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Don Draper Does MeTa
November 4, 2009 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Do MeTa Mad Men style, Just like Don Draper.

I have recently noticed a few Front Page Posts that used the TV show Mad Men as a cultural touchstone against which all manner of things need be compared.

I am sure it is a fine TV show, but to those of us that don't follow it, referencing it from largely unrelated posts is more than a bit frustrating. To my mind, this practice causes many posts that would be excellent on their own primary merits to be diluted with secondary conversations about the TV show, and about the appropriateness of said TV show being in the post.

I just want to open a discussion. I am not calling anyone out.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist to Etiquette/Policy at 3:02 PM (258 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I have never seen it so I think these references just fly by me also. *whoosh*
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, Mad Men is no Breaking Bad, that's for sure.
posted by boo_radley at 3:05 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


--Knock, knock.
--Who's there?
--Don Draper.
--Don Draper who?
--Oh, god is it nice to hear someone say that.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:06 PM on November 4, 2009 [79 favorites]


The words "Mad Men" in a post's text places the entire post in a "SEP Field" for me. I'm sure they're all wonderful posts, but I'm unlikely to read them. But then I'm sure I'm not the intended audience, so everyone wins, right?
posted by lekvar at 3:09 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


*Insert apt Arrested Development Joke*

You haven't seen Arrested Development? PSH. Neophyte.

Honestly, people will forever reference popular culture to prove that they know popular culture. It's a losing battle to try and get them to stop.
posted by JimmyJames at 3:21 PM on November 4, 2009


What baffles and disturbs me about the phenomenon is that the show, from everything I've read, depicts a hellish vista of classism, racism, sexism and narrow-minded generalized Babbittry. But it's got some shiny clothes and set design, so people ignore the fact that every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch to ooh and ahh over the backgrounds.

It is sort of like the failed argument I had with someone about Gone with the Wind not actually being something to inspire admiration. Clothes, pretty! Vivian Leigh, pretty! Slavery-supported infrastructure... what do you mean?
posted by winna at 3:22 PM on November 4, 2009 [13 favorites]


Most def.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:23 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with the OP. I haven't seen the show (I don't watch TV except a few particular shows on DVD), so any time I see "Mad Men" I automatically move on to the next post. I'm not saying there should be a strict rule against it or that I couldn't figure it out from context. But there are so many Mefi posts that I'm not going to spend time on one that starts out assuming I know about a TV show I've never seen.

Also, this is an international website, and it's sort of like hanging a "Just for Americans" sign on your post.
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:24 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


But it's got some shiny clothes and set design, so and people ignore revel in the fact that every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch to and ooh and ahh over the backgrounds.

This is probably closer to the truth. I don't like Mad Men, but I can see watching it and liking it despite the morals and actions of the characters. I frequently watch the hell out of Highlander even though I'm completely against decapitation of anyone, immortal or not.
posted by ODiV at 3:33 PM on November 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I agree. What ever happened to posts about The Wire and The Simpsons?
posted by box at 3:33 PM on November 4, 2009


But it's got some shiny clothes and set design, so people ignore the fact that every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch to ooh and ahh over the backgrounds.

Well, then those particular people are shallow and dumb and missing out on a really good TV drama with some seriously good writing and acting (January Jones excepted).

I'm not sure what discussion we're supposed to be having here. Really popular thing gets referenced a lot? If it makes anyone feel better, I automatically ignore any post with the word "Apple" in its header.
posted by Skot at 3:34 PM on November 4, 2009 [14 favorites]


Since we're complaining about posts we're not interested in, I'd like to complain about all the recent posts about Germany. There's two posts on the front page right now about Germany, and I've never even been to Germany.
posted by dersins at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2009 [13 favorites]


I wish I could favorite Wolfdog's joke twice.

Oh, wait, we aren't counting right now. Nevermind.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:40 PM on November 4, 2009


Your favorite TV show sucks.
posted by grouse at 3:40 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


I tried watching the show. I got through about half of the first season when I realized that, while it was brilliant, it was making me miserable. I hated everyone on the show, hated their lives, and have never regretted my decision to turn it off mid-episode. It was a relief to send the disc back to Netflix the next day.

It's just one of those shows that I'll never really get. Which is totally okay with me.
posted by MrVisible at 3:41 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


We're almost done with season four of the wire.
Heard season five is pretty awesome.
sheeeeeeeeee
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:46 PM on November 4, 2009


It's a cultural touchstone, like it or not. There's not way around it, really.

What baffles and disturbs me about the phenomenon is that the show, from everything I've read, depicts a hellish vista of classism, racism, sexism and narrow-minded generalized Babbittry. But it's got some shiny clothes and set design, so people ignore the fact that every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch to ooh and ahh over the backgrounds.

Yeah, people would never watch a show that touches on meaningful issues, so they must be vapid types tuning in for fashion tips. Snark aside, I really don't get your point here. Do you somehow think watching what you call a "hellish vista" means viewers are endorsing the racism, etc? Do you somehow think a show that deals with those issues must be miserable to watch? Do you think a show that depicts racism is endorsing it? What, exactly, disturbs you? Why do you think I'm an idiot distracted by "oh pretty"? I do take notice of the style; I would love to dress like Don Draper, for example. But to imply that's the main, or even major, motivation in my viewing is insulting.

I'm not sure "everything you read" about a show is a terribly good metric to judge the show on. Everthing I read/hear about say, Bones leads me to believe I would have no interest in it, but I'm not going to pretend I know the message or subtleties of the program. In Mad Men, not every individual is miserable, unpleasant or a wretch. Characters with detestable views on gender or racial equality are everywhere, but they themselves are not two-dimensional characters, and while watching people with those views is sometimes challenging, it's not a "miserable" experience in of itself. It makes you reflect on the time, and the effect of society on the individual. The tone of the show clearly holds up racism, sexism, homophobia, etc to the harsh light of judgement, it doesn't bash you over the head with it. I'm already against racial discrimination, I don't need it constantly served up as a grade-school lesson in a "isn't this very, very, very bad?" tone.
posted by spaltavian at 3:47 PM on November 4, 2009 [50 favorites]


I like when people rely on teevee to illustrate every little thing about life; gives me something to feel superior to.
posted by heyho at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2009


It's a cultural touchstone, like it or not. There's not way around it, really.

It's on cable. There are no more cultural touchstones in the 500-channel universe. You may think it is, but that's only because almost everyone moves in pretty narrow social circles. The season 3 premiere drew 2.1 million viewers, a respectable number, but far, far, faaaaaaaaaaaaaar from a cultural touchstone.
posted by GuyZero at 3:54 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't have television, so I go by what I read. And the bulk of what I read is not a dissection of the ways in which these characters are dysfunctional and unhappy - much of what references to the show center around set design or stylistic issues.

