TV: "Mad Men"

Why do some people think this is the best show on television? I don't get it. :confused:

I’ve never watched it, but if you’re a guy who is interested in classic 40s era mens styles, there’s few resources and good as this TV show.

Again I can’t edit my messages. I don’t get it. :confused:

I wanted to add, the TV series is apparently set in the 60s. It still reeks of 40s to me though, minus the awesome fedoras.

I love the show. It seems the draw is for those of us who lived through the sixties. For me, it works well because I was a child then, seeing the sets and wardrobe now is like going home again, but this time I understand what I’m seeing from an adult perspective.

I enjoy how they cover the era from character development, touching upon some major events which changed our society but not putting those events front an center, as other shows have done.

I especially love the acting by John Hamm and John Slattery. The poise and finesse of Christina Hendricks is something we haven’t seen on TV in a very long time. Kiernan Shipka has done a remarkable job portraying the young daughter through all this, and she is about the same age I was at the time. It’s fun watching her react to the changes around her.

It’s just good drama.

I love that show! It took me awhile to get into it (I rented it on Netflix), and I love it. But I do love shows that go back in time. And Donald Draper isn’t bad to look at. hopes boyfriend doesn’t read this. It reminds me of looking at old photos that my mom had. I so want to steal the women’s wardrobe.

The setting is 1962. It is a mirror of the current obsession with the primary TV character template: The Dysfunctionals. It is not history except for the clothes and props. It is a distorted view from a non-Christian perspective. The Donna Reed Show was closer to my personal experience.

God bless,
Ed

Because they are told to?

It began in 1962. They are currently in 1965. The series is designed to run through the 60s.

Of course the story depicts dysfunction, it’s set in New York during the height of the advertising era as it had to transition from print to television. The Donna Reed show was set in Denison, Iowa. Big difference there in how cultural changing events were viewed and experienced such as the link to cancer and cigarettes, Marilyn Monroe’s death, MLK and JFKs assassinations, the legalization of the birth control pill, etc.

New York Times has an intriguing interactive article on that:
"Seeing History in ‘Mad Men’ "
nytimes.com/interactive/2010/07/16/arts/television/20100718-madmen-timeline.html

[quote="edwest2, post:6, topic:209579"]
The setting is 1962. It is a mirror of the current obsession with the primary TV character template: The Dysfunctionals. It is not history except for the clothes and props. It is a distorted view from a non-Christian perspective. The Donna Reed Show was closer to my personal experience.

God bless,
Ed

[/quote]

It began in 1962. They are currently in 1965. The series is designed to run through the 60s.

Of course the story depicts dysfunction, it's set in New York during the height of the advertising era as it had to transition from print to television. The Donna Reed show was set in Denison, Iowa. Big difference there in how culture changing events were viewed and experienced such as the link to cancer and cigarettes, Marilyn Monroe's death, the MLK and JFK assassinations, the legalization of the birth control pill, etc.

New York Times has an intriguing interactive article on that:
"Seeing History in 'Mad Men' "
nytimes.com/interactive/2...-timeline.html

Oh, the fashion! Even for the guys. I do enjoy and appreciate the details the wardrobe and prop team put into the production.

I love this show. It's refreshing to see something so well written on television.

For once, I really agree with Ed: I think “Mad Men” is an incredibly sleazy and suggestive show, particularly for something that’s on ‘basic’ cable. Is nobody else bothered by the fact that the Don Draper guy is such a…(won’t say the word)? I don’t care about how they’re all dressed and how dapper they all look: if I feel like I need to take a shower after I watch the show, that bugs me. There are the “at-the-agency” scenes on Mad Men, which are nice to watch, and then there are the “domestic” scenes, which are often more sordid and melodramatic than a bad Joan Crawford movie. I do think “Entourage” is a better-written show (and that Ari is a much more vicious shark than Don Draper). I guess I’m just genuinely surprised that “Mad Men,” with its ‘non-Christian perspective,’ has so many Catholic fans.

