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Aug 10, 2011

Mad Men and the early Sixties

Friends, I started watching Mad Men yesterday.  With three episodes of Season 1 under by belt, I am sorry to say that I think I've had enough.

It's a lot easier to criticize others' creative output than to be creative yourself and it's obvious that Mad Men is a collective labor of love.  The achievements of Mad Men stylist Janie Bryant in recreating the look of the period deserve praise.  But the writers' take on Sixties attitudes and relationships is one big politically-incorrect cliché.

This series -- which could be dubbed Cigarettes and Alcohol and the Miserable Sexist WASPs Who Consumed Them -- feels like it was made by people who have no living knowledge of the period, but can't get over the fact that women were once called girls.
The theme of the banality of prosperous postwar America and the stultifying conformity that oppressed so many affluent white Americans is a familiar one.  We've been here before -- from Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, to John Updike, to films like The Graduate, Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven and many, many others.  

In Mad Men, all the men are aggressive louts and lotharios, the women submissive, competitive (with each other), or outcasts.  Nobody's happy because, you see, the American Dream is....... a MYTH! (Sound familiar?)

This series is so bogged down in recreating Sixties style -- long-line dress silhouettes, knotty pine kitchen cabinets, vintage IBM Selectric typewriters; endless close-ups of office bars and ashtrays and rotary phones and tailfins -- that the substance takes second place.

And the substance -- society's "winners" and their lives of quiet, nicotine-addicted desperation -- is old news.  

The postwar world of corporate conformity was already ripe for satire while it was happening.  Just watch Billy Wilder's Oscar-winning The Apartment starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, from 1960.  Nobody was more cynical about contemporary American life than Billy Wilder, and this classic film nails the greed, the sexism -- indeed the sickness -- beneath the slick veneer of American success.

The Apartment still feels fresh today.  It's funny, knowing, and terribly moving.  You'll learn much more about life in 1960 than you ever will from the Postwar America 101 version that is Man Men.

Looking for a deftly clever satire on advertising?  Try Lover Come Back, starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson from 1961, another brilliant send-up of the duplicitous, appallingly sexist, cut-throat world of the early Sixties three-martini-lunch business world.

Both Lover Come Back and The Apartment address the competitive "jock" culture that was very much in evidence in (and in many ways defines) the corporation.  But unlike Mad Men, these films handle these themes with a lightness and charm utterly lacking in the contemporary series, not to mention sharp writing, masterful acting (neither Jack Lemmon nor Doris Day has ever been better) and genuine affection (and sympathy) for their characters.

Watch these films and then go back to Mad Men and you'll know what I mean instantly.  The slurred diction and amateurish acting alone make it painful to watch.  And the unrelenting ugliness of the human relationships represented is depressing.

In other news, friends, I also watched Coco Before Chanel and I loved it.  Audrey Tautou gives a beautiful performance as the young, soon-to-be-famous couturier, and the period styling is perfect without the film ever being about the period styling.

Why are French films able to present human relationships with subtlety and non-judgment and create characters of such dimensionality -- even when they're biographical films and have to stick to the facts -- and why can't Hollywood do this anymore (if it every could)?

In closing, friends, I'm taking off my film critic hat for the day now; I'm much more comfortable with the sewing machine. And there will be sewing today. There must be!

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Anyone seen The Apartment or Lover Come Back?


  1. You should watch "A common thread" (Brodeuses in french). Very touching

  2. Yes! I love both those movies! And I have never watched an episode of Mad Men...there is just too much to do, and other neat things to watch than an soap based TV show...even if the clothes are pretty...

  3. I love your posts. You made it two more episodes in to 'Mad Men' than I did. I felt like a dork because it didn't grab me the way it seems to have everyone else--I just HATED everything about it...the despicable characters, the sexism...bleah. I'm definately going to the library and check out a copy of 'Lover come back' for the week-end. Looks FUN! Have you seen 'Down with Love?' The spoof on the Rock Hudson/Doris day movies of the day staring Ewan McGregor and Renee Zellweger? So much fun to watch and the spoof on the fashions of the day is super fun and oddly intriguing, throw in David Hyde Pierce doing the Tony Randall type Character and it's spot on....and Tony Randall even makes a cameo.

  4. Soaps really don't do it for me, but I remember the sexism and smoke filled offices and IBM Selectrics only too well. Don't miss any of it BTW.

