August 16, 2009, - 3:50 pm

Schlussel TV Guide: “Mad Men” Season 3 Tonight; Entertaining Show About “Men” Written by (Anti-Male) Women

By Debbie Schlussel

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.

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23 Responses

idiot writers totally brainwashed by liberal elites will not be extracated from the ranks of the media until the ordinary american takes back the reins

shmujew on August 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Never seen it Debbie, I barely watch anything besides AI. Today I went to a bookstore, where a bunch of odd looking uber liberal types work. The hipster checkout boy wanted me to donate to the sick kids along w/my purchase. I said nein, so he asked for “just a dollar”, which I also declined to provide. That was annoying, but even worse was the silent hostility that followed. I actually stopped to tell him that it makes no sense for me to donate money in the store’s name when I can make a donation in my own name, especially since it’s tax deductible for me. He tehn explained that “the store doesn’t get the money” and then said “whatever” and “next” in quick succession. These checkout people don’t need another excuse to be surly, and these stores should just stick to staying in business.

A1 on August 16, 2009 at 6:46 pm

The drinking and smoking certainly happened, but I would say that the extent of extra-marital affairs at work is more than a bit of projection from the fugure. On the whole, it was a happier time and people were less vile. It is an era that is gone forever.

Sorrow01 on August 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm

This is just a small correction, but Don Draper was in the Korean War. And I think the Marxist quoting copy writer who dates (and then gets dumped by) a black woman is written as a douche. You can tell he gets a thrill by dating a black woman and that makes him more “modern” but I think people see through that and see him as the douchebag that he is.

S: Oops. You’re right. My screw-up. Corrected. DS

shortylion on August 17, 2009 at 1:19 am

Unfortunately liberals control three very powerful communication channels: hollyweird, education and media. Until we get some more equal representation in these three, we will always be playing catch up to the conservative message out.

verbatim on August 17, 2009 at 1:24 am

Yeah, last night on the season premiere, not much of anything interesting happened. There were some character moments with Sal (the closeted gay) that you could tell the writers cooked up while looking over their shoulders, taking the utmost caution not to offend almighty GLAAD. It was just kinda disappointing to see that in a show whose main selling point is its self-aware political incorrectness.

Ezra on August 17, 2009 at 5:57 am

MadMen, for those of us waiting for husbands to come home for supper, is entertaining to say the least. The set designs are fabulously fun. What is most intesting is the intellectual connection between government and society. America was beautiful.

Susan on August 17, 2009 at 7:05 am

Deb, at Citifield (Mets new home), they unveiled some retro uniforms…about 1962/63 during the Mets let’s just say super lean years!

It was to honor the NY Giants baseball team (before their move to San Fran.)

On the TV coverage on SNY (Sports Net New York), I happen to see a camera shot of some people decked out in the clothes of Madmen. Now I consider myself a nostalgia fan not liking most of today’s scene. I even still consider the 90’s WAY TOO modern…LOOK WHOSE IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

I think I can tell you not all guys in the early 60’s were lecherous, etc. Then again something called Rock and Roll was starting to have a profound impact on the culture.

TV shows were grand in the early 1960’s…

Twilight Zone
Ed Sullivan

primetime animation shows like The Jetsons and The Flintstones..began in 1962.

And game shows/panel shows were societal events with people dressing up…

What’s My Line
I’ve Got A Secret
To Tell The Truth

Even Beat The Clock was still ticking with Bud Collyer as host. And Bill Cullen was hosting the ORIGINAL Price Is Right.

Musically, the big hits of the early 1960’s…

top singles of 1960

Alley-Oop (The Hollywood Argyles)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Elvis Presley)
Cathy’s Clown (The Everly Brothers)
I’m Sorry (Brenda Lee)
It’s Now Or Never (Elvis Presley)
My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own (Connie Francis)
Save The Last Dance For Me (The Drifters)
Stuck On You (Elvis Presley)
Theme From A Summer Place (Percy Faith)
The Twist (Chubby Checker)

top singles of 1961

Big Bad John (Jimmy Dean)
Blue Moon (The Marcels)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (The Tokens)
Michael (The Highwaymen)
Pony Time (Chubby Checker)
Runaround Sue (Dion)
Runaway (Del Shannon)
Surrender (Elvis Presley)
Take Good Care Of My Baby (Bobby Vee)
Tossin’ and Turnin’ (Bobby Lewis)

top singles of 1962

Big Girls Don’t Cry (The Four Seasons)
Duke Of Earl (Gene Chandler)
Good Luck Charm (Elvis Presley)
Hey! Baby (Bruce Channel)
I Can’t Stop Loving You (Ray Charles)
Peppermint Twist (Joey Dee & The Starliters)
Roses Are Red (Bobby Vinton)
Sheila (Tommy Roe)
Sherry (The Four Seasons)
Soldier Boy (The Shirelles)

List c/o:

Thing is unless you have satellite radio (which I do) or are lucky enough to have an over the air radio station or one that streams that plays this kind of music, most of which I love, you’re out of luck.

