I was scared of Mad Men for a long time. Even as it racked up Emmys and accolades, I wouldn't watch. I'd lived through Happy Days and other treacly tributes to the '50s and '60s that didn't ring anything like true. They'd glossed over or just plain avoided the ugly stuff I'd lived through as a black girl growing up in that very white world.
Joe Leland is a man out of his time who's determined to stay relevant, even though the rest of the world has given up on his post-WW II era idealism and decayed into corruption. Much like the film itself, Joe has one foot in the past and one stubbornly planted in the present and future, on his terms.