1. JDawg
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    JDawg New Member

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    Mad Men

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by JDawg, May 31, 2013.

    Loove this show. Anyone else a fan?

    Wtf is Don's problem?
     
  2. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    Yeah, I used to watch regularly.

    Don has an identity crisis, in an in-authentic world of advertising, constant booze consumption, objectified women, etc. So despite his outward demeanour, he's intrinsically screwed up. But he's mercurial, too. Adaptable. I think the show is about his quest to become enlightened, as mirrored in the gradual shift out of the 50's and in to the 60's. But I haven't seen the later seasons, so I don't know if it plays out well for him.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have the complete box set, seen every episode, still don't know if I like the show or even why it's so popular. Each season seems to be the same storylines different decade. I can see them all killing themselves when they eventually catch up on this decade and smoking is banned from the workplace...
     
  4. Webster
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    Webster Senior Member

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    You need to read my post on the bad lit thread. :)
     
  5. ECKS
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    ECKS Member

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    I like this show too, unfortunately I haven't been watching since episode 4 of season 6. Throwback shows are great because me and my dad live in a modern 1960's throwback house almost. We can watch them together while my dad spouts out facts about pop culture from the way-back.

    Boardwalk Empire is another show to check out if you like this.
     
  6. Juju Bagdasarian
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    Juju Bagdasarian Member

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    i just watched episode 9 of season 6 the show is really nice we get to see a good history lesson and entertainmentwith the beuty of the 50' and 60'
     
  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't had a chance to watch the last two seasons. I loved the first three, but my suspension of disbelief was beginning to flag a little during Season 4. The story seemed very focused during the first few seasons, and you just KNEW Don's life was going to fall apart. But so far, it really hasn't, and it's beginning to play a bit like a soap opera. A classy one, indeed, but I'm now beginning to wonder if the writers actually know where this story is going. I hope so. I'd hate to see it fizzle out.
     
  8. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    EXACTLY!

    Season 1 and 3 of Mad Men are the two greatest seasons of American dramatic television I have ever seen. They are phenomenal and brilliant in every way. Season 2 is also great, but because the creators likely didn't expect to be picked up for a sophomore effort, the first six episodes are particularly slow-paced.

    Unfortunately, there is a noticeable dip in quality in Season 4, and a major one by Season 5. It's still a good show, but no longer the same.

    Without getting into the nitty-gritty for now, I loved three things about Mad Men during its first three seasons;

    1. How sharp and accurate they were with the details of that era.
    2. The subtle nature of the plot, as well as the character's actions and emotions.
    3. A strong element of realism throughout the show. Yes, even in the early episodes, certain aspects of 60's life were greatly exaggerated, but there was a consistency and realism to the events nonetheless.

    During the last two seasons, they have been fucking up the details more and more, often to a startling and lazy degree. Also, the show went from being subtle to bashing the audience over the head with its themes and messages. It has frequently become cartoonish.

    Haven't watched Season 6 yet as it hasn't come out on Netflix, but I'm almost scared to. It's tough seeing a show that was such a masterpiece keep declining.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love love love this show. I am not even sure what season they are in now, but I think this season is better than last. I love the realism involved with the reaction to events. And the characters are fantastic. Don is such a flawed person, and he struggles so much with his identity. He thrives in the advertising world, creating a picture of a perfect life, when his was so tragic and awful until he assumed someone else's identity. Then the only person (the real Don Draper's wife) who knew who he really was, and loved and accepted him for it was unconnected to his real identity.

    And Pete -- oh, what a wonderfully complex character. He so often can be the worst, most despicable person, yet occasionally he can be the most moral and sympathetic. His reactions to deaths and assassinations is always so much deeper than are anyone else's on the show.
     
  10. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    But still worse than Season 4 and much worse than Seasons 1 through 3?

    Great, you just reminded me of my least favorite episode during the first 3 seasons; the JFK assassination. Having Pete suddenly play the good, moralistic little liberal hit an especially sour note too, for several reasons.

