Monday, June 3, 2013

Mad Men: A Tale of Two Cities

It is one of the great ironies of this series that the closer it gets to the end, the more it relies on clichés, Was there one scene in that episode that couldn't have been in a horrible Bud Cort movie with a Cat Stevens sound track from the early 1970s? The wild party, the drugs, the people doing odd things that make no sense only they do, the claim that this new irrationality represented the way things were going to be from now on.

And did you notice that only one person, the guy at Carnation, was going to maybe vote Nixon? And he was only in it as a set up for the Reagan supporter who was going to come in and crap on him? All of which should bother us because Nixon is going to win the election in just a few months time. I know it doesn't fit in with the cliché that all the good creative people want to believe about 1968 but there was a huge bunch of people who weren't part of this rather elite little fantasy that was floating around in 1968. They all watched it on TV and decided that, no thanks, they didn't want to be part of all this.

And did you notice the other strange absence from the episode? George Wallace? That's weird because he's usually a giant figure in the tale.

But the biggest problem with the episode was this: I didn't enjoy it. I endured it. Most of the episodes lately have been like that. When the show was set in the early 1960s, it spent a lot of time confounding our expectations, showing us that people back then weren't the cardboard cut outs we imagined them to be. Every single character who appeared at that wild LA Party in last night's episode was a cut out.

And, sorry, but having the straight guy suddenly decide to try drugs is about as clichéed an ending as they could possible have dished out.

1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way last night, 15-20 min into the episode I started thinking when is this going to be over. I remember in the first few seasons I would lament the end of the season, now I'm looking forward to it, only 3 episodes left!