The show itself to me like a brutal depiction of a certain kind of affluent misery with a candy shell of fashion. I can understand that there are people who enjoy watching that kind of show. But the discussions of the show I've read, and most of the posts referencing it here are not about the larger social issues the show references. They're about the set design.

That is what disturbs me.
posted by winna at 3:57 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Plus it doesn't have a soundtrack by Queen.
posted by ODiV at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't hate the show or anything, but I have noticed a lot of separate 'mad men' posts of late that could probably just as easily be added as comments to the tens of still-open threads. Mods, what goes into deciding when a link is post-worthy v. when a link is only comment worthy?

I could be wrong about the recent mad men posts though, I've ignored them mostly. Maybe they were all totally different topics but were just framed around mad men. . . come to think of it, that's probably exactly what they were. why do I think and post at the same time?
posted by Think_Long at 4:00 PM on November 4, 2009


It's on cable. There are no more cultural touchstones in the 500-channel universe. You may think it is, but that's only because almost everyone moves in pretty narrow social circles. The season 3 premiere drew 2.1 million viewers, a respectable number, but far, far, faaaaaaaaaaaaaar from a cultural touchstone.

Sure, but everything is getting smaller, like you said. I don't have the data, but I'm guessing the show skews younger, educated and computer-literate. Metafilter no doubt has a disproportionate number of Mad Men views has compared to the population at large.
posted by spaltavian at 4:02 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


.... from everything I've read ...

Please, tell me more about this show you've never watched.
posted by chunking express at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2009 [24 favorites]


I don't have television, so I go by what I read. And the bulk of what I read is not a dissection of the ways in which these characters are dysfunctional and unhappy - much of what references to the show center around set design or stylistic issues.

You sure seem to read a lot about a show you don't watch.

Reminds me of my mom, who hasn't seen a movie at a theater in 20 years but has a strong opinion about every single film at the box office.
posted by brain_drain at 4:04 PM on November 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


The Soviet posters were great, and it baffles me what the hell they have to do with Mad Men. Oh, wait, tenuous connection: Mad Men is somehow about advertising, or an ad agency, or something. So typewriters = Mad Men, girdle = Mad Men, classic cocktails = you guessed it, Mad Men. Just stop.
posted by fixedgear at 4:04 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


P.S. My mom is great. Yay mom!
posted by brain_drain at 4:05 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Since we're complaining about posts we're not interested in, I'd like to complain about all the recent posts about muppets. There's two posts on the front page right now about muppets, and I've never even been a muppet.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:06 PM on November 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Reminds me of my mom, who hasn't seen a movie at a theater in 20 years but has a strong opinion about every single film at the box office.

OMG brain_drain is my long-lost sibling! *hugs*
posted by scody at 4:25 PM on November 4, 2009


Oh, god is it nice to hear someone say that.

It's a great show and all. I was even thinking of renaming my Mafia Wars character Don Draper (ha ha). But truly. Enough.

(what omnipresent Breaking Bad references would look like I can't quite imagine)

We're almost done with season four of the wire.

Oh, how I envy you. (though season 5, not my fave)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:26 PM on November 4, 2009


I know The Muppet Show. Mad Men, sir, is no Muppet Show.
posted by Liver at 4:28 PM on November 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


So what this post is saying is that you like Mad Men? ME TOO OMG MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IS PEGGY U GO GURL
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:28 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, this is an international website, and it's sort of like hanging a "Just for Americans" sign on your post.


It does get shown internationally. It gets a fair amount of press here in the UK, enough that I have a basic idea about it, without ever having seen it.

But on the original topic, it does seem a bit silly to throw it into unrelated posts.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:30 PM on November 4, 2009


And the bulk of what I read is not a dissection of the ways in which these characters are dysfunctional and unhappy

Why would the characters have to be dysfunctional and unhappy when, in reality, racist, classist, and sexist ad execs in the 60s were most likely pretty damn functional within their social circles and pretty content with it?
posted by CKmtl at 4:33 PM on November 4, 2009


"I haven't seen the show (I don't watch TV except a few particular shows on DVD),"

I've never seen it either, but I watch the fuck out some TV. It's great. You should try it.
posted by klangklangston at 4:34 PM on November 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


I don't hate the show or anything, but I have noticed a lot of separate 'mad men' posts of late that could probably just as easily be added as comments to the tens of still-open threads.

Interesting that you say that, since my (admittedly inexpert) searching turns up fewer than 20 Mad Men-related posts to the blue-- ever.

Posts tagged with madmen (12 results)

Site search for "Mad Men" (31 results, almost half of which appear to be false positives).

By contrast, there are 136 posts tagged with "startrek", so you nerds should just shut up already.
posted by dersins at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Oh man, if there's anything white people love more than The Wire, it's Mad Men.
posted by Eideteker at 4:36 PM on November 4, 2009


I guess a certain smug hipster cachet has grown up around this show. I was lucky enough to start watching it before all of that (or at least before much of that). I'd heard it was worth watching, saw my on-demand service had the first two seasons up, and decided to take a look. It's fantastic. It's not the most fantastic show that's ever been on TV, but -- like Breaking Bad or Deadwood or The Sopranos or Six Feet Under or BSG, or, well, like a lot of shows in the past decade, which has been extraordinarily good for television -- it's a rich, novelistic show that excites people because it's just so damn well-done. So the reflexive anti-hipster hipsterishness that's growing up around it of late is just too bad, to my mind, and indicative of why we just can't have nice things. I will say that the look of the show is something that just kinda passes me by, for the most part; it's important as scene-setting, and I'm aware that it's a well-designed show, but focusing on the sets or costumes is really missing the forest for the trees.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:37 PM on November 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


I have no opinion on the TV show, never having watched it, but I agree with Antidisestablishmentarianist and in particular with fixedgear: the irrelevant and pointless Mad Men reference has done serious damage to grumblebee's post. People seem to take any mention of Mad Men as meaning "Oh goody, I can toss in whatever sexist crap comes to mind 'cause it's Mad Men!" Cases in point: 1, 2. Like fixedgear said: Just stop.
posted by languagehat at 4:39 PM on November 4, 2009


I tried watching The Wire when MetaFilter would just. not. shut. up. about it. I think I made it through three episodes. I'll skip Mad Men. Well, OK, I might try it once, if it's available free, online, and closed captioned. No? Screw it.
posted by desjardins at 4:46 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


The season 3 premiere drew 2.1 million viewers, a respectable number, but far, far, faaaaaaaaaaaaaar from a cultural touchstone.

I was saddened to read on latimes.com today that the Jeff Dunham (that terrible ventriloquist guy) show got 5 million viewers when it debuted on Comedy Central. The highest rating EVER on that net. Also, the article made me break down and cry when I read that he made $30 million last year.