    However, the actor portraying Pete does a wonderful job, and he is certainly an interesting character. It's also worth noting that the best episode in all of Season 5, Episode 5, is centered entirely around Pete's marginalization.
     
  11. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I loved that episode -- that was one of my favorite episodes ever, the way they captured the feeling of what was going on. I don't see Pete as playing the liberal -- just that there is continually something that strikes him about killing, how wrong it is. It shows that he's not just a terrible person, even though he comes off that way in so many other respects. I think he's a fantastic character, because there is so complex and he's got those contradictory aspects to his personality.

    I can't remember specifically S5E5, but I like how the show deals with Pete's marginalization. That's one of his biggest fears, and makes him all the more tragic. I haven't seen anything else that Vincent Kartheiser has done, but I'm really eager to, because he does such a great job playing Pete -- I'd like to see him play someone completely different.

    I did like the first 3 seasons the best, but I don't know that I'd say this one is worse than season 4. Seasons 4 and 5 get pretty heavily into Megan, and I don't find her as interesting, although I'm not in the camp that despises her to the core. I still think that even the worst seasons or episodes of Mad Men are light years better than even some of the best of most of the rest of the shows on television.
     
  12. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    It wasn't horrible, but I found it mediocre, which sticks out in the company of the consistently great, brilliant episodes in Season 3. And I tried to separate my disdain for JFK as a criminal, lousy human being, and disastrous president from the episode itself, but that was difficult to do considering how much attention was lavished upon the historical event.

    Also, he is treated as an unquestioned hero by the most morally staunch and virtuous characters in the series, Carla and Trudy. And in that scene with Pete, anyone who doesn't mourn over his death is presented as a heartless bastard.

    Look, I get that Weiner is a liberal like the rest of Hollywood, but it rarely affects the quality of the show in any manner, since he keeps politics out of it. It does in that episode.

    The one where Pete fails at fixing a leak (whereas Don succeeds), unsuccessfully woos a graduating high school senior at his driving school, sleeps with a prostitute while working on the Jaguar account with the pervy British chap, and finally engaging in fisticuffs with Layne!

    Opportunities might be hard for the guy, considering there is a shortage of both interesting roles in television and movies nowadays, as well as his very unique physical look. He looks like a slightly overgrown young boy.

    I mentioned some of my problems with Seasons 4 and 5 above. I have no problems with Megan as a character, or how much screen time she gets.

    I'm more disappointed by another new character, Michael Ginsburg, and how flat and dull he is compared to the people that worked at the old Sterling Cooper. Or how they turned Harry Crane from a complex, intelligent, compassionate figure into a cold-hearted, ridiculous buffoon.
     
  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yes - I remember that one. I kept saying "WTF, Pete!!!"

    I agree that I wish they'd do more with Michael Ginsburg's character -- I mean, being orphaned in a concentration camp, wow, what a backstory. But we hardly see anything from him.

    I don't agree so much about the liberal bias in that episode. Most of the characters voted for Nixon, yet they were still dismayed by the whole assassination. Everyone is so much more polarized today, and much less naive.
     
  14. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    It's ambiguous whether the concentration camp story was actually true or not. Regardless, he is originally introduced as a wacky Jewish comedian stereotype, and then settles into being a complete nothing as a personality, while being consistently brilliant at his job. Okay?

    As any sane citizen would. But Roger Sterling and his gang aren't dismayed enough to cancel the wedding, and for that Pete calls them heartless bastards. Trudy, one of the moral compasses of the show, enthusiastically agrees.

    The political situation is certainly far more polarized today (by design), but I disagree that we are less naive. In fact, I think people are far more naive and vastly less informed about politics than they were in the 60s.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think we need to remember that the American public (I was 14 years old at the time) were more or less unaware of all the 'bad stuff' about Kennedy at the time. He was seen by people on the street as incredibly liberal, on the side of the anti-racist community, promoter of exploration of space, bla de bla. The American public was incredibly naieve about political machinations at the time, and his assassination, no matter if you supported him or not, was a huge shock. HUGE. And after his brother and Martin Luther King were also killed, shortly afterwards, there was a feeling that everything good was going to be killed, that if any decent person became president that they wouldn't last long.

