Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mad Men?

So I've watched four episodes of season two and I'm exasperated. I'd like to say it's just lost a little momentum, but I can't, because it's like the show's a completely different show. I know the writers are attempting to portray morass but that's no excuse for putting people to sleep. And I mean, literally putting people to sleep. And not just people, but insomniacs. And look -- we get the ad business now. We get that Don is brilliant at his job. That was all in season one, so what's the point of making 80% of each show the JOB? You want to make this Bewitched without the laughs? (BTW, there are some pretty scary similarities between bosses Tate and Sterling. Actually, now that I think of it, there are a lot of similarities between Mad Men and Bewitched: the chiseled, dark features of Draper and Stevens, the cute blonde wives, booze, booze, and more booze, nice period cars.)

The first three shows have been like very dull John Updike short stories, with a good dose of bad Mary McCarthy. Speaking of Mary McCarthy -- where did all the interesting women go? Swinging girl artist, Midge? Department store heiress Rachael, S&M inspired Dr. Guttman? And where the hell is Joan? How and when did she become the latest victim of the Body Snatchers?

There are some good developments but are they developments or just moments? Like making Don a bit more dirtier. His sexual assault on tough broad Bobbie in "The Benefactor" was shocking. And having him send a book to Rachael was interesting (although it isn't clear that it is to Rachael -- could be a red herring -- but that's what I'm betting). I guess being married to a woman you can't relate to is tough. Especially when she's a nutcase like Betty.

Okay. Maybe Betty isn't a nutcase. But what a control freak. Her cold mother act gives blondes a bad name. And what's with the sexual power plays? Are the writers going to reward her and turn her loose in the big city as a Cosmo Girl or are they going to punish her with rape? Well, the creator is male so I have a feeling it's not going to be Sex and the City for Betty. Maybe the best we'll get is Betty Does Boston.

So you get the feeling I don't exactly like Betty? Okay, again, I get the part about Betty being a little girl in a woman's body. Maybe it's just January Jones. I think that if a better actress were in the role, an actress with the power of Juliette Binoche or Judy Davis, I'd be able to enjoy the Betty development more. You just don't get much inner-life moments with Jones. She just does "I'm so unhappy". Well, so am I! At least you have a nice kitchen. You should see my 1970s disaster. And -- you have a maid! This is about as much sympathy as Jones solicits. Sorry.

Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Don, Joan, and Mr. Boss Sterling will get their lives back. Soon. Please.

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