Oh, Mad Men. I haven't watched it either. I did try to watch one episode but even though I'm in the advertising business, found that Bewitched offered better insights into the business with more likable characters and MAGIC! If Samantha was my wife I'd have her wiggle her nose and have the client love ever concept I pitched at them. Hell, I'd probably stay home all the time and drink martinis and not have to deal with an idiot boss like Larry Tate.
posted by birdherder at 4:47 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


You want to watch what? What the fuck is Mad Men?
I'm a mad man if you don't pick me the hell up.
*
posted by porn in the woods at 4:47 PM on November 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


I've never seen it either, but I've still managed to develop a crush on the hot redheaded girl.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 4:48 PM on November 4, 2009


The show itself to me like a brutal depiction of a certain kind of affluent misery with a candy shell of fashion. I can understand that there are people who enjoy watching that kind of show. But the discussions of the show I've read, and most of the posts referencing it here are not about the larger social issues the show references. They're about the set design.

It's a period piece; costume and set design is a big part of the aesthetic signature of the show, wholly independent of the substantive content of the writing. Folks interested in set design and costume are going to engage with those aspects, and not always in the context of the critical social commentary that lives at the heart of the show.

Plenty of people have spent time talking about the actual social content of the show. Plenty of people have spent time talking about the set design and costuming. You can probably expect significantly different discussions from different sources, and if you're only seeing the latter and not the former that's pretty much down to the sources you're ending up with access to, and the context in which they're choosing to approach the show.

Get my dad talking about the machinery and naval methodology in Das Boot some time. He will be able to go into enthusiastic detail. He's about the farthest thing from being ignorant of the moral questions involved in the reality of WWII Germany's war machine, but he's not going to disclaim that when he's geeking out about submarines.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:51 PM on November 4, 2009 [17 favorites]


Baby_Balrog: You heard wrong. Season 5 is a hot mess. Pretend it never happened.
posted by orrnyereg at 4:55 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


klangklangston: That's the problem -- there are so many great TV shows out there. That's why I don't watch TV except on DVD. DVD keeps my TV watching restricted to a few shows I'm a die-hard fan of. If I watched normal TV I'd get hooked on so many shows I wouldn't have any spare time to do anything else.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:03 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know who else loved Das Boot?
This is why I don't own a Kinetoscope or attend Penny Dreadfuls.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:03 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Anyway my favorite thing is when someone is all blahblahblah and Don is all :-|
and they're like oh nvm u win
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


to those of us that don't follow it, referencing it from largely unrelated posts is more than a bit frustrating.

Tough titty.
posted by fleacircus at 5:09 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


To me, the show is (put very simply) about the fact that pretty much everyone, or at least everyone on the show, was deeply depressed at the time with no clear way of showing it or dealing with it. I find it fascinating, and fascinating to talk about.

But aside from that, why does it matter if it's a cultural touchstone or not? Does something have to be one to post about it? Many posts are about things that only a few people have ever heard of.
posted by ORthey at 5:11 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pretend it never happened.

Huh. Never thought of that. Much better.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:11 PM on November 4, 2009


/pours a stiff drink, lights cigarette

Your modern MeFite, she wants to feel she's in touch with the moment, and you need to tell her story. Try using more blue. Blue says "I'm with it."

/slams door and heads off to see mistress before going home (drunk, driving) to wife and kids


It was ever thus -- Dr. Who references always infuriate me too.

Just lay off the constant references to Levi-Strauss.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, be damn thankful we're not doing it with The Real Housewives of the Internet.

Gotta be coming soon. Which MeFites would it star?
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2009


And you know what else makes me crazy watching Mad Men? The nuclear threat. It's got to be there all the time, explaining all the depression as well as the repression, confession, and the fucking like bunnies too. But it's virtually unmentioned.

Also, I'm a little in love with Joan on the show. A brainiac bombshell accordionist teh crazy to whack her asshole husband with a bottle, on the head, and the single best argument for being a hip fetishist since Shakira? Quiver.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:25 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


And you know what else makes me crazy watching Mad Men? The nuclear threat. It's got to be there all the time, explaining all the depression as well as the repression, confession, and the fucking like bunnies too. But it's virtually unmentioned.

Well, that stuff intensifies in the Cuban Missle Crisis episode, which was a neat way of bringing it to the surface.
posted by grouse at 5:29 PM on November 4, 2009


It could be worse, those cocksucking Deadwood lovers could be posting. Some users come here with childish ideas. Pony up $5 and the site goes a little bad, which will fucking happen. Some users can't take that, have to blame somebody. I don't go brooding on the right and wrong of it. We don't need the mods coming down on us like fucking locusts. We might bend over for the tenderfoot cocksuckers that don't know cunt from Mad Men and say they should get their fucking money back and they might then get their accounts closed, purely by fucking accident mind. Up jumps some other users in righteous indignation, ask us to check out other horseshit TV references. My vision of locusts return. I see mods descending in swarms.
posted by tellurian at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2009 [34 favorites]


And then someone trys to talk to don about politics/sports/sin/gams/capitalism/feelings and he's all :-|
And they're all wtf mount me
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:32 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


motherfucking deadwood reference for the cocksucking win.
posted by GuyZero at 5:33 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh god. The Wire. I still get choked up when I think about that scene when McNulty and Bubbs are killed in the fifth season. Totally did not see that coming.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


favorite Mad Men reference yet on MF
posted by porn in the woods at 5:43 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


birdherder: "I was saddened to read on latimes.com today that the Jeff Dunham (that terrible ventriloquist guy) show got 5 million viewers when it debuted on Comedy Central. The highest rating EVER on that net. Also, the article made me break down and cry when I read that he made $30 million last year."

I really, really wish you hadn't shared this with me. Jesus.

Also, if it's cool with everyone here, from here on I'm going to start tying all of my FPPs into Team Knight Rider.
posted by brundlefly at 5:51 PM on November 4, 2009


Mostly Awful Drivel Making Everyone Natter
posted by Sys Rq at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, all I can figure is that Jeff Dunham's recent rise to fame is a weird move in a chess game being played by shadowy antediluvian puppetmasters.

Partly because I don't understand the rise to fame, and partly because the marionette thing makes it ironic.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:08 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yaaay! This is where we get to improve our coolness quotient by hating on something popular. Because hating things is cool! Yaaay! Go team!

So what do you all think about hipsters? Please do speak up.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:23 PM on November 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


"This is where we get to improve our coolness quotient by hating on something popular."

Jeff Dunham fan, are you?
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yaaay! This is where we get to improve our coolness quotient by hating on something popular. Because hating things is cool! Yaaay! Go team!

I don't hate it because it's popular. I hate it because, in my personal opinion, it's absolutely godawful.