My older daughter (the professional stage manager) loves the show. I sat and watched several episodes with her, and really didn’t get it at all. I thought it was bleak and gloomy and I really got sick of seeing the blatant sin. There was so little “goodness” in the show.

I realize that shows can be well-written, beautifully constructed and costumed, and acted with great skill by very handsome people. I certainly recognize that Mad Men is superior to a lot of television shows; I don’t watch a lot of fiction on television, but many of the shows that I’ve seen are so silly with such completely fantastical plot points that I’ll admit, Mad Men is rather refresing. A lot of thought and time is put into Mad Men by all involved. It’s a very careful, spare show with no waste of anything. It’s obvious that every aspect of that show is studied and planned to make a maximum impact on the viewer.

But I can’t see the point of spending time immersing myself in something, even for an hour a week, that has such a negative, godless, sin-centric point of view. It’s depressing! It drags my spirit down!

As edwest2 pointed out, many of us who grew up in the 60s enjoyed very positive, wholesome lives in families where God was at the heart of our home, and people went to church and actually practiced what they learned in that church.

I think that Donna Reed was a little “white” and syrupy and not totally realistic, either. But I agree that it’s probably closer to what life was like for a lot of us, and it was certainly more uplifting than Mad Men. Yes, there were problems. I think that for black families, the early 60s was hardly a cozy happy time, although I know that many black families managed to live happy, wholesome family lives in spite of the turmoil and violence around them. There were other problems–women were considered second class (couldn’t have credit cards, didn’t drive, etc.). Fear of nuclear war was rampant (and still is!). Fear of communism was rampant (now it’s fear of Al-qaeda). And of course, there was Viet Nam–this dominated my childhood. But it was, for the most part, a good time to be a family in the U.S., at least until 1968. Then the whole world fell apart.

The smoking issue really bothers me. Why is it “cool” to show smoking on Mad Men, but not on any other television show? :confused: You can’t tell me that every forensic scientist, lawyer, cop, doctor, teacher, or teenage hottie doesn’t smoke, yet we never see anyone on CSI or NSIC or any of the medical shows or any of the teen shows step out for a smoke! Statistics tell us that more people are smoking in the U.S. today than ever. But for some hypocritical reason, we’re not allowed to see that on television anymore except on Mad Men. My daughter (yes, the professional stage manager again!) claims that most actors smoke–they try to present a “healthy” image in public, but in reality, they smoke because they get bored on the set during the hours of filming a show, and they can’t eat, so they smoke. So why does Hollywood try to pretend that no one smokes? Do they really think they’re fooling us?

Anyway, I didn’t care for the show. Too bleak.

[quote="havana1, post:1, topic:209579"]
Why do some people think this is the best show on television? I don't get it. :confused:

[/quote]

Because if personifies all the beliefs that the liberalized Hollywood System holds dear. Simple as that. I've only seen trailers for it and ads but what I've seen make me sick and even happier that I gave up cable years ago. :shrug:

Sorry if this goes off track, but I wonder what entertainment is “appropriate” for Catholics? :confused: Personally, I don’t like to watch religious shows or movies (if I wanted Church, I would go to Church), or listen to religious music (if I wanted listen to a type of music, I’d rather listen to the original, not some Catholic imitator).

[quote="havana1, post:12, topic:209579"]
For once, I really agree with Ed: I think "Mad Men" is an incredibly sleazy and suggestive show, particularly for something that's on 'basic' cable. Is nobody else bothered by the fact that the Don Draper guy is such a....(won't say the word)? I don't care about how they're all dressed and how dapper they all look: if I feel like I need to take a shower after I watch the show, that bugs me. There are the "at-the-agency" scenes on Mad Men, which are nice to watch, and then there are the "domestic" scenes, which are often more sordid and melodramatic than a bad Joan Crawford movie. I do think "Entourage" is a better-written show (and that Ari is a much more vicious shark than Don Draper). I guess I'm just genuinely surprised that "Mad Men," with its 'non-Christian perspective,' has so many Catholic fans.

