Mad Men

Miska and I, ever late to the party, have begun watching Mad Men. We’re into the second season, and I’ve yet to find a character I truly like. Early on, I asked Miska what she thought the symbolism was during each episode’s opening montage — that suited imaged falling, falling, falling. A couple nights ago, Miska figured it out. “He’s dropping into the moral abyss.” Bingo.

The writing is sharp. The set dead-on. A far cry from the same show, different channel gloom of most network drivel, Mad Men offers true craft, nuanced stories and dialogue that makes you want to actually listen to what the characters are saying. For television, that’s no small feat.
Still, there’s no character I really want to know, certainly nobody I’d like my sons to know. I’m watching Mad Men, but I realize I’m missing Friday Night Lights.

8 Replies to “Mad Men”

  1. It's a morality tale- there's NO ONE we'd really like to know. Here's the theme- Everyone gets what they want, but no one is happy. I think it's a brilliant meditation on the ways desire tricks us/materialism, etc. But no joy anywhere in the show, and that can get a little wearing…

  2. I'm with you on the theme. I think the reality is that since I have so little space for TV right now (or just things that stir me and cue joy), I'm not wanting something that wears me out. But for what it is, agreed – executed well.

  3. Everyone I know who watches the show says the same thing. It has kept me from watching it. I guess for me life is too short for stories without heroes.

  4. Oh I totally agree. I started out all excited about it: historical accuracy! cool clothes! awesome sets! Jon Hamm is hot! The birth of second-wave feminism! But I couldn't make it past the first disc of the first season for exactly same reason as you. The characters were nuanced and subtle, but I just didn't LIKE them.

  5. I'm late to the party, too, Winn. We're into season 3. I'm not so concerned about not having a character to root for, (although I think the arc of Peggy's story is really interesting to watch). It's a brilliant exploration of masculine and feminine roles in the Age of Repression. And, yeah, it's unrelentingly bleak. I don't think January Jones has smiled in about 30 episodes. And yet…I'm hooked.

  6. Well, I am experiencing the JOY of Friday Night Lights Season 1 right now. LOVE IT! I feel like I am rooting for just about everyone but Buddy Garrity. 🙂

  7. Alex, we're still plugging away, but I don't think I could say I'm hooked. That line on January Jones is hilarious.

    Shannon, are you watching it in German? : )

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