Your favorite show sucks.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:28 PM on November 4, 2009


(I don't watch TV except a few particular shows on DVD)

How is this not "watching TV"? Seriously, I don't get this formulation at all. You're watching a made-for-television program--this is "watching TV."

Watching TV on DVD is fun because you can binge on it and no commercials. It's an awesome way to watch TV.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:40 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like it when some dudes like blahblahblahopinions and hipsters are all ;)
and dudes like: wut
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:42 PM on November 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I know, I get all pissed off when every single blue post isn't right in my wheelhouse too.
posted by CwgrlUp at 6:51 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac: "Just lay off the constant references to Levi-Strauss."

I've seen hardly any posts about blue jeans here lately.
posted by webhund at 6:53 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


the irrelevant and pointless Mad Men reference has done serious damage to grumblebee's post.

Agreed. It was stupid, and I won't repeat the mistake (which, extracted from the specifics of "Mad Men" = don't make off-the-cuff remarks about an obscure or popular thing that is only tangentially related to your post).

For the record, I had no idea that any other posts (that weren't actually about the show) reference "Mad Men," and I wasn't trying to do anything other than making a dumb joke. I put about two seconds of thought into it, which, perhaps, was the problem.

I recognize that this isn't a callout, but I'm calling out myself. *Sound of hand slapping wrist.*

The words "Mad Men" in a post's text places the entire post in a "SEP Field" for me.

Funny, because I had no idea what SEP meant, so I clicked on the link. When I saw what it was, I thought, "Uh, ANOTHER Hitchhiker's Guide thing... Time to move on."
posted by grumblebee at 6:55 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


"That's the problem -- there are so many great TV shows out there. That's why I don't watch TV except on DVD. DVD keeps my TV watching restricted to a few shows I'm a die-hard fan of. If I watched normal TV I'd get hooked on so many shows I wouldn't have any spare time to do anything else."

Oh, yeah, totally, that's why I don't watch shows that have plot arcs except on DVD. Which is why I still haven't watched the Wire at all, because I'm waiting for the first season to show up at the library.
posted by klangklangston at 6:55 PM on November 4, 2009


Anyway, I've pretty much said my piece about Mad Men in one of the still-open MM threads -- people who get all offended because the show isn't a simple GOOD GUYS WIN scenario are completely missing the point.

And, now that I think about it, why didn't you just post your little diatribe to one of the already-existing threads on the subject?
posted by Afroblanco at 6:58 PM on November 4, 2009


All I know about Mad Men is one of the actresses in it was from Iowa and once dumped Ashton Kutcher. This is almost enough to make me want to watch the show.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:09 PM on November 4, 2009


Yeah, Mad Men sucks ass, but you can't stop people from talking about it if they want to. It'll pass, though.
posted by ignignokt at 7:23 PM on November 4, 2009


Get a new look for your profile picture...Mad Men Yourself!

...takes a little while to load...
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:23 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


but you can't stop people from talking whining, sneering, and/or complaining about it if they want to. It'll pass, though.
posted by scody at 7:32 PM on November 4, 2009


Fred armisen totally just married Peggy irl isnt that weird???
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2009


Now that hour-long dramas have become sprawling serials that are probably primarily meant to be watched in marathon DVD sessions, they've gotten soooo boring. Mad Men is insufferably slow-moving. Each season could be a movie and they'd lose virtually nothing. I still kind of like it though. I just wish they hadn't fucked up Joan's character by having her get married.
posted by painquale at 7:42 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's still OK to work "Prisencolinensineinciusol" references into every possible thread, though, si?

Oh shit, now I'll have that stuck in my cranium for another three days.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:58 PM on November 4, 2009


Well I just started watching it, but if you think the "Armand Tanzarian" episode of The Simpsons is something that could plausibly happen in real life, you're in for a treat!
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2009


Porn in the Woods:

That quote is pretty funny. All I hear is this, though

Blah blah straight guys everywhere, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah possess a desire to totally fuck Christina Hendricks.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. She's a lovely woman, from the pictures that every guy on the internet posts all the time, with captions like "She will be MINE." "No way, dog, I love you, but I will step over your smoking remains to touch the hem of her garment."

I've never seen the show. This is what I know.

It is set in the Fifties.
It is very slick looking. The sets, the costumes, very swank.
It is about people who work at an ad agency.
Those people are assholes.
Christina Hendricks is in it. She is an attractive, cuvaceous redhead with big boobies. I am unsure of the size of her role, who she plays or what her character does. I do know that
nobody can believe she just married that dork, and they all want to fight him.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2009


On a more serious note, the show is passable, but there's nothing special about it except the production design. The characters are so busy living in a time when people smoked and wore funny hats and were racist lol that they forget to act like actual human beings or speak in a way that isn't incredibly wooden.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:12 PM on November 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ad agency? Lots of drinking? Subservient women? Sounds like it's just a remake of Bewitched, to me.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Wait is there a mad men cliffsnotes that you guys have access to where the dialogue is summarized, the characters are pencil sketches, and it's set in the 50s? NO FAIR I WANT IT

Should I check bookstores or it is only available online? I want to sound uninformed too!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:46 PM on November 4, 2009


Sounds like it's just a remake of Bewitched, to me.

Or the Dick Van Dyke show.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:53 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Like Don Draper, I like my milk steak boiled, over hard, and a side of your finest jellybeans, raw.
posted by electroboy at 9:13 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait is there a mad men cliffsnotes that you guys have access to where the dialogue is summarized, the characters are pencil sketches...

Yeah, it airs Sundays on AMC.
posted by painquale at 9:14 PM on November 4, 2009


That does not compute.
posted by brain_drain at 9:33 PM on November 4, 2009


"Or the Dick Van Dyke show."

Except that the Dick Van Dyke show was set in television, had little drinking, and two of the most progressive female characters of the time in Mary Tyler Moore and Rose Marie.

But everyone did look good.
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


So who's the better captain, Kirk or Picard?
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:49 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is set in the Fifties.

Uh, no.
posted by scody at 9:54 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, most mad men related posts are rather pedestrian. And that's coming from someone who was blown away by the subtle story telling in the last episode. In spite of disliking most other series.

But I find it cute that through this show people suddenly have rediscovered our nearest history; a time that only our ((great) grand)parents remember and that was radically different.
It's brilliant that the makers of mad men managed to make this almost forgotten era look so glamorous and interesting while it's image before was that it was a rather stolid time.

So just shrug when you see a post on metafilter that mentions mad men. It will die down pretty soon.
There are a lot of themes on metafilter that I ignore; gender threads, american politicians who turn out to be gay or have extramarital sex, threads about US sports, threads about indie music, etc etc.
Works just fine for me.
posted by jouke at 10:41 PM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


I loved Bewitched when I was a kid.
posted by Sailormom at 10:48 PM on November 4, 2009


"Or the Dick Van Dyke show."

