Sunday, August 8, 2010

Forgot I was here...

I'll admit that it's been awhile since my last post, but I've been trying to explore new avenues for the last few weeks, and am now ready to resume posting. They will come more frequently from now on, I promise.

As I watch the new season of Mad Men unfold, several thoughts cross my mind every time I watch an episode.

First off, I know why HBO decided to pass on it, probably to their detrment. There's not enough action for the network of The Sopranos, Deadwood and True Blood. Even on shows which were more character based--- Six Feet Under, The Wire, etc. There was always a certain amount of action. Mad Men flows a lot slower, at a pace that no doubt struck some of the other networks as near glacial. I'm not criticizing. It is in the smaller things that Mad Men has it's finest moments. When we see Betty Draper unnecessarily scold one of her children, or watch Roger Sterling subtly watch a secretary, we see the minor cracks in the picture perfect establishment.
And given the fact that the shows rating have been slowly going up for each succeeding season, it's good to see that more and more people have been willing to go on this particular journey.

Another thing that becomes more and more obvious with each season. The people at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce are celebrated for being retro. They're the establishment. What none of the characters realize is that they're quickly becoming old-fashioned. In a memorable moment, disguised as a throwaway, Bert Cooper discussed with another fellow Republican how Medicare and Civil Rights were going to bring down the end of civilization. And right now, the woman that they regard as little more than eye candy are on the verge of a revolution of their own. The series just entered 1965, which means that they're about to become--- to millions of young people--- the enemy. We saw hints of it in this week's show; I've got a feeling it's going to get a lot less subtle in succeeding episodes.

The Draper's marriage was based on a lie. We saw it implode last season when that lie was discovered. It's also clear that they're no happier apart then they were together. I love watching January Jones struggle with the desperation of Betty. She seemed imprisoned by her life the first season of the show. She tried to rebel against it in Season 2, but was brought back to earth when she became pregnant with their third child. She tried to find happiness both with and without Don, and finally seemed to break in the last few episodes. But as has become obvious, she's no happier without him than with him. If anything, her children seem to have become even more unhappy, and it's more clear she was never meant to be a mother. Don is little better off on his own. He's splitting his energy between half-hearted dates with friends of friends, and now he seems to be openly seeing prostitutes. This episode, he saw Anna, and he seemed happier with her than we've seen with any other woman. But now she is dying of cancer, and he dealt with this by going straight in the arms of a $25 hooker. Is happiness even possible for these people? Will the series end with them coming back together somehow? Cause these people can't fit in the world's they've built for themselves.

It's always like pulling teeth to get information about what will happen next week, but I would remind the people at Sterling Cooper, et al. the times they are in changing, and I can't wait to see how Roger Sterling reacts when he learns his daughter listens to Dylan.

Stay tuned for more news.

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