When Mad Men entered the living rooms of the world I didn’t invite them in and the whole craze somehow passed me by. Of course I have enjoyed some side effects, fashion of the sixties with a modern twist has been gracing the windows of many a high-street clothes shop, vintage has reached a new high and certain cocktails have become en vogue again but other then that I haven’t really been influenced one way or the other.
But this week, looking for something to take my mind off work and not really having much time to play I have been dipping into online episodes of Mad Men, but I have to say I really don’t understand what the fuss is about. While I enjoy the lovely silhouettes of the female form sashaying across the screen in tight pencil skirts and even tighter sweaters, portraying a time where curves were appreciated and stick thin had not yet taken over the world of fashion, I find most of the men really unlikeable, all seem to drink too much, cheat even more and have no moral compass whatsoever. Maddening men making me just a little bit angry.
Of course I understand that the 60s was an era where men ruled and women cooked, a time when the few choices a female had were typewriters or shopping-carts, but do I really need to watch 45 minutes of men in suits making decisions and women bowing to them. Throw in a long list of -isms, like racism, misogynism, anti-feminism, materialism and communism, a few pastel colours and polyester and the skin-crawling inequality of the 60s is a live and twisting in your home. And yes, I know that cocktail hour was the main event of the day back then but the amount of smoke and drink that people consume in Mad Men can’t be setting a good example for younger viewers. So ‘no’ it’s not cool to be an alcoholic and addicted to nicotine no matter how cool the studs in suits and ladies in lingerie make it look. And if I really want to know about the periods of pantyhose, cold war and space-travel I can just ask my mum or others who actually worked and played back then and enjoyed not knowing about recycling, peace-keeping and carbon foot-print.
So maybe it’s time to switch off these promiscuous pals and leering lads and not continue to indulge in the frayed fantasy portrayed on the small screen. And while some of the women do seem to succeed against all the odds, true love is always just lurking out of reach and sex is readily available, I think for now I will paraphrase the dapper Don Draper ‘s
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation”
and decide that if I don’t like whats being shown, I’ll change the channel!