Thursday, June 8, 2017

Father figure

I know, here I just changed the name from "Studiously Uncool" and I'm writing about a show that ended two years ago.

Rewatching episodes, the thing that really jumps out is how few good ones there are. Compare Mad Men or Breaking Bad or any of the other boutique shows with The Good Wife and it will hit you in the face. There are no bad episodes of The Good Wife. They made twice as many episodes and there isn't a bad one in the lot. On average, there are three-to-five good episodes in a season of Mad Men. And some of the bad ones really really bad. "Tea Leaves" from Season 5 was so cringe-making that I gave up on it.

What's painfully obvious in retrospect is that the show succeeded in spite of itself. They had something but they didn't know what it was. What they had was a husband with a bad wife. Two bad wives as Megan is no step up. That's the real story.

Why they didn't realize it is also obvious. Our culture can't stand a real male figure.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking of all the examples where Don behaves like a jerk. I'd suggest two things. First, the show had it out for him and for masculinity in general so those things are exaggerated. But I'd also suggest that a lot of that stuff is just what comes with the package. We tolerate a certain amount of sheer cussedness from female characters but we've lost our tolerance for the same from male ones. Or, t be more accurate, we've been taught to hate them.

The bottom line, though, is that the only reason to watch the show was Don Draper.

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