  5. Wow.

    My husband and I just started watching Mad Men a week ago, and we tore through the first season pretty quickly. I was pretty hooked, but now I want to check out the films you suggested. Watching Mad Men is draining, and not just the way a good, sad movie is draining. I think you must be right - it must be the worn-out cliche and the lack of humanity. I'm really interested to see how other films tackled similar subject matter.

  6. You pretty much nailed how I felt about it. I really wanted to like it.

  7. I made it further you did in Mad Men. I think I watched all of season one over the course of several days. I got focused on other things and couldn't come back to keep watching it. Eventually I was able to come back to it and realized I didn't really want to. I honestly didn't care about any of the characters. They were all so... flawed. But not in an interesting way, there was nobody to root for.
    Maybe part of my issue with this is the disconnect with reality. This was the same time that my Grandparents (also named Don and Betty) were raising their own young children in Connecticut. Knowing people from that era and the actual way people acted and lived in that time might make it harder to connect with a TV show that can look back at an era and pick and choose how it wants to present it.

  8. I have seen both movies, though not in years, and loved them. I find Mad Men strangely maddening; I couldn't agree more. The people are stereotypical and their behavior is disturbing but flat. I don't think that there is one character that I actually like. I play it anyway because I like to have something on when I am working and I don't end up paying all that much attention to it. My dh hates it.

  9. I've seen The Apartment and I've watched a bit of Mad Men and I think the writers came to this with the position of 'We're going to write the show that should have been done in the early 60s except that the movies and TV networks wouldn't let anyone do what we're going to do.' I'm wondering how people would have responded to Mad Men if it had been done like The Apartment?

  10. Toby, when you say "done like The Apartment" do you mean with more humor/affection for its characters? Less graphic language?

  11. "The Apartment" is a fantastic movie. Billy Wilder in general didn't go wrong, even in his fluffier films, but this one is particularly good. Fred MacMurray did a great villain. I've never watched "Mad Men" and now I don't have to! (I don't watch TV anyway -- we don't have cable.)

    Another good movie from that period in the darker vein is "Sweet Smell of Success" -- late 50s New York City in the film noir style.

  12. I also wasn't able to get into Mad Men. But I thought I was the only person in the universe that felt this way. So thanks. :D

  13. I love Mad Men. I felt sympathy for a lot of the characters--I esp. enjoyed seeing Peggy evolve. Now that I think of it, I enjoyed seeing most of them evolve. I like long complicated stories with lots of characters and I like for the main characters to be mixtures of good and bad.

    I was a teenager in the 60s and it is interesting to relive the history-- The past always seems easier than the present, but it was not of course. I also remember how you could never get away from cigarette smoke. I love remembering the clothes and I got a big charge seeing the Singer sewing machine in Betty's parents' spare bedroom. Everybody's mother, it seemed, had a Singer sewing machine in her spare bedroom.

  14. I must admit, I am about ten episodes in and I watch it like a train wreck I can't tear myself away from, even though I end up being disappointed with humanity. I am personally more a Pillow Talk gal, and another favorite is Down With Love, which I think captured that whole Doris Day/Rock Hudson genre perfectly.

  15. I love Mad Men. As disturbing as it may be that unfortunately was the way people acted and thought. In later episodes they do touch on the issues you bring up. I think part of the point is that they want you to cringe. Don't give up just yet I'm on Season 4. Some of the topics they bring up are civil rights, abortion, and more.

  16. I feel like you hit the nail squarely on the head with this post.

    I've been watching Mad Men and it hasn't been sitting right with me for lots of reasons.

    I understand that it is a period piece - lets get that out of the way, because i've had several people try to tell me i DIDN'T understand that when discussing the themes within the show.

    Yes, it's a period piece, and it's about a period of time where women weren't equal and people of color were segregated. Okay, i get that.

    It's an interesting idea to set a show in this time period and try to discuss these things. however, these discussions are severely lacking in this show, as generally all we get is "OMG LOOK AT HOW SHITTY MEN WERE TO WOMEN BACK THEN", and then nothing else.

    There's an episode in the second season where Joan is raped by her fiancee. However, the way it is handled is that Joan, being sexually active with her fiancee, and being a woman and there for lesser, must acquiesce to her fiancee's sexual appetites and even thought she protests and obviously is not consenting to sexual intercourse with him, she eventually lies back and accepts her fate. We don't discuss this any further in the show. Frankly, the way the scene is written doesn't even accurately depict the event AS rape, so i don't even know if many viewers even realized that, they just probably thought joan had some rough sex she wasn't that in to (no, it was rape.)