[/quote]

Mad Men does present the fashion, the dialogue and parts of the mood of the era well, but that's it. I do not watch TV shows that present sleaze well.

Good dialogue or well written mean nothing to me when sleaze and the underhanded are the themes. Did the 1960s have people like this? Of course. Were they the "norm"? No. There is also the aspect of burying the past under a layer of sleaze. The bias of the creators of Mad Men is obvious. Too bad all that skill is being wasted.

Entourage? Don't get me started. I've had some experience with Hollywood and dealing with people like that in real life... Chilling, impersonal, only the money matters... A cold shower does not begin to take away the sensation.

God bless,
Ed

[quote="CountrySinger, post:15, topic:209579"]
Sorry if this goes off track, but I wonder what entertainment is "appropriate" for Catholics? :confused: Personally, I don't like to watch religious shows or movies (if I wanted Church, I would go to Church), or listen to religious music (if I wanted listen to a type of music, I'd rather listen to the original, not some Catholic imitator).

[/quote]

My daughter has been working on this issue in her graduate studies. Her dissertation is about conflicts in faith and art. It's a good question because these issues are deeper than many Christians are willing to admit. It's not just black and white. It's not just Donna Reed vs. Mad Men.

I would say that appropriate entertainment for Catholics/Christians is something that can be used by the Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus.

So by that definition, Mad Men could be appropriate entertainment for Catholics. I can see how someone could watch it and have their eyes opened to various sinful and sleazy habits and practices in their lives, and be so appalled that they repent and confess their sins, then call upon the Holy Spirit to help them eliminate such things from their lives and become more holy.

OTOH, I can see why immersing oneself in Mad Men could cause one to become nonchalent towards sin and sleaze and eventually get to a place where they can't recognize it as sin anymore. In other words, *Mad Men * could weaken the conscience.

What I would suggest is that Christians should get their own faith in good shape before making decisions about entertainment. Make sure that your sins are confessed and forgiven. Make sure that you are obeying the precepts of the Church, especially weekly attendance at Mass. Cultivate an active prayer life. Read the Bible often. Spend time with older and/or wiser Christians and sit at the feet of the best Christian teachers either in person or through their books and CDs.

After you have your spiritual ducks in a row, then choose your entertainment. I think that when people draw close to God and His Church, they will find that many of the world's most alluring entertainments no longer entertain them.

I personally like art that tells a really good story. Whether movies, television, literature, dance, music, visual art, or theater, I like good stories that make sense and hang together, and that make me a better person for having experienced the story. That's just my personal preference.

E.g., I love the book Dracula, by Bram Stoker, and I read it at least once a year. It is a rip-snorting good story with lots of action, great dialogue, and magnificent themes of faith, courage, and self-sacrifice. Yes, it's about a vampire and the people who hunt him down--sure doesn't sound very "Christian," does it?! But I consider it excellent entertainment for Christians.

In the 1930s, the Catholic Legion of Decency was created. The following document explains it better than I can:

vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_29061936_vigilanti-cura_en.html

The Legion existed until 1973. Under constant assault by artists and intellectuals who claimed their "creative freedom" was compromised by censorship, the irony is that truly serious attempts at making great art began to rapidly decline after the appearance of the Adult Bookstore in the same time frame.

The goal was a 'sexually liberated' culture and one liberated from Divine authority as well. Here it is. We now have the freedom to acquire more STDs than existed in 1960. This is better?

The issue is extremely black and white. I work in the media and have watched the poison slowly dripped into our veins over a 40 year period. At first, they claimed they were defending art, now with global, 24/7 porn, they are not hiding their true intentions anymore. They have engineered society to be like them. They are comfortable now.

God bless,
Ed

[quote="edwest2, post:18, topic:209579"]
We now have the freedom to acquire more STDs than existed in 1960. This is better?

[/quote]

The more medically and grammatically accurate term is STI's, since they are infections that are (more often than not) treatable with antibiotics.

I'm going to watch some Mad Men right now. I can't believe I didn't get into this show sooner. Each shot is stunning, and Don Draper is one of the most interesting characters I've seen in a while.

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