Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Furiously catching up with "Mad Men"

I hadn't watched a single episode of the TV show "Mad Men" until recently. The first two discs of Season 1 sat in Netflix envelopes next to our TV for a while, actually. I was reluctant. I knew I wanted to try to get caught up before the third season starts (on Sunday), but I was worried the show was going to piss me off too much. I'd heard bits and pieces about how the women on the show are treated, and it didn't sound like a good time.

Then we finally got around to putting in the first disc, and I've been hooked ever since. Hooked as in I ended up at a store at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night just so I could purchase Season 2. (Too impatient for Netflix!) I have seven more episodes before I'm done with Season 2 and I'm fully confident I'll finish it before the new episode Sunday.

Spare Candy readers, do you watch this show? I can't recommend it highly enough. "Mad Men" is simply fascinating, on every level. And I'm not going to lie, it's currently one of the top reasons I've been slacking on this site. All I want to do is watch it. I love how character-driven it is, how layered the female characters are despite the sexism of the times, and the writing ... oh the writing. Superb. I love that Joan has an actual body, I love how normal Peggy looks, I love the flashes of impatience and independence from Betty, I love the office politics and I love the clothes. I love the smoking and the drinking. I love that no one is all good and no one is all bad. I love that there are consequences, even if only internally.

Even though I shake my head multiple times an episode at the sexism, it's also easier to digest than I thought it would be. Since it's set in the 1960s, I can appreciate, for lack of a better term, the overt sexism of the times. If ever a woman needs reassurance that women have made inroads to equality, just watch this show. What a great (horrible?) reminder of what it could be like for us now.

Tons of words have been typed on the subject of "Mad Men" and feminism, and what a thrill to find out for myself that they're accurate. Read more (warning, there could be spoilers; I tried to avoid them but still came across a few):


RMJ said...

I'm in on the Mad Men love, but Peggy and Betty's bodies are as real as Joan's. Wrote on the construction of her body here:

Admin said...

Interesting, I have never even heard of it! I'm going to have to check it out!


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