    This is how the show misses the mark. YOu cannot bring up these things and then stop the discussion of them once they've occured in the plot line. That isn't discussion. That is regurgitating a sexist attitude.

    I agree that it seems that the writers almost revel in writing these scenes, and proving just how loathsome their Lotharios are. Someone defended this to me by pointing out that a majority of the writers of the show are Women, as well as the production staff. That's all well and good, but that doesn't make the show any less sexist.

    By portraying these sexist and racist circumstances with little to no discussion of their impact, repercussions, or developing story-lines that show how detrimental these attitudes are, you're not being ground breaking and revolutionary - you're towing the status quo and reinforcing these racist and sexist stereotypes and actions.

    I guarantee you a generous percentage of this show's viewership finds the sexism and racism in the show "charmingly funny", because it's a "period piece", but like i said, this kind of humor and writing only reinforces these ideas, it doesn't deconstruct, dismantle or discuss them or their impact.

    This show had a great potential to have been legitimately responsible in it's discussion of this time period, and instead we get chain smoking, alcoholic social troglodytes.

  17. I LOVE The Apartment! That's one of my favorite films. And I had a similar reaction to Mad Men - I only lasted 3 episodes too.

  18. I love Doris Day, not the most inspiring style icon but she's awesome to watch in movies.

  19. I love watching Mad Men, although it becomes sort of like watching a train wreck at times. The second season is better than the first, and may be the best.

    Isn't Lover Come Back the movie where Doris Day is an advertising exec. who obviously is out of her depth? I found the movie demeaning to women.

    I find much of Mad Men culturally recognizable. The way women were treated, how women were supposed to act. The picture album you found at the flea market reflects that time very well. I didn't live that kind of life, but I recognize elements of it from my experience. But the story is about Don Draper. The double identity is of course symbolic. The sleeping around reflects more about the character, than about the culture, I think. The opening sequence, the fall, that's what the story is about. Whether there is ever redemption is for Matt Weiner to decide.

  20. Never watched it and don't plan to. I checked TCM's schedule and "The Apartment" is on tonight! I've already pushed the DVR to record.

  21. As you well know I love Mad Men...just hearing the opening music makes me happy. Maybe it is just not your thing...but you need to give it more than 3 episodes. That's like only watching 3 minutes of a movie and then deciding it is bad. It takes time for the characters to be developed, because it is not a movie. There actually is a lot of substance and provocative themes that are touched on in the series.

    Seeing Peggy go from secretary to writer (breaking the glass ceiling in a small way), unwanted pregnancy, and sex from this very 'plain-jane' girl...and that is just a small piece of one character. I could go through each character...but if you ever decide to watch it again, I would not want to give away any more of what happens.

    It is a tragic story and much of it is about how success and money DO NOT buy happiness...

  22. Were I to watch more Mad Men episodes, I'd certainly get a better sense of how its storylines and characters develop. My critique is merely of what I've seen so far.

    The exploitation by the more powerful of the less powerful is a universal theme. Whether it's sexual exploitation or class exploitation, it's all part of the same thing and we are STILL there: maybe we've evolved in some areas but we have devolved in others.

    Of course there was more overt sexism in the 60s, and more smoking and drinking. Today we have more drugs and violence, and less social cohesion. Sexism, along with racism, religious bigotry, etc., are still here and economic inequality is growing. Just pick up a newspaper.

    Is this a better time to be, say, a black woman in America? Yes, without a doubt. How about a union assembly line worker in the auto (or steel, or textile) industry? For that person, the 60s was a golden age.

    My point is that exploitation is always with us and that, dramatically, it's not very interesting by and of itself. A narrative needs three-dimensional characters with rich inner lives. I didn't see that in the Mad Men episodes I've seen so far, or very little. The characters felt like stereotypes, nothing I haven't seen before in literature and film.

    Showing an audience how sexist (and smoke-filled)life was suggests that we have progressed, that we have evolved. I would argue that we have not. We have elected representatives who do not believe in birth control, let alone gay marriage, and want to ban all pornography. We're going backwards.

