August 16, 2009, - 3:50 pm
Schlussel TV Guide: “Mad Men” Season 3 Tonight; Entertaining Show About “Men” Written by (Anti-Male) Women
Tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, the third season of “Mad Men” begins on cable’s AMC. The show takes place in the early 1960s at a mid-sized Manhattan advertising agency, Sterling Cooper. As mine is a cable-free household (I’d never get anything done if I had that much garbage to watch, plus who needs to see more vapid freaks on season 532 of “The Real World” or “The Hills”?), I’ve caught up on the series via DVD and will try to catch this episode online, when it becomes available.
Jon Hamm as “Mad Men’s” Don Draper/Dick Whitman
If you enjoy “Mad Men”–as I do–that means you’re probably either a woman or a gay man (male designers love the show). Yes, for me, it’s a guilty pleasure, mostly because I like the early ’60s clothes and sets and the eye candy of the very hot (but uber-liberal) Jon Hamm who plays the suave and dapper protagonist–more like anti-hero–of the show, “Don Draper.” But let’s face it, it’s a soap opera no less than “Desperate Housewives,” with the addition of period clothing, hairstyles, furniture and news events of the early 1960s woven in.
And let’s be honest: while the show is entertaining, it’s anti-male. It’s written for women. All of the men–especially lead Don Draper–are boozy, smoking lecherous, womanizing, cheating, bigoted jerks (except–per leftist orthodoxy–the closeted gay and the civil rights activist), and the women–even the ones who sleep around–are the sympathetic “victims.” I always assumed the show’s writers were women or gay men.
That’s why it came as no surprise to me when I read the Wall Street Journal profile of the show’s writers–seven of nine of whom are women (and one of the male writers is married a female writer, so he doesn’t count)–and the Journal’s note that “Mad Men” has had more women direct the show than most TV shows do. The show’s portrayal of straight men in a nuclear family–regardless of the era–can only be the work of feminist women or gay men (as “Desperate Housewives” is–creator Mark Cherry is openly gay). And in this case, it’s the former.
Draper is using a fake name (his real name is Dick Whitman, but he stole his current moniker off a dead fellow Korean War soldier in his unit), his mother was a hooker (he’s the product of her union with a john), he was abused by his religious Christian stepfather (there’s that anti-Christian theme that’s like crack to Hollywood writers), he was a used car salesman, he was in a fake first marriage his wife doesn’t know about, and he’s had four affairs/four different women in two seasons of the show.
And that’s not to mention, his non-stop boozing, drunk-driving, disappearing from the office and his family for weeks on end to travel with a promiscuous nomad half his age, and those plenty of liquid lunches that become liquid dinners with movies in between, as he leaves the office and noon and doesn’t return. And don’t forget that his brother who committed suicide after Don treated him like crap and pretended not to know him. And he’s the “good guy” of the show. (Even Hamm, the lead actor and Draper’s alter ego, says he’s against marriage and doesn’t believe in it. So, it’s no shocker that’s kind of a theme of the show.)
Most of the other men are also leches, drunkards, and otherwise creeps, too. And the women–well, we’re supposed to feel bad for them, even Peggy Olson, the copywriter who had sex with a married ad exec because she was dissed by the guy, went nuts, and had to give up her baby. Plus, it’s so hard to be a woman in a man’s world. Um, that view seems kind of outdated, since today, it’s much harder for a man (than a women) to get and/0r keep a job–not to mention into college or grad school–in what is now a woman’s world, and the alpha male–the species populating “Mad Men”–is, sadly, dead (instead we have the Sarah-Palin’s-wimpy-Mr.-Mom-husband-zeta-male), and that’s unnatural. But, with portrayals like those in “Mad Men” and other shows of its ilk, that’s no surprise. The message: strong men–creeps; strong women–awesome!
Still, again, I admit I watch and enjoy the show, even though I don’t agree with its subtle messages and watch the show through a critical eye. It’s entertaining, well written, and every detail of early 1960s couture, architecture, and set design is carefully and beautifully recreated. That attention to detail has affected current fashion offerings, many of which reflect the “Mad Men” look.
And the “Mad Men” people have a fun site where you can create an icon of yourself in the “Mad Men” look–the one above is the one I made for me.
Happy viewing. But remember, this isn’t really the way men were in the early ’60s–most of them, anyway. It was the tail end of a very classy, dignified era in modern America. And, sadly, the chick writers of this show–with their revisionist history–tried to make us think it was as uncivilized as America today.
And that’s the real “madness” here.
Tags: '60s, 1960s, AMC, Cable TV, celebrities, Dick Whitman, Don Draper, early 1960s, entertainment, female directors, female writers, Gay, hatred of men, Hollywood, Jon Hamm, liberal, liberals, Mad Men, man-hatred, MTV, Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin's wimpy Mr. Mom husband zeta male, Schlussel TV Guide, Season 3, Season Three, The Hills, The Real World, the sixties, third season, Todd Palin, Women