No one else knows how to run the office. The ad men of Mad Men would be lost without her.
Woe the new and naive secretary that gets on Joan's bad side.
From the very beginning, Peggy and Joan were depicted as opposites: one who uses her professional skills to build a career and one who uses her physical assets to build hers. And yet, as the series progresses, they grow to understand and respect one another. Now can we please get that Peggy-Joan spinoff?
While Joan may take her cues from the immortal Marilyn Monroe, she is a style touchstone in her own right. She embraces her curves, knows how to rock a jewel tone, and exudes a confident swagger no matter what she's wearing.
Who knows what makes the Mad Men tick better than Joan? While she uses that to her advantage, her awareness of how absurdly unfair society can be, making men superior to women, is what makes her a much more poignant figure.
Far from a one-note sexy secretary, Joan uses her femininity and sensuality to her benefit. But she also has a sharp wit and pragmatic outlook on life. As Don reminds her, she's worth more than her body. She's much more than meets the eye.
Despite a sometimes murky path to success, she made it to junior partner, a position she holds onto all on her own merit and (office) political savvy.
After much physical and emotional turmoil, Joan finally (finally!) cuts ties with her never-a-good-man husband, taking control of her personal life and protecting her future with her son, Kevin.
On the surface, Joan and Roger had an extramarital secretary-boss affair. But nothing about Mad Men is just "surface." Now that both Roger and Joan are divorced do they have a future?
No one gives advice and spits the hard truth like Joan. Case in point, Joan schools Peggy in the mindset of men, "Men don't take the time to end things. They ignore you until you insist on a declaration of hate."
Boo hoo, I'm a sad ad man! Joan does not have time for that. Throughout the ups and downs of her life, Joan remains a resilient, vibrant character.
Joan serves as a rare representation of a single, working mother on TV--in a 1960s period drama to boot!
When talking with Don in "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," Joan states what's arguably the theme of the entire series, "That's life. One minute you're on top of the world, the next minute some secretary's running you over with a lawn mower." Classic Joan and classic Mad Men.
The ostensible protagonist shines especially in scenes with Joan, as they commiserate as equals. Both are misunderstood, too smart for their own good, and much more than they seem at the surface. They recognize that in one another, which makes for some of the show's best scenes.
Joan proves she is the real Mad Men boss when she launches her own company, Holloway/Harris. She may have watched the promise of love walk out the door (for now), but her drive to succeed in the business she loves is something she could never deny herself. Right on, Joan!
Complex, strong and sexy in every way, Joan isn't just one of the best characters on the AMC drama but one of the best characters on TV.