  23. Peter, I can't stand Mad Men, either! While the costumes are great, the blatant sexism, etc, is repugnant. I found the incessant smoking so distracting, almost offensive as it seemed to interrupt the flow of dialouge. You summed it up perfectly, as usual.

    Glad to hear Coco is great as I've wanted to see that. Haven't seen The Apartment in a while, so I must borrow that from the library.

  24. I never got into it, either. Heck, the only new-ish show I've gotten into lately is The Walking Dead. And while I'm not so much into horror, Zombie Apocalypses set in what basically amounts to my hometown are somehow amusing....

  25. Shirley Maclaine was powerful in "The Children's Hour", and now seeing this I understand why she became a star.

    As for Mad Men, it's easy to sell the underbelly, though these days there's equal opportunity sexual exploitation.

    I'd go so far as to say corporations are whore houses with conference rooms.

  26. I love Mad Men. I'm going through withdrawal because it's coming on January instead of the summer. It won Best Drama Emmys 3 years running. That just can't be because of the clothes. They must be doing something right.

  27. Thank you...someone agrees with me about Mad Men! The Apartment is a wonderful movie along with so many other older films! I'm a Turner Classic Movies 'girl'!

  28. I thought I was out of the loop not being "into" Mad Men. Usually if a show interests me then I'll make an effort to watch it. I'm glad to hear that I'm missing much. I live Revolutionary Road! It was so sad and believable.

  29. Don't be fooled by Coco Avant Chanel.. They didn't stick to the facts. They made a fairy tale out of her life.

  30. Why is it that French films (especially high-budget ones) can only present fabulous women in terms of their relationships with men? Coco was such an unusual person, and while her childhood is pretty well depicted in the movie all hell breaks loose when she hits adulthood, and men. No hint of the social disapproval and isolation that she endured because of her extramarital relationship(s). One picked almost at random to be the 'true love' of a woman who clamored the fact that she was not monogamous. And finally a discreet sweeping under the carpet of the later unfortunate parts of her life, like the struggles against the workers in 36, the affair with the German officer and the collabo undertones during wwii.
    You take a strong and complex person, and reduce her to schlock with a veneer of couture. Bravo.
    That said, they did do the silk pajamas really well :-)..

  31. I agree Peter! I only made it through 1.5 episodes, but what I saw did not make me feel like I needed to watch anymore. Maybe the show grows in the following episodes, but I don't really care to find out... I look forward to looking up these films you suggested though!

  32. Peter, Yes, Yes and Yes! I can't bear to watch MM because all the characters are souless.

  33. I not a fan of mad men but watched the show a few times mainly up see the clothing. Before going to see Promises Promises on Broadway last year (Shawn Hayes) I rented The Apartment becauses Promises Promises was based on this movie. Based on? I was disappointed in Promises because it was similar to The Apartment...I always enjoy seeing Shirley Maclaine...a great actress. In fact she made a movie about Coco, have you seen it? I do agree with you about French films, they are full of emotions and in depth character development, I rent quite a few French films from Netflix...

  34. I haven't tried watching Mad Men. But I also didn't really like The Apartment - although it's been a long time since I watched it and I may judge it differently now. But I just can't stand that back then and even to this day in Hollywood the happy solution for a woman is almost invariably finding another man, while the happy solution for the man is to find self respect/stand up for himself - ie: he finds inner strength, she finds a new boyfriend. I know that's an oversimplification, but it plays out again and again, even in films that were supposed to be enlightened for their day. (Wow, I guess I wore my feminist panties today.)

  35. Clio, you make an excellent point.

    I would only add that these are the conventions of romantic narratives, and they are still largely in place -- unless the film, say, is ABOUT a woman's professional ambition, in which case she often pays a personal price (esp. years ago, in a film like "Mildred Pierce"), or, more common today, gets the man too (Think "Working Girl" with Melanie Griffith).

    I think our society is still very invested in the classic Cinderella rescue fantasy. If it didn't speak to audiences it wouldn't have lasted as long as it has.

    In The Apartment, Fran Kubelick DOES stand up for herself and find self-respect, not simply another man. And C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) finds her as much as she finds him -- she's his rescuer as much as he is hers, imo.

  36. I have stayed away from Mad Men because I know it would upset me. I went to college on the East Coast, at a very sub-Ivy, wealthy legacy, caters to the prep school crowd university. I hobnobbed with people who were JUST like the characters in Mad Men (this is in the early 90s):

    Soulless conformists? Check.
    Reckless sleeping around to prove your macho cred? Check.
    Rampant sexism and racism? Check.
    Large amounts of anorexia, rape, alcoholism, and really good fashion? Also check.