Except that the Dick Van Dyke show was set in television, had little drinking, and two of the most progressive female characters of the time in Mary Tyler Moore and Rose Marie.

But everyone did look good.


If Mad Men was half the show that the Dick Van Dyke Show was, I would be posting FPPs about it every week. As it is, it's all I can do to restrain myself from posting Dick Van Dyke Show FPPs every week.
posted by The World Famous at 11:04 PM on November 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Jeff Dunham made $30M last year?

Thanks, that just added to my conviction that money is entirely a sham. There is no fucking way ever that his act is worth that kind of money. None.

Money does not scale correctly. It needs to be a logarithmic function.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:16 PM on November 4, 2009


I have no idea who Jeff Dunham is. I'm thinking ignorance isn't always a bad thing. Of course today I have learned who Christina Hendricks is, so knowledge can also be good. Life is confusing.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:46 PM on November 4, 2009


There's two posts on the front page right now about muppets, and I've never even been a muppet.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:06 PM on November 4 [has favorites +] [!]

speak for yourself, bub.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 11:48 PM on November 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


Ad agency? Lots of drinking? Subservient women? Sounds like it's just a remake of Bewitched, to me.

If you imagine Samantha's magic and her mother were all figments of her imagination and the cameramen followed Darren to work instead to escape that particular brand of soul-crushing sad for more subtle variants, then...yeah.
posted by carbide at 12:20 AM on November 5, 2009


Afroblanco: “Anyway, I've pretty much said my piece about Mad Men in one of the still-open MM threads -- people who get all offended because the show isn't a simple GOOD GUYS WIN scenario are completely missing the point.”

Actually (and this is not a lead-in to an argument, just a point that's always interested me) I think the thing that bothers me about Mad Men is that it's just about bad guys who always lose. And that's not to say that I don't like watching bad guys lose, or that I find that sort of thing particularly depressing; yes, I think most of the people who object to the show are probably just shallow bastards who'd like to go back to watching something sunny and cheerful and less interestingly mannered, but it seems to me that the evil depicted by Mad Men is just to... easy somehow. It's set 45 years ago (I'm not a constant follower of it, but that's correct, right?) – a generation hence, which in 'American years' is an eternity – so diving into a world like that and constantly pointing out the social flaws and glaring injustices and sexism and racism et cetera is like shooting fish in a barrel. At least when I watch it I can almost palpably feel myself being prompted to say aloud "gosh, that was terrible" before immediately saying "but, you know, that's really how it was back then." (And if I wanted to get all historical, I'd even say that the show is rampantly inaccurate; that's not to say that there wasn't sexism or that there wasn't racism or that the other deep socio-political wrongs that the show relentlessly highlights didn't exist, but it just seems as though life was more dimensional, more colorful.) It just seems sort of unfair for us to make a television series the message of which generally just seems to be that people were basically just hapless neanderthals up until around 1983. It's a particularly American perspective on the past – nostalgia only for the look, and nothing but horror for every really human aspect of history – but it seems like one that's been done to death.

I think what would have been really interesting would have been a show about the 60's that tried to claim that people were more decent as human beings back then than they are now. Not that I think they were – on the contrary, I'd have trouble believing it – but it'd make for a more interesting show. I just feel like it would have worked better if they'd actually challenged the modern assumption that the past was a dreary mess than it has with them reinforcing it. Maybe a show about how wrong we've gone, or a show about how our grandparents were more correct about politics or religion or baseball or something than we are, would have been more interesting than a show about how backward people were then.

I guess it could be worse, though; it could be actually, directly, purely nostalgic. Although maybe that wouldn't be worse. That's actually another thing that bugs me about Mad Men: in making an entire television show about the past which seems (to my eye, maybe people will disagree) to almost entirely and completely lack nostalgia, it seems as though we're proving that nostalgia, the wish for another time or place, is completely dead now, or at least that we feel so uncomfortable with nostalgia that it has no place in our lives. And that's not only sort of sad but an interesting thing to notice, something that indicates how convinced we are that our time and place is truly the best time and place that's ever existed, even if we never, ever admit it out loud.
posted by koeselitz at 12:24 AM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


It just seems sort of unfair for us to make a television series the message of which generally just seems to be that people were basically just hapless neanderthals up until around 1983.

Well, in fairness, Jimi Hendrix did predict in 1968 that he would become a merman in 1983.
posted by The World Famous at 12:36 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mad Men is an excellent television program.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:52 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think the thing that bothers me about Mad Men is that it's just about bad guys who always lose.

What? No. That really doesn't describe the show at all. The simplistic good guy/bad guy dichotomy really has nothing to do with Mad Men, or any good drama. Shades of gray, people. Complexity. Layers. A full range of human experience. Etc.
posted by JenMarie at 1:04 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken: “Mad Men is an excellent television program.”

JenMarie: “That really doesn't describe the show at all. The simplistic good guy/bad guy dichotomy really has nothing to do with Mad Men, or any good drama. Shades of gray, people. Complexity. Layers. A full range of human experience. Etc.”

I was probably thinking too historically when I watched it. It's sort of like when I've tried to show John Ford's western movies to my dad; he can't get past the fact that Texas looks so much like Arizona, so he just misses it. I should give it a go again completely ignoring the fact that it's supposed to be set in the '60s and just look at characters; that is the part that people say makes it worthwhile. I also need to watch something besides the first season, I think, as people say it really takes off after that.

In fact, I think I will. Is there a place I should start? Or should I just dive in at the beginning of season 2? Or what? And is there something I'm missing about the point of the show, something I should watch for?
posted by koeselitz at 1:18 AM on November 5, 2009


(Last week, I was watching the old Billy Wilder movie The Apartment, the Jack Lemmon one from 1960, and it occurred to me that The Apartment is an encapsulation of everything I'd wanted to find in Mad Men but didn't. I can't really say why yet; only that that's how I felt. What a great movie.)
posted by koeselitz at 1:22 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eideteker: “Oh man, if there's anything white people love more than The Wire, it's Mad Men.”

I have often enjoyed wondering what the characters from The Wire would think if they sat down to watch Mad Men. And vice versa.
posted by koeselitz at 1:33 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh an "I don't watch TV thread", how novel.