Two such stations are here in New England…1320 WATR in Waterbury, CT has from 6-10 Saturdays The Music Museum; and WATD-FM 95.9 in Marshfield, MA has Yesterday’s Memories.

Both these stations stream online

Now I have cable, but watch only a few of the channels. Why the hell should I pay for a channel whose crapola programming I refuse to watch (ATTN: MTV, VH-1, BET, HBO, E!, etc)?


Bob Porrazzo on August 17, 2009 at 7:32 am

I caught the opener and now concede Mad Men will never go for the happy ending. Nothing positive. Life holds nothing but compromises in negatives. Sad. Great strides in human achievement and social equality came out of the era but unless it’s draped in race, this show doesn’t see it.

FeFe on August 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm

In in 1963 if you asked a man why he worked he would look at you like your crazy and then take a picture out of his wallet of his wife and kids. The middle class ‘housewives’ of my childhood had enough leisure to take classes in copper enameling and art and French, run sophisticated and vital charity organizations and through the PTA be vitally involved in their children’s schooling and more.

poetcomic1 on August 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Some might remember that the “Sex and the City” TV show was actually written a cadre of gay men, not Ms. Bushnell who’s article were the seed.
These gay make writers simply channeled their promiscuous, fashion-centric, shallow lifestyles onto young single women, and soon single urban women were living a gay male lifestyle all over the country.
Mad Men, written by women who have failed to create a single admirable male chararcter IN THE ENTIRE SERIES is another version of the same role reversal.
Hollywood HATES suburban America: see “American Beauty”, “Revolutionary Road” or any of a dozens of other movies that savage the middle-class flyover country population.
When do we stop rewarding them for their hatred?????

jim on August 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

If Mad Men were written by women, they would not be “anti men” They are detailed oriented like the men of the show. It is actual and detailed and very well done. The characters are depicted clearly and if you did not grow up in that era then any criticism is in vain, it is amusing, but, unless you experianced that type of life style any comment is really out of place. Sorry for the harshness, but, as a man from that era it is incredibly true that men had the upper hand and dressed well on Madison Ave in NYC, while women had very little say in anything. Times have changed, thankfully. On some levels, America has gone way too far to the left, they forgot how they got where they are and how America succeeds when it functions successfully. You can’t have it all, men or women, but you can be smart about life.

Mark Harris on August 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Is “Mad Men” an accurate depiction of what men and women were liked in the 1960s America or just a highly idealized but negative perspective of these people conjured up by feminist women and gay writers?

The Mad Men producers did a nice job with the costume design, architecture set-up, mood and attitude of the 1960s New York, though. That is what I like the show about, but not the kinds performed by the cast as written and directed by the show’s writers and directors.

Bobby'sBrain on August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm

To Mark Harris, you forget one more thing: New York, as in 1960s, was (and still is) a big part of the elite Eastern Establishment: rich, white, blue-blooded and overtly liberal.

Bobby'sBrain on August 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Mad Men does accurately portray a certain sect of society that did exist at the time. A very small sect. Today America would be considered uncivilized if we still had segregation. The problems portrayed in Mad Men are as old as time. Read about the fall of the Roman Empire, read the Bible, read the Bell Jar! READ DEBBIE! You will find that what is going on has been going on for a very long time. I think changes we have made in society have been more good than bad. However, if you feel like getting back into a girdle, putting your racism out in the open and cursing the day Gloria Steinem was ever born, go right ahead. Thank GOD! for the Jews in this country, they really gave us the liberal America we have today: entertainmentwise, and otherwise. They had a huge part in the Civil Rights and Woman’s Movement! You must be self loathing.

ciaowow on August 31, 2009 at 7:02 pm

My, but you and your readers appear to be downright delusional about the “leftist” bias in the media. Can’t get your message out? What about Fox “News?” Clear Channel? Limbaugh? And 8 years of thought control and media/opinion manipulation by George Bush and Dick Cheney, aided by Hill and Knowlton, paid shills in the media, among others.

The mainstream media is so scared of you guys that they’ve given up any pretense of real investigative journalism that would have alerted us to the rot on Wall Street, or the way that military contractors and health insurance companies have been sucking us dry.

I guess self-proclaimed martyrdom helps deflect any doubts or sense of responsibility for the mess the country’s in, but let’s face it, right-wingers pretty much destroyed our nation’s reputation, our infrastructure, and our fiscal soundness. It all began with Reagan’s deceit and deficits, and accelerated under George the Second.

Stop kidding yourselves.

Tom on October 29, 2009 at 2:02 am

I find “Mad Men” difficult to watch because I am overcome by nostalgia. I remember the early Sixties, and it was not quite what is presented. For instance, the idea that two men in business would square off in a fist fight is fanciful. What would really happen is that they would secretly plot the dowenfall of each other until one won and the other left the company for “personal reasons.” But it is thrilling to see a meeting in which EVERY man is smoking. I sometimes want to start smoking myself, although I was a non-smoker even then. I sometimes think that “Mad Men” is a portrait of the United States just beyond its zenith, with the late Fifties being the top.

JOSEPH MCNULTY on May 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm

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