    College was the worst four years of my life. Why would I want to relive them?

  37. it took me a while to begin to watch MadMen. I just finished watching Season 4 Episode 4 (Tomorrowland, et al) all I can say as a Black woman, not much has changed. I do enjoy the clothing. I've seen the Apartment and Lover Come Back (I've seen pretty much all of DD's & RH's movies). I would be foolish to think MM, the Apartment, et al. would resonate with me. Peter, try to watch MM if for nothing but the Extras for a bit of 60's history. They got some of the info about Medgar Evers (Episode 5), right!

  38. I gave up on MM after 2 seasons - I was hoping to see more plot and character development for closet gay Salvatore Romano - but it was not on the agenda.

  39. I have never watched Mad Men. I don't watch much TV.

    I liked The Apartment, haven't seen lover come back, but I did see Teacher's Pet with Clark Gable. I think that was set in the 60's and he pretends to
    be a journalist student, and Doris Day is a teacher.
    I think he wants to show that her famous father's ariticles were nothing more than sensless dribble.
    Something like that anyway. Probably got it all wrong.

  40. I gave Mad Men my faint praise yesterday. It's validating to hear so many others feel the same. I love to watch Doris Day and Rock Hudson do their schtick, oh, and Jack Lemmon melts my heart. But in support of the Mad Men craze, I think that many of us not in the size 0 or 2 category might find something hopeful in Mad Men's resurrection of clothes constructed for women with curvy bodies. And Peter, you are right about the evolution deficit in our political representatives, literally, figuratively, and infuriatingly.

  41. I watched Coco Before Chanel a few months ago and was absolutely enchanted by it... In fact I think I need to add it to my dvd collection. ;)

    Mad Men... I was intrigued the first two seasons, but once it started to seem to repeat the depressing slant towards human relationships, I kind of lost interest. Sure, it's period eye candy, but the fact that none of the characters seem to be remotely happy bothers me. I also hated the fact that they seem to blithely skip over important historic events that touched just about every American at the time. I have it in my Netflix queue right now, but can't bring myself to watch it--I'd rather watch something a bit more lighthearted and from the period, I guess! (My life has enough dark periods without having to watch other peoples!)

  42. For a more British view of the 60's try "Made in Dagenham" - true story of gutsy working class women fighting for equal pay with Biba fashions and humour.

  43. for another view of Advertising in the 60s and some cool 60s fashions, what about Bewitched?

  44. That's another blog post! ;)

  45. I'm with you! I started watching Mad Men about a year ago, and while I love the hair and the outfits, I haven't managed to watch more than five episodes until today. The relationships really are very depressing. Funny thing, though: I really like watching Eureka and I love the dresses Alison Blake wears!

  46. The Apartment is a great movie. I don’t watch Mad Men because I was just a kid in the sixties, but I remember that cigarette smoke was everywhere. I used to play with my father’s packs of cigarettes as if they were blocks. Having a drink (or two or three) at lunch was ok. Everything smelled of cigarettes and booze. Every place smelled like a smoky bar.

    Men making sexual comments to women in public was common. I was just a kid and I was aware of it! I hated it.

    I remember a party at my father’s place of business that included the families. I remember that some of the guys had pictures on the walls from Playboy and this was considered to be ok. It never occurred to them that maybe the women there would be offended; that maybe at least for “family day” they should hide the photos; that there were kids there that day.

    I love the clothes, but I would not want to go back in time.

  47. I love love love Mad Men to bits. It's one of the very few series I watch as it screens on TV (usually I just record stuff to watch at my leisure). I then go and read all about it on the relevant blogs (TLo being the best), and then re-watch it all over again the next morning. I'm finding the hiatus incredibly frustrating.

    And yet I get where you come from. The series came highly praised when it first screened on UK TV but I found I had all the same reservations as you do at first. But I persevered and by the end of Season 1, I was totally hooked. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted cynic, but I'm not at all shocked or depressed by the attitudes of the characters. On the contrary they all strike me as very real and perfectly judged. I've been re-watching Bewitched in the light of Mad Men, which has put such a different spin on it... Looking forward to reading your post on that!