Anyone watching this season of Supernatural? I can't believe how fucking far this show has come since season 1.
posted by cj_ at 2:06 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


White people is so dumb.
posted by at the crossroads at 2:15 AM on November 5, 2009


I agree that the signaling with a flagpole about social differences is rather tiresome about the show. Look, Look; people drunk at work, drunk while driving, people were racist, were sexist, etc etc.
It irks me because it's formulaic. But more importantly it continuously raises that those where different, worse times and in that sense we're always looking and judging from a later era. Instead of just being in that era in itself. And implicitly we're patting ourselves on the back; look how much better we are. I don't subscribe to the notion that our times are only better than those days.
But I attribute the simplistic aspects to the fact that it's a big tv series that tries to win a big audience. If the show was aimed only at people who like subtle shades of grey it wouldn't be able to spend as much money on the actors, on the props and on the cinematics.
So I accept that as part of the set up of television.
posted by jouke at 2:18 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Forums are a tantalizing siren. But there is the rare occasion when Mefites can be engaged on a level beyond annoyance, if they have a sentimental bond with the venue they're talking in.

My first time in MetaTalk, I was there with this old Mefite admin, grizzled, named Mathowie.

And Mathowie told me the most important idea in MetaTalk was 'venting.' Lets off steam. You simply give them a venue to do it, and it soothes the itch to argue, like calamine lotion.

But he also talked about a deeper bond with the forum: camaraderie. It's delicate, but potent.

[lights off – first slide *click*]

Mathowie told me that in Spanish comrade literally means 'chamber mate.' [click]

It's a person who stands alongside you, far more powerful than work acquaintances. [click]

This forum isn't a debate hall. It's a old watering hole. [click] It sees bad times, good. [click] Takes us to a place where we realize we're not alone. [click]

It's not called 'MetaYell.' It's called 'MetaTalk.' [click]

It lets us communicate the way we do with friends. [click] Around and around and back home again [pause – click] to a place where we know we're not alone.

[click]
[click]
[click]
posted by WCityMike at 2:40 AM on November 5, 2009 [15 favorites]


I agree that sometimes a MM reference is gratuitous--but this thread is beyond that now, no?
I find the show pleasurable to watch (I'm in the middle of season two), but primarily in a masochistic way; all long-form serial dramatic TV is about suffering, both characters' and viewers. When Peggy has a success, for example, we'll sometimes mutter "oh, you will suffer." One of the appealing things about Don, I think, is that he seems usually to have a tighter rein on his suffering than most; this is also one of the major gender themes in the show.
I'm not sure I look to the show for useful social commentary--it's more interested in social issues as context for psychological ones (this may be part of the satisfaction for middle-class white viewers).
Further to Jouke's comment, I do think those moments of "oh, the past was different" are strung through each ep like a necklace. We'll just mutter "cell phone" when a scene seems to be all about how we would use our cell phones after our drunk driving accident. Don and the family have a picnic, and then simply shake the garbage off their blanket and leave it on the grass? "Cell phone."
I think a (to me, touching) version of this at more of a macro level is that the show is waiting for the future--specifically "the sixties" to arrive. At least at this point, Don's counter-cultural streak signals this, and all the double-standard stuff feels like background reading for The Feminine Mystique. Making narrative set in the past I guess comes with a double-edged challenge/opportunity; your audience thinks they already know what you're talking about, and while it's rewarding to tweak that, there are limits on how far you can go.
[Finally, I hate how often I say "nice tie." I never wear ties!]
posted by Mngo at 5:06 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I only know the show through quotes and references, like a lost Sophocles play that we only know of through mentions by other authors. But I've been sitting on this, so here it is, for lack of a better place to link it.
posted by gimonca at 5:08 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of people are fascinated with the fashion and the set designs of Mad Men partly because a lot of the shots are just so beautiful and so full. In the latest episode there was an amazing shot where both Don and the political guy are standing almost back to back waiting for Betty to approach. Also the show does a very thorough job of recapturing the physical presence of that time, and it's simply a thrill to step into another world -- I don't think there's necessarily anything superficial about it.

Koeselitz: I thought what was so great about the first season finale was how Don's Kodak pitch so perfectly sells the idea of nostalgia -- to his 1960s audience -- and the 21st century audience can relate to it so well. Nostalgia is timeless.
posted by creasy boy at 5:27 AM on November 5, 2009


cjorgensen writes "Of course today I have learned who Christina Hendricks is, so knowledge can also be good."

If you want to see what all the panting is about check "Our Mrs. Reynolds".
posted by Mitheral at 5:32 AM on November 5, 2009


What baffles and disturbs me about the phenomenon is that the show, from everything I've read, depicts a hellish vista of classism, racism, sexism and narrow-minded generalized Babbittry.

....so perhaps the appeal of the show is a sort of schadenfreude? YOu know, "whooo, thank God it's not like THAT any more"? It's a thought.

And anyway, the read I got of this complaint was not about MM itself, but the weird drive some people were exhibiting to drop references to it based on only the most tenuous of connections:

"This is a post about Russian commercial advertising....Like in MAD MEN!"

"This is a post about Beat poetry....which was around at the time of MAD MEN!"

"This is a post about David Duchovny...who would have been three years old during MAD MEN!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:44 AM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I thought the idea of the show wasn't that the bad guys lose, or that people were much more racist/sexist back then, but that there are more similarities between then and now than we'd like to admit.

But I haven't seen it yet, I'm waiting to get it on DVD :)
posted by harriet vane at 5:48 AM on November 5, 2009


This post calling attention to the number of posts about Mad Men has quickly turned into an additional post about Mad Men.

For meself, I'm enthusiastic about being introduced to new things on Metafilter. And it's OK with me if others are enthusiastic enough about those new things that they make multiple posts about them over time. This site would get stale if it was an uninterrupted parade of Cool Stuff With Which I Am Already Familiar And Which Is Generally Ideologically Unchallenging To Me.

I started watching the first season of Mad Men via Bittorrent a little while back in response to all the raving about it on the blue. It's a pretty good show.
posted by killdevil at 5:53 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't have a TV.
posted by killdevil at 5:55 AM on November 5, 2009


This post calling attention to the number of posts about Mad Men has quickly turned into an additional post about Mad Men.

Touché.
posted by grouse at 6:14 AM on November 5, 2009


As someone who absolutely loves Mad Men (and whose fascination with it is that the show reexamines the Sixties not from the POV of the Boomers* but of their parents--the people who Didn't Get It at the time), I have totally not noticed this explosion of MM references on the Blue and can state with some confidence that you can skip right over them and not miss out on the greater conversation. I skip over anything that mentions Doctor Who or ColdFusion or typography or video games and somehow I'm still here.