    I think Mad Men got it right, actually. That's what it felt like.
     
  16. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    Don't get me wrong; I'm not arguing that they portrayed public reaction to the JFK assassination inaccurately, on the whole. As you noted, (and you were around back then, unlike me!) they got it right.

    Rather, my problem is that the virtuous characters were most affected by the tragedy, while the morally dubious ones treated it callously. The reality, as you also stated above, is that it was a major shock for everyone. I doubt there would be much difference between the reactions of Sterling and Pete, regardless of their politics. A sitting President was assassinated. That might be even more terrifying for an older ex-Navy man like Roger.

    And by delineating reaction based on how good that person is, the message is that if you cared for JFK, you were a decent person, and if you didn't, you were an entitled old white bastard.
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't agree that the show portrayed this or delineated reaction in the way you state.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's one of my favorites... not the least due to my having worked in manhattan in the mid-50s and lived in the suburbs, as some of its characters do... it easily deserves the latest 'award' of being named the best-written tv show ever...
     
  19. IronPalm
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    IronPalm Banned

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    It's certainly the best-written television show I have ever seen. A lot of the episodes in the first three seasons were magical and paid tremendous attention to the details. Even in seasons 4 and 5, there was a lot of clever material.
     
  20. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    OMG! What a great finale! I really hope we only have to wait until Spring of 2014 and not any longer for more.
    Wow.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree it was a killer finale... but...

    after spending so much time showing us what a total rat don is both personally and in business, are they now expecting us to believe he can suddenly do a moral/ethical 180 and make us [and all of his victims] forgive all of his betrayals and backstabbings, philanderings, his ID theft, etc. and turn into a good guy next season, just because he finally fessed up to his seamy real background?

    is sally supposed to forget seeing her daddy f-ing the neighbor-lady?... forgive him for cheating on his current wife as nonchalantly as he did the same to her mother?... is anyone he used, abused and losed, or any of mm's loyal fans supposed to feel sorry for don, forgive all his sins just because he finally pushed the envelope too far and got justifiably sh*t-canned?...

    the best part of that stunning finale for me, was seeing poor, torpedoed peggy sit down in don's chair, behind don's desk, in what's no longer don's office, with the hint of a smile to balance her obvious heartbreak brought about by don's interference...

    sheer brilliance!

    now, if i could just do a rip van winkle till season 7 kicks off...................
     
  22. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't interpret it as Don suddenly becoming moral and ethical, but as him completely falling apart. He would not have made that disclosure in the way that he did if he had really had an epiphany and was going to change his ways. I think it was about him just losing it, and being unable to maintain anything that he's got right now -- the good and the bad. I don't expect him to suddenly be a "good guy" next season in the sense that his personality will change and he won't do anything immoral. He's a flawed person, as is everyone and he's got a lot to overcome. I don't expect him to change everything.
    ent
    I don't think Sally is supposed to forget what she saw, but that look between them was pretty deep. She may suddenly see her Dad as an actual person, who had a life before she was born -- something not everyone experiences, and sometimes can come as kind of a shock. It's hard with parents -- usually you only get 2, and no matter how bad they might be, or what they might do, there's always something special about them -- something that's not easy to just write off and close the door on them entirely. Sally can blame being screwed up on her parents, and ironically may be able to identify with Don more than Betty.

    And yes, oh, poor Peggy. I didn't see this as heartbreak caused in any way by Don. Yes, she blamed him at first, but Ted said it wasn't Don's fault, and Don sacrificed what he wanted in order for Ted to do what he wanted. I saw that as her being in Don's office -- the heart of the operation, and being completely at home there. Her romantic and family life is a disaster, nonexistent, really. What she's got is this career -- exactly the thing that Don excelled at and the only place where he thrived. She may be sucked into some of the same pitfalls as the partners, but this is what's available to her right now. SC&P has been at the center of her life for nearly a decade now - it's like she can't get out, no matter what she does.
     
  23. Aesthetic Phenomenon
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    Aesthetic Phenomenon New Member

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    This series is a one big masterpiece.
     

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