Friday, October 29, 2010

Mad Men: For Adults Only

You know what I like about Mad Men? I like that during any given "episode" I won't be reminded of some stupid "modern phenomena" like drugs or alcoholism or the environment or sexism or homophobia or whatever.

What? They have that shit in Mad Men? Well yeah, I guess they do. I mis-spoke. What I like about Mad Men is that it doesn't beat me over the fucking head with the topic, and more importantly, it never proselytizes.

Mad Men may be the best-written TV show in history. We, the viewers have to decide who the "good" and the "bad" characters are. We ourselves must judge these people from this time in history. The writers are not going to lead us like children through the moral minefield of "right and wrong."

How refreshing it is to be treated like an adult by a TV show.


  1. Most people I know like it, and it's beautifully put together. It's just so damn depressing I think I may stop with the first two seasons. With Deadwood and Six Feet under, there was humor as leavening - not so with Mad Men.

  2. I think it does proselytize about sexism (to assume the best) ... either that or it advocates it. I find the show highly offensive and depressing, but my husband loves it and feels that the tone of the show has verisimilitude. All the worse! (ha ha, I usually agree with you.) sp

  3. Hi Susan,
    I've seen every episode (don't ask how--it's not on TV in Japan!). I get what you're saying about it being depressing. I guess I'd say, in a philosophical sense, "reality" should be neither depressing nor uplifting. It just "is." (Or, in this case, it just "was.")

  4. Reality is not, I find, as consistently depressing as Mad Men, which can be sort of victoriously glum (although everybody looks good being glum).

  5. Hi Susanna,
    First, I think they show is brutally truthful. But is "presenting" sexism really advocating it? I mean, that's the way it was back then. Presenting it otherwise would make it a false representation of the period (like pretty much everything that has come before).

  6. Susan,
    I guess I'd only ask this: do the characters seem so glum? I don't think so. Do they seem "fake"? Again, I don't think so.
    What you're saying (I think) just goes back to what I said: we have to decide for ourselves.