*The era of Boomer tyranny in all things cultural and political is over! Fin-fuckin-ally!
posted by kittyprecious at 6:21 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Fin-fucking-ally" doesn't really flow.
posted by creasy boy at 6:30 AM on November 5, 2009


We (in the U.S.) have this weird idea that the period between WWII and our involvement in Vietnam was somehow a simpler, more delightful time where everyone was prosperous and happy. There's a Father Knows Best (which came a little earlier, but still) gloss on the whole time period. Daddy went off to work in the City, Mommy stayed home with the kids, and everyone was pleasant and polite. What Mad Men does so beautifully - and what makes it difficult to watch, for me - is strip away this shiny surface to let us glimpse how rigid and proscribed life was for this class of people who were supposed to be so happy and in love with their lives. Things weren't simpler or happier. Things were as difficult and unpleasant as they are in any given time period, even for people with the trappings of success.
posted by rtha at 6:30 AM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


"Fin-fucking-ally" doesn't really flow.

Conformist!

posted by kittyprecious at 6:43 AM on November 5, 2009


koeselitz: I'd say Mad Men is a pretty-serialized show. Season 2 was better than season 1, but only in the way I "chapter x of this book was better". You really should just finish the first season to get there. The first season was great too, I thought.
posted by floam at 6:57 AM on November 5, 2009


My first FPP will be when Sarah Palin makes a cameo on Mad Men.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:59 AM on November 5, 2009


Mad Men is fine as long as you bear in mind that it's the 60s WASP Sopranos. Sterling Cooper instead of Badda-Bing, Westchester instead of Jersey, Sally the future SDS member instead of Meadow the NYU snot, etc.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:06 AM on November 5, 2009


Is this something I'd have to not watch Mad Men to be annoyed with?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:10 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's hard to watch Mad Men without putting it in context of the credulous early-television work contemporary to the early 60s. The "man everyone is awful" thing definitely comes on pretty strong in the show to the point where I can see losing patience with it, but I think that'd be a worse criticism if it were a random hatchet job on Random Period Of History/Culture X rather than in part a direct reflection of and commentary on not just the time period but on how that time period was presented at the time in ostensibly similar media. The comparison to Bewitched isn't just cute, it's apt and important—Mad Men has both a debt to and a big spiritual beef with Sam and Darrin et al.

"Fin-fucking-ally" doesn't really flow.

Expletive insertion in most cases behaves according to the Fuckin' Test (note: that is a technical term), which observes that expletives inserted for emphasis will generally appear at a syllable boundary before the primary stress syllable of the word being modified.

Which is why we get "ab-so-fucking-LUTE-ly" or "in-fucking-CRED-i-ble" instead of "ab-fucking-so-LUTE-ly" or "in-CRED-fucking-i-ble", etc.

Which suggests that the natural solution here is "fucking FIN-al-ly", which feels very natural to me but is disappointing maybe to the dedicated word-splitter. But thems the breaks; no one ever said there had to be rules, but it turns out that when people cuss they pretty much follow this rule by instinct.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:13 AM on November 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


The simplistic good guy/bad guy dichotomy really has nothing to do with Mad Men, or any good drama. Shades of gray, people. Complexity. Layers. A full range of human experience. Etc.

Except for the supervillain Betty Draper.
posted by brain_drain at 7:25 AM on November 5, 2009


Now if there were posts referencing "Trailer Park Boys" that would be a different story. Yeah I know old show for Canadians, but just getting play via satellite in the US recently. You Canadians get all the good stuff 1st, like national health care. It's just not fair!
posted by white_devil at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2009


I'd go with "f-fuckin'-inally" (which does place it right before the primary stress) but then I admit my personal style was influenced by the drummer I used to play with, whose profanity was virtuosic, and who once memorably announced a highway advisory sign to us as "No tr-fucking-ucks."

And, as a few kind souls have already done, I will say that my impression of the original post here was not a complaint, but more of a friendly tip along the lines of, "If your post doesn't really have anything to do with Mad Men, then shoehorning in an unnecessary reference to it is a good way to get interesting discussion of your real topic derailed or curtailed rather quickly." Hardly a crusade.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:43 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, this business of properly interpolating curses into words (I know there's a term for it, but I don't recall offhand) is something they should teach in ESL courses, because absolutely nothing gives away your game faster than coming out with something like "in-CRED-fucking-i-ble" or "fan-TAST-fucking-tic".
posted by Wolfdog at 7:50 AM on November 5, 2009


You sure seem to read a lot about a show you don't watch.

And there's something wrong with that? OK, maybe if you're reading about it specifically to complain about it, but there's nothing wrong with reading about a show you don't watch in and of itself.

I've read all kinds of stuff about shows I don't watch, movies I don't watch, books I don't read. Sometimes it turns me on to shows I'd like that I wouldn't otherwise have known about. (Hello, Breaking Bad.) And as a trivia buff, it gives me a chance to answer questions I'd otherwise miss. I haven't read any of the Twilight series or seen the movies, and don't ever intend to, but from reading secondhand material I know a few of the characters' names and a few major plot points, so I have a fighting chance to answer a trivia question on the subject if it comes up.

As for Mad Men, I watched about ten minutes of an episode once and didn't feel particularly compelled to watch any more. Nothing against the many people who find the show worthwhile, it's just not my cup of tea.

----

Interesting that you say that, since my (admittedly inexpert) searching turns up fewer than 20 Mad Men-related posts to the blue-- ever...

By contrast, there are 136 posts tagged with "startrek", so you nerds should just shut up already.


Not sure whether you're being sincere or ironic there, but in the event you're being sincere: Mad Men has been on for three seasons so far, with 38 episodes aired. Star Trek in its various incarnations has 28 seasons comprising 703 episodes (or 30 seasons/725 episodes if you include the animated series, not officially considered canon but still admired by many fans) plus 11 feature films. So a 7:1 post ratio for Star Trek:Mad Men means Star Trek is underrepresented on MeFi relative to Mad Men.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:52 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've read all kinds of stuff about shows I don't watch, movies I don't watch, books I don't read.

Audrey Rouget: What Jane Austen novels have you read?

Tom Townsend: None. I don't read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelists' ideas as well as the critics' thinking. With fiction I can never forget that none of it really happened, that it's all just made up by the author.
posted by Evangeline at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2009


This thread has turned into a shiticane. I'm gonna try to refuckulate and land on juniper.
posted by Cheesoning at 8:23 AM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it's clear the correct derivation is Fina-Fucking-Ly.
posted by Babblesort at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2009


final-fucking-ly
posted by found missing at 8:28 AM on November 5, 2009


Bad guys who always lose is the basis for one of the best shows on TV now, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
posted by klangklangston at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh man, if there's anything white people love more than The Wire, it's Mad Men.

It's The Designated Egghead Show, the one show that smart people can watch without losing their egghead cred.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2009


I have recently noticed a few Front Page Posts that used the TV show Mad Men as a cultural touchstone against which all manner of things need be compared.

