Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's a Mad, Mad World

So I've been watching a lot of Mad Men lately.  For some reason or another I didn't watch it when it first aired, so I just never bothered to start watching it once I heard how great it was.  (I'm the kind of girl that likes to watch her shows from the beginning.)  So when I saw it in the Netflix instant queue I decided that I should find out what all the fuss was about.  And I have to say that I love it.  It is an amazing show - and I am especially in love with all the marvelous clothes.  (Oh how I covet Joan's wardrobe!)  Now that I have told you how much I love it, I must tell you how much I hate it!  You see when you watch a single episode it is fantastic.  Addicting, wonderful, a perfect period piece.  But you see when you have Netflix, you get to watch one episode right after the other while you're folding laundry, cutting fabric, or just vegging out.  As a weekly show, I absolutely believe that it does not get into your head and mess with your mind.  But watching 3 (or sometimes even 4) episodes in a row, you realize that you are watching the most depressing show on television.  It is not a show for marathon watching. 

I must admit that before watching Mad Men I considered myself a bit old fashioned.  But let me tell you, I am a radical feminist.  All the men are complete misogynists and I can't handle it!  I would have had a really hard time tolerating the way the men treated the women in the 1960s.  Let alone the way most of the men treat their wives.  And not only that they are also all self-centered, lying, cheating, bigots to boot.  It is weird and kind of hard to believe that the majority of the people in this country were racist and chauvinistic only 50 years ago.

My parents were in town last week and I was telling my mom about it, because as a graphic designer I knew she would love the opening sequence.  It is very cool.  I told her she had to see the opening credits but that I was pretty sure she would despise the show.  Since it is all about all the things she hated about the 60s.  I told her a little about it and she was practically shivering with disgust.  She agreed that she did not want to watch it because just talking about it was bringing back too many bad memories.  Several of which she shared.  Terrible is all I can say.  It is so strange to think that the fictional plots in the show are more than likely coming from someone's actual experiences.  Weird and sad.  But good too, because it just shows what a long way we've come.  And secretly I must admit that the men I previously thought were chauvinistic pigs are looking just a teensy bit better now.  I mean I'm not going to throw them a parade or anything - but let me tell you, they've got nothing on the men from Mad Men.

But I also really wanted to comment on the JFK assassination episodes.  I'd been anxiously awaiting these episodes since I first started watching, wondering how they would handle it.  And I actually think they were some of my favorite episodes.  I never thought I'd cry watching the news coverage about a President dying in 1963, I mean I had seen it before and never cried.  But watching it through these characters' eyes, it was a different experience for me.  Sitting there safely in my living room watching them wonder what is happening to their world teleported me straight back to where I was on 9/11/01.  I think that's what these major events in history do - they make you think of the major events in your own history.  They are the horrifying days in our lives that we always remember - I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing on 9/11/01.  And I will never forget.


melissa said...

I, too, have a love/hate relationship with the Mad Men. The look of the show is so fantastic, but the choices the characters make absolutely kill me. We watched the first few seasons live and I remember thinking, "Nothing is actually happening." but then I would find myself thinking about it for the rest of the week. We watched the last season on DVD and it really would cast a shadow over our home when we watched several episodes in a row.

imabetty said...

My concern is that airing this type of behavior on TV - in such a slick package - may increase the likelihood of those same bad behaviors being restored to their former glory. As another popular program used to say, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"