Don Draper (Jon Hamm) – you'll see that they share many traits and circumstances that are not obvious to recognize at first. Well, that's what we're here for at the TV Geek Army, so kick back and enjoy – and we encourage you to add even more in the comments.

masters of sex - bill masters

Both Bill Masters and Don Draper:

1) Have character arcs that span multiple era during the mid-20th Century. Mad Men has covered 1960 through 1969 in its 6.5 seasons to date while Masters of Sex has run through the late 1950s and into the early '60s over (nearly) two seasons.

2) Are often taciturn and at times icy and aloof to co-workers and family members alike.

3) Are singular, brilliant, and inventive in their chosen trades (that being medicine/sex research and advertising).

4) Carried on lengthy affairs outside the bounds of marriage (Bill and Virginia Johnson, Don and a whole bevy that there's not enough space for here, but let's just throw Bobbie Barrett in as a placeholder).

5) Have worked in offices where multiple extramarital affairs have taken place (Dr. Austin Langham, Harry Crane, Pete Campbell, Roger Sterling, just for starters!).

6) Have worked alongside co-workers who are in the closet with regard to their sexual orientation (Bart Scully, Sal Romano).

7) Drink booze like there's no tomorrow. And as Don Draper expresses during the Mad Men pilot, that's because there isn't one.

mad men - don draper

8) Are fans of the sport of boxing.

9) Star in a pivotal episode that involves personal revelations and emotional depth on the night of a major historical boxing event (Master of Sex' "Fight" from Season Two, Mad Men's "The Suitcase" from Season Four).

10) Rarely smile.

11) Dominate their respective fields and have outsize personalities while avoiding talking about themselves personally whenever possible.

12) Had brutal childhoods involving both mental and physical abuse.

13) Are singularly driven in large part due to the abuse they absorbed as children.

14) Aren't familiar and comfortable in the "norms" of family life, mid-century style.

15) Would never be considered for Dad of the Year. 

By Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader"

About the author

Eric is the publisher and revered leader of TV Geek Army… at least in his own mind. TV Geek Army is a place for serious TV reviews and news for serious fans of great television. Contact: eric-[at]-tvgeekarmy.com 

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