Monday, May 28, 2012

Mad Men



All right folks, here is my take on the very popular TV show "Mad Men."  However, before I start be warned that I will probably say some "cringe worthy" things about this show so if you are one of those who is easily offended by my remarks, no need to read further.  I make this statement because I have lost friendships (shallow to be sure) and readers of this blog because they did approve of what I had to say.  Again, a helpful reminder - this is my blog and all the views expressed herein are mine and I take full responsibility for them and I am not fazed in the least by anyone who is so easily offended that they feel the need to leave a nasty comment or end a friendship because of words that I write in this blog that hurts their sensitive feelings.  It is ironic but I am posting my review of the TV show "Mad Men" but to me the real "Mad Men" are those who think they can rule my life.  To those folks, really.....get over yourselves.  If you don't like what I write, then don't read this blog.  I have no ads on this blog and I don't ask for money so I have nothing to lose by your departure.  I don't need you.

Now, for my take on "Mad Men."  I don't watch commercial TV because I can't get past all the ads.  When I want to see a TV show I wait until that show comes out on DVD so I can rent them through my account at NetFlix.  I've heard a lot about "Mad Men" and what a wonderful show it is.  Time from Ron to rent the DVD's and check this show out myself.  That I did and this weekend I watched the first six episodes.


Here is my take:

All the hype about Jon Hamm is true.  This man is one hunk and a half.  He is exactly the type of man a gay man like me is attracted to.  He is good-looking, masculine, and self-assured.  Jon Hamm is very watchable.  My only complaint is that some of the lines he is fed by the writers are worthy of a man like Jon with his gravitas.  I just don't believe some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

Overall I like "Mad Men" but here are my main complaints (you knew I would have them).

There are too many of the long soap opera pauses.  You know what I mean by that.  Long looks that kill time.  Probably works for the TV show for commercials but not when one is watching this drama on DVD like a movie.

Another complaint I have is all the smoking.  Man oh man.  Wow.  Hey, I started my adult work years in the early Sixties.  Yes, there was a lot of smoking, including me.  However, looking back on that time now with the hindsight of the dangers and nastiness of smoking, it saddens me to think we all took this "lifestyle" for granted.  For the record I stopped smoking my flip top box Marlboro's July 15, 1967.  I smoked for seven years a pack a day.  That was enough.  But watching this time recreated with the constant lighting up of cigarets in every environment, including mothers, saddens me.

I have more.  Another thing that saddens me (I can't really call it a complaint because it is true) is the misogyny displayed during that era (the Sixties).  Yes, it is true.  I remember when I first started to work for Girard Bank in Philadelphia in the trust department, only men had the responsible jobs.  Women were either file clerks or secretaries.  Thank God that has changes.  Still, it saddens me greatly to relive that misogynist time of our past when this kind of behavior was taken for granted.

And even more.  Do you see how minorities are portrayed in this series?  Yes, again all true.  That doesn't make it any easier to witness though a black man with a beanie on his head operating an elevator in the big downtown office building for the all white ad men.  To think we as a society took this for granted is very depressing.

Here is my number one complaint.  Too many sex scenes.  Too much sex.  To much chewing each other's faces.  Too long, too much.  Who enjoys watching those face sucking scenes?  Maybe it's me with my age related low testosterone levels but I find it boring.  Sure, I like seeing Jon Hamm with his shirt off but I would rather watch a good story.

Talking about a story, what is the story line anyway?  Is Don Draper (Jon Hamm's character?) questioning the value of what he is doing?  Is he questioning his marriage.  And what was the deal with his long lost brother showing up and Don Draper gave him $5,000 to go away?  What was THAT all about?  Sounds to me like poor script writing.

You know what the most interesting part of this show is for me?  It is the woman who plays Jon Hamm's secretary.  She is also working her way up.  At first I couldn't figure her out but now I think I have.  Actually, I sort of identify with her.  Not the female part but the part of starting at the bottom in an office environment and witnessing the foibles of my so-call "betters" and realizing that I am just as good as they are probably better.

What I find most interesting in a book, TV show or movie is a story about human needs and how they face their obstacles and come to terms with their lot in life.  That to me is always the best story.  Of course it always helps if there is a pretty face (and body) like Jon Hamm around to satisfy my more base needs.

Jon Hamm - Oh Yes!

