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Not so mad about Mad Men

I've realized why I'm having difficulties with Mad Men.

I watch all my television on dvd or Netflix Streaming these days, and I'll often give a show three or four episodes to win me over before I decide whether or not to keep watching. When I started watching Bones, for instance, I wasn't immediately taken with it. However, a few episodes in and I was not only enjoying the mystery-of-the-week format, but also becoming invested in the characters. By the time my favorite character left the show a few seasons in, I was invested in all the characters, such that I missed Zach, but still wanted to know what happened next. I was rooting for these fictional people--to solve the case, to get the girl, whatever. I was on their side.

And now, after all the critical acclaim, I figured I'd check out Mad Men. It's gritty and beautifully produced, and half a season in I hate most of the characters. For a while I thought Peggy was pretty okay, if a bit of a wet rag... but as it turns out she's a pretty horrible person too. Harry's a pretty good guy, and when he gets drunk and sleeps with his secretary I found myself mentally chanting, "don't do it, you love your wife!" When he next appears, getting ready to go to sleep at the office, on the phone to his estranged wife... you know he fessed up because he felt so guilty. You know he's a decent guy who made a big mistake...

But the next time you see him things are repaired at home and his wife is expecting. Hooray! He's the one likable character on the show and we don't even get to see him play out this fairly major event in his life. Did they really make up? Did she discover that she was pregnant and--afraid of being a single mother in 1960--invite him home? Is he truly forgiven or are things still tense at home? I haven't a clue because they don't show any of that happen. Instead we watch Draper neglect his wife, sleep with his mistress, and blow off work for a liquid breakfast.

Plus every time any two characters get snuggley all I can think is, "Ugh, he must reek of cigarettes." There's usually a pause and then I realize, "Oh yeah, she probably reeks of cigarettes too. Gods the 60s were gross." The only time two characters got it on and I wasn't thinking that was when Harry slept with his secretary--I was too busy caring about the characters to consider their personal hygiene.

Long story short, despite the production values, beautiful costumes, quality acting, and Christina Hendricks, I think I'm giving the rest of the series a miss.

Comments

( 1 Mourned — Mourn )
(Anonymous)
Jun. 10th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
I haven't even started watching Mad Men, and now I'm not even sure if I want to watch it! lolleslie
( 1 Mourned — Mourn )

Take This Book In Your Hands

Like it or not, witches are drawn to the edge of things, where two states collide. They feel the pull of doors, circumferences, boundaries, gates, mirrors, masks. . .
. . .and stages

--Terry Pratchett, Maskerade

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