Tuesday, May 29, 2012

some thoughts about "mad men"

I am by no means someone who is entirely moral. My morality has shifted over the years, especially since I believe I am an example to my children and I do not want to do anything to make them do anything other than hold their heads high. I know right from wrong and I try to think ethically. As a future lawyer, I think that's very important.

I was in no way surprised by "Mad Men" finally whoring Joan out to a client. But I wanted to be proven wrong. Even in the 1960s, surely more men than Don would be disgusted by the idea of prostituting a co-worker, and a friend, to a pig of a man?

I have been underwhelmed by "Mad Men" since Don left Betty. I didn't watch most of last season and only watch it now because it's preceded by the excellent "Game of Thrones" and a way to spend some time with my husband, who also drops the kid to school the next morning.

Nothing seems to be happening. Plot threads are opened and then dropped and we're supposed to accept things. For a 12 or 13 episode series, it does not have the tightness of "The Shield," the entirety of which took place over maybe 2 or 3 years. There is always comparison to "The Sopranos" because Matt Weiner cut his teeth with David Chase. So much of "Mad Men" is Soprano-esque, to the point where I feel I've already seen "The Sopranos" thank you very much, so I can watch another show now.

So I'm irritated by this show. Not everything. I enjoy the Lane Pryce storyline (though yet another plot thread seems to have been abandoned with him and the girl from the first ep of this season) and it seems so real, especially in times like these.

I like the Peggy thread very much. Her rising star thread is perfect on this show and she is one of the rare characters that show continuity and growth. Not even Don has done this.

I don't think this is the show about the Betty-Sally interaction, as intriguing as it is. It is so good, in fact, that I wish there was more about Sally growing up. That can't happen on the show called "Mad Men" and I feel irritated when we see these 90-second scenes with them that take us nowhere. And now, Betty's whole plot line is just boring. I would have honestly liked to see her remain married to Don or be single. Henry the politician is boring as hell. He doesn't interact with the children in any way. His mother gets more screen time with them. I don't mind imagining what kind of teenager and woman Sally Draper is going to become, but I feel I get very little on which to base my imagingings.

But, back to Joanie. I think it's uncharacteristic for Roger to go along with this as much as he did. It's not as if he has an issue with Joan and another man, but I don't think anything he's shown us has led me to believe he'd be okay with prostituting the woman who has made the biggest impact on his life. And after all that shit about being Kevin's father? I'd believe that the child with Joan would have more of an effect on him than his other son and daughter.

Am I giving "Mad Men" too much credit for morality? After all, the show does prize itself on showcasing 60s immorality. Sex, drugs, and all the -isms (racisim, sexism). It's a sinner's paradise, isn't it? But this particular choice, sending Joanie, the amazing confident sexy brilliant Joanie, to sleep with someone to get Jaguar, rubs me the wrong way. Is it because it's Jaguar that the writers felt it was ok? I mean, would they make her fuck for a Ford? Well... I'd fuck Mike Rowe for a Ford. Hell, I'd fuck him and pay HIM!

But I digress. And that guy was NO Mike Rowe, let me tell you. Not that that makes it better. He COULD have been Mike Rowe and it still would have been awful to me.

And I don't just mean because it's Joanie. Four men deciding to send a woman, any woman, to get fucked for an account, is gross. It's one thing to explore how women felt about using their bodies to get ahead. No one can deny that happened, maybe still does. But this didn't emanate from Joan. She wasn't even thinking about Kevin. Lane put that in her head and Stinky Pete twisted her words to convince the partners. How Pete doesn't get beat up more is beginning to concern me. Don should be next in line to give him a well-deserved ass-kicking, followed closely by Joan and Trudy.

But now I'm talking about it like I accept it. I think it was wrong for the show to go there. I would have enjoyed the tension in the office from just the offer being made. I feel gross and dirty watching "Mad Men" now, and I barely liked the show to begin with. Maybe I would feel different if I did.