13 comments:

  1. I haven't watched the show but know of it. I suggested it to my mom who liked it but like you couldn't get past all the smoking and drinking. She would DVR it and FF through the sex scenes although she appreciates Joh as well.
    She smoked from about 18 to 30, Marlboro's too but about 1/2 a pack a day. She quit so my sister and I wouldn't smoke and we didn't. Last year she was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer - she's finally cancer free and recovering from the chemo. The dangers of second hand smoke from her parents.

    How are you preparing for the weather? A powerful system from the west and a second tropical storm hitting FL and moving up the coast quickly?

    It's going to be a very bad hurricane season.

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    1. Sean,

      Everytime they light up, which seems to be every minute, I cringe but yet I remember that's how it was back in the Sixties. I was guilty too. My father died of lung cancer. He was warned but he continued to smoke. Two of my good friends also died of lung cancer. I stopped smoking, they didn't. They're dead, I'm alive...at least for a while longer if prostate cancer doesn't get me.

      Hurricanes? We're way overdue. Like about one hundred years overdue. I hope we miss this one too.

      Ron

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  2. anne marie in philly1:39 PM

    oooooooooooooooooh brother...chest hair...(swoons)...

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    1. Anne Marie,

      It is refreshing to see real live chest hair isn't it? Shaved, baby ass smooth chests are so boring. I like a man's chest which is what Jon Hamm has.

      Ron

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  3. While I have a HUUUUUGE crush on Jon Hamm, and on John Slattery, too, I could never get into Mad Men.
    Aah, well.

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    1. Bob,

      The story lines are all over the place. Not the best scripts. I can't quite figure out what "Mad Men" is about other than making a statement about how backwards we were in the Sixties. I am somewhat hooked though so I'll get the rest of the DVD's and try and stay awake.

      Ron

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    1. Nadege,

      I like everything about him...EVERYTHING!

      Ron

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  5. I love looking at all the (apparently accurate) clothes, foodstuffs, furniture etc. I like the 'wow!" moments when someone does something quite taboo now (like drinking when pregnant) but considered OK then.

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    1. Dr. Spo,

      The clothes foodstuffs, furniture, etc ARE all accurate....I was there! Whoever is setting up that show must have also been there because they have every thing down to the last detail, even the skinny ties and the greased back hair. I remember BACK THEN I refused to put grease in my hair (I let it go dry) and I was criticized for it as I am now for going my own way. One thing that really strikes me about those times is all the smoking and it was true, everyone smoked! Hard to believe now in these "healthy" days. Trust me, some day in the future folks will look back on the "teens" and say "look at all the taboo stuff they did back then." Who was it that said "The times they be a changing." Zimmerman...er Bob Dylan?

      Ron

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  6. ron, you will like the storyline that develops with peggy, the secretary working her way up. she is a wonderful actress. i especially love joan, the curvy redhead. she is magnetic whenever she appears on the screen.

    i don't think you criticized the show at all! i think you commented on what bothered you, which is different. but if you don't like the sex, well, that ain't gonna stop here, though there is less emphasis in later seasons. what i do love is that NOBODY has cellphones yet! they actually relate to one another in person (well, they use phones, but it is different than it is now). and the look is amazing. the clothing is so much sexier than what the "kids" are wearing now--with their floppy urban outfitters androgeny. anyway, be patient with it--a show either grabs you or it doesn't! -tony

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    1. Tony,

      We think alike again. I immediately was drawn to the Peggy storyline. I thought I was odd because I found her story line more interesting than Don Draper's storyline. I also like Joan. I am hooked. Last night at the hotel, during a slow period I went on the Internet to check what the current situation is with the characters and was saddened to see that Peggy is leaving. The person who wrote the article also said he was saddened and wasn't sure if "Mad Men" would be worth watching now that Peggy is leaving the firm. He also mentioned something about the high price that Joan has to pay to be a partner in the firm. I find all this very, very interesting because I also started in the business world (banking) during the Sixties. They have the "look" exactly right which surprises me because usually when movies or TV try for a period look they usually get something wrong. I haven't seen one misstep yet on the Sixties Look on "Mad Men" which tells me that someone from the Sixties is coordinating the look.
      I jus sent back my two DVD's to Netflix today and am anxiously awaiting the next episodes. I'm not too put off by the sex scenes. It's just that some of them go on a bit too long and are boring for me (straight sex). There is just so much face sucking that I can take between straight people.

      Don't worry Tony, I'm hooked on "Mad Men."

      Ron

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    2. And another thing Tony, yes the dress was definitely much sexier back in The Day. I always knew that. :)

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