  48. I couldn't get through the first season of the show. I genuinely felt like I was missing episodes and went back a couple of times to check because the storylines hopped all over the place and sped up and resolved with no clarification whatsoever! It was insufferable.

    Some friends and I were talking about the show a while ago, and I said, "It feels like a soap opera for men," and he shouted, "That's exactly what it is!"

  49. I'm with you--it's a depressing show. Though the biggest reason I stopped watching was ... I had a dream that Pete Campbell tried to strangle me in the parking lot of Joann Fabrics!

  50. I'm always disappointed by TV. So I don't watch it.

  51. I agree with a lot of your comments, Peter. I'm not a MM fan myself.
    I lived and worked in NYC in the 60's, MM is a shallow romp through that time.
    Interestingly (to me) my young friends who like the show seem completely focused only on the smoking, finding the other troublesome behaviors simply humorous.
    Another great film set in the postwar period - The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit starring Gregory Peck.

  52. Interesting post as always Peter.

    I started watching Mad Mad a while ago and have just started season three. I'm not gonna lie a large part of why I watch it is the clothes. I find it somewhat well written and the female characters are a a lot more interesting than a lot of shows I’ve seen recently. (which is really sad)

    I think my biggest problem with the show is that while there are trying to portray the sexism, racism, and classism of the time, they are doing it through the eyes of privileged white people(mostly men). There are hardly any people of color on the show and they all have minor roles.

    The Drapper's have a black maid/nanny but we don't know anything about her expect her name. I think this is a huge mistake and a lot of wasted potential.

    The show had two gay characters, but one was lost between seasons, and I hear the other gets written off at the end of season three. So we really have no voice of minorities, which I find so disappointing.

    I'll make sure to check out all those movies you mentioned.

    Re: Shelly J
    I'm so glad I am not the only one who feels that way! I always feel like there is something I am missing.

  53. OMG Thank you! I forced myself to watch the first 6 or 7 episodes because I love the clothes/style & I'd heard that it was such a great critique of sexism/racism/etc. I didn't really get that out of the first few episodes, but I figured the show had to get better... as far as I can tell, it didn't. I had to stop after the 2nd or 3rd disc because I hated it so much (found it as flat, boring, dumbed-down, unimaginative, etc. as you seemed to find it) that I couldn't continue. Maybe it gets better several seasons later, but I don't have that much time to invest in mediocre television!

    (And I'm too young to have lived through the 60s, but I grew up watching Billy Wilder movies too-- SO MUCH BETTER at making the same points that Mad Men seems to aim for... and funny, too!)

  54. Peter,...
    I wondered what your opinion on the Mad Men series would be. There are certain movies you can watch while you are doing other things (like sewing) and others that are best viewed while sitting focused on the screen and dialogue. Mad Men is in the latter group.

    I'm a Mad Men fan (for many reasons.) I appreciate the show so much that while waiting during the Season 2 to 3 hiatus, I led a monthly "Mad Men Movie" discussion on the AMC site where each movie mentioned during the series was discussed. One month's discussion was the movie, "The Apartment."...(It was menorable..) I'm not really a movie buff, but these discussions really opened my eyes to what the grown-up world was experiencing during that era. (I was a little older than Sally in real life, so rose-colored glasses were still a part of my life.) I don't think anyone would love the series unless you were there (ie., old enough) or interested enough in the ad world during that period. The clothes alone are not enough to keep you engaged.

    Yes, it may seem the series is slow....but, life is that way isn't it? Sorry it didn't grab you. You don't have to...we love you for many other reasons! :)

  55. I find its popularity a bit strange too. I'm not a big fan of misery drama anyway, but to find it pleasantly nostalgic somehow? Bizarre. The only thing I really hear people talk about are the clothes, the sexism and dull office politics. Thats not enough for me to watch something - not when there are Billy Wilder films still available!

  56. Very late to the party here but I've always thought that we were never supposed to love 'Mad Men' as we love a frothy romantic comedy such as 'Lover Come Back' -- they're cut from far different cloth with very different purposes, made in different eras with different social and economic pressures. Unrelenting depressive drama, form over function or substance, shallow characters and cliches, historical misinformation -- this all occurs in all eras whether satire of current events or as retrospective. I'm not sure I understand the comparisons being made (and I'm not necessarily defending 'Mad Men'; some of the criticism being expressed here is spot-on).

    1. Your comments are always welcome, no matter the time, Mouse!


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