Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is it with Mad Men

Mr. and Mrs. Buce have been catching up on Mad Men, thanks to Netflix Qwikster, although for the life of me, I'm not sure why. I read all this stuff about how it's a nostalgia trip, about the great days when men were men and we all sat on top of the world. Actually I was alive and sentient in those days; my life certainly was not what I see on screen, although I'm willing to assume that some people probably be that way

The trouble is, all those people--they are all worthless pieces of crap not particularly evil, not particularly reflective people who keep getting themselves along with friends and strangers in whole boatloads of unspeakable trouble.

I started to write that they were "monsters" but that's the thing, they're not monsters; they're just people who do appalling things in unappalling ways.   They're like nothing so much as the Germans I read about in Claudia Koonz' The Nazi Conscience--all those good people who just drifted along in a fog of self-approval, never for a moment thinking what a mess they might be making of things.

My friend Dave says he doesn't like to watch movies about people doing stupid things because he always wants to yell out "don't do that or the bunny winds up in the pot!" Wonder if David is enjoying Mad Men. Can't say I am, yet oddly, I keep coming back for more.

Afterthought: I guess I'll make one exception--Joanie.   Joanie's a hustler and she's hard as nails, but she's way low on the self-deception meter, and she gives good advice


Toni said...

Mild spoiler alert: Joanie will rise even higher in your estimation when you get to the episode in which Peggy takes action against a guy who's harassing Joanie. In the elevator ride down after work, Peggy expects thanks...but that's not what Joanie dispenses.

Bob L said...

Oh, Buce, you have disappointed me. This show is fantastic. You write: "They're just people who do appalling things in unappalling ways." Exactly. Your description captures a lot of the passing parade of life, and why Mad Men is such a refreshing change from most all of the one-dimensional characters and plot lines on television. And, every now and then, one of the characters will show a little bit of humanity, making the paradox of (un)appalling behavior all the more real and interesting.

Oh, and there are the sets and costumes and cinematography of the show. Even if you don't care much for the writing, the rest of the art of the show is incredibly well done.

Anonymous said...

But, as I should have added, Mrs. Bob L is on your side.

Ken Houghton said...

Thank you. I was starting to think I was the only one. Now I know there are four of us (including Mrs. Bob L).

Buce said...

But as I think of it, little or none of this bothered me with The Sopranos. Now why would that be?