Slash Shipping and Mad Men (spoilers)

25 Jun

Before I run the risk of sounding like a twelve year old girl on Tumblr, let me just say that I usually have a certain disdain for girls who have an obsession with slash shipping. I’ve encountered some of the more rabid Supernatural fans in my Tumblr days, and believe me, it’s pretty cringeworthy. However after watching season 6 of Mad Men, I’ve been finding that my OTP has shifted from Roger and Joan to Pete and Bob.


I tend to not buy the theories flying around Reddit about Bob Benson being the nega-Don, or a secret FBI agent. But part of Mad Men’s appeal is that they deal with social issues of the 1960s, and while Bob probably isn’t on the run from the law, a bunch of things about both him and Pete lead me to believe that we’re gonna see some steamy dude on dude action in season 7:

  • We really don’t know about Bob’s past. Maybe he had the identity shift and abrupt move to New York because his relationship with another man was found out?
  • Pete’s sexual relationship with Trudy is never really discussed. It’s a pretty solid guess that it became nonexistent or extremely unpleasant considering their separation.
  • It’s fairly well-known that closeted queer people can sometimes be overtly homophobic to cover up insecurities about their sexuality. Pete completely flipped his shit when Bob touched his knee. His knee. 
  • The only other time we’ve seen anything remotely having to do with gay issues was Joan’s lesbian roommate (who, much to my dismay, never came back). Let’s face it though, who wouldn’t have a crush on Joan? Oh right, Bob supposedly doesn’t. If this were real life, I’d roll my eyes at the “gay best friend” trope, but this is TV, and it makes sense. Also, the thing with Sal, who I’m pretty disappointed never came back.
  • Keeping up with Mad Men’s ability to weave historical events in with the characters’ stories, the Stonewall Riots took place in 1969, which marked the beginning of the mainstream queer movement. Season 7 will also take place in 1969. While it’s too much to ask to see Pete and/or Bob throwing bricks at cops, Greenwich Village is a relatively short subway ride from SC&P…
  • Whenever Pete and Bob fight, I just want smush their faces together and say NOW KISS.

Maybe this is some wishful thinking on my part, being that I’d love to see more non-stereotypical queer characters in TV, but as my hopes for a Roger/Joan reunion fade, I’m hoping my new OTP becomes canon.

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