I thought that was the show that nobody was talking about.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:34 AM on November 5, 2009


I think the people saying it boils down to "thank God it's not like this any more" are missing a few things the show is trying to do. Specifically, 1) the show implicates our present day attitudes in subtle ways, using this older time period to point out how surprisingly little has changed when you dig into the underlying structures that prop up sexism, racism, etc. They are all still very present, they've just become less visible. 2) Much of it is approached from a political context of modern American social conservatives who long for "the good old days", i.e. that period before the civil rights and hippie movements took full form, when wives stayed at home and everyone you met (white/visible) was pleasantly conformist and exactly like you. I often wonder how certain social conservatives would intelligent respond to this show, which shows, for example, the horrors of a pre-women's rights era so vividly. Just for forcing us to remember what so many of us should be struggling against, the show is progressive and invaluable. What I'm mentioning is only a fraction of the show, of course, and the characters are far too complex and interesting to be pigeonholed into mere political slogans. But the show's relationship with the past is more nuanced than "racism was rampant back then, eh?"
posted by naju at 9:14 AM on November 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


But the show's relationship with the past is more nuanced than "racism was rampant back then, eh?"

I think I was the only one who proposed that the reaction to seeing the era was "thank god it's not like this any more." And I was thinking of that more of a retort to those who were asking 'why do you want to see something set when racism was rampant? Doesn't that depress you? Or are you racist?"

I'm pretty sure it's more nuanced than "thank God we're not racist," but I was myself trying to say that the fans were watching from a more nuanced perspective than "racism yay!" which is what I thought was being implied.

....I've never seen the show at all, so hey.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on November 5, 2009


Ah yeah, I didn't mean to respond to you specifically, Empress. Just statements like this and others throughout the internets:

"the message of which generally just seems to be that people were basically just hapless neanderthals up until around 1983"

seem like they're ignoring all kinds of interesting things the show is trying to do.
posted by naju at 9:25 AM on November 5, 2009


But thems the breaks; no one ever said there had to be rules, but it turns out that when people cuss they pretty much follow this rule by instinct.

I actually know a linguist who wrote a paper about this very phenomenon and how it relates to - WAIT FOR IT - diddly infixation in the speech of Ned Flanders. Yes, sir. There's an actual paper on the linguistics of when Flanders will add "diddly" into a word.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:27 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is probably closer to the truth. I don't like Mad Men, but I can see watching it and liking it despite the morals and actions of the characters. I frequently watch the hell out of Highlander even though I'm completely against decapitation of anyone, immortal or not.

Stories become better when you realize you don't have to indentify with the main character all the time. Six Feet Under became delightfully enjoyable when I realized Everyone Is An Asshole was the primary dramatic engine.

Oh how I would cheer Nate's destruction. Go Nate and Brenda! Go! Needlessly fuck up your lives s'more! your suffering is like sweet wine!
posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2009


Except for the supervillain Betty Draper.

At this point I'm taking bets on Betty's crack-up. She's just one bad day away from burning the house down with everyone inside it.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is odd to me: so often, when there's a show that person A likes and person B doesn't like it, person B assume that A likes it -- or claims to like it -- for some complicated reason.

According to B, A likes the show because "it's the egghead show that intellectuals are allowed to watch" or because A is mindlessly following a trend or because A is a bad person who agrees with the show's misguided morals or because A is a good person who agrees with the show's pristine morals.

While all these reasons -- reasons that evoke ideas that are external to the show itself -- MIGHT be the case (and surely are the case for some people), Occam's Razor tells me that most people like a show because of properties of the show itself.

Usually those properties are plot and character. For instance, I like "Mad Men," because I am fascinated by the characters and the situations they get into. That's really the reason I like it. (And that's pretty much the only reason I like it.) It's not the only reason to like a show, but I bet it's the most common reason. Yet it's the least common one discussed by people who DON'T like the show.

I suspect that people who don't like a show's characters and plots have trouble relating to people who do. So rather than accepting those differences, they create more complex reasoning. If you think Don Draper is a boring character or that he's poorly acted, then surely it can't be the case that I like the show because I think he's an interesting character who is well acted.

It's funny that we don't do that with food. I don't like shrimp and I can't really relate to why people do. But I assume it's usually because they like the taste -- not because they are trying to keep up with the Shrimp-Eating Set or promote Shrimp-Eating Politics. It's a hard bit of reasoning, because it FEELS like shrimp doesn't just taste bad to me. It feels like it tastes bad in a cosmic way, as if tasting bad is an internal property of shrimp.

Except it isn't.
posted by grumblebee at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


Oh man, if there's anything white people love more than The Wire, it's Mad Men.

Ta-Nehisi Coates does a regular Mad Men recap, with special attention paid to the racial dynamics. Interesting take on the show.
posted by electroboy at 9:38 AM on November 5, 2009


Wait is there a mad men cliffsnotes that you guys have access to where the dialogue is summarized, the characters are pencil sketches...

I know you were being facetious in your request, but for others who might be interested I recommend Tom & Lorenzo's take on each episode.
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM on November 5, 2009


For instance, I like "Mad Men," because I am fascinated by the characters and the situations they get into.

(See also, Gilligan's Island).
posted by The World Famous at 9:57 AM on November 5, 2009


More of a Sons of Anarchy man myself.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:58 AM on November 5, 2009


More of a Sons of Anarchy man myself.

It's Days of our Lives with bikers and skinheads. I caught two episodes on a recent JetBlue flight and wow, it's a straight-up soap opera.
posted by GuyZero at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


rtha: “We (in the U.S.) have this weird idea that the period between WWII and our involvement in Vietnam was somehow a simpler, more delightful time where everyone was prosperous and happy. There's a Father Knows Best (which came a little earlier, but still) gloss on the whole time period. Daddy went off to work in the City, Mommy stayed home with the kids, and everyone was pleasant and polite. What Mad Men does so beautifully - and what makes it difficult to watch, for me - is strip away this shiny surface to let us glimpse how rigid and proscribed life was for this class of people who were supposed to be so happy and in love with their lives. Things weren't simpler or happier. Things were as difficult and unpleasant as they are in any given time period, even for people with the trappings of success.”

I have never, in my entire life, met a single person who actually believed that life in the 50s and 60s was anything like how it was on Father Knows Best or Leave It To Beaver. If anything, everybody I know seems to think that life in the 50s and early 60s was miserable, nobody had sex because they were too repressed and morally afraid of it, racism was assumed to be correct by every single person alive, and on top of it all everything was boring.

So if there's any 'gloss' left on that time period that probably needs to be torn away, it's the gloss left on it by our boomer parents in the 80s and 90s – our boomer parents who spent their grown-up lives explaining to us how repressed and awful their parents had been, and what a terrible world they'd had to live in during that time period.
posted by koeselitz at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


For instance, I like "Mad Men," because I am fascinated by the characters and the situations they get into.

(See also, Gilligan's Island).

Meaning?

I'm not a fan of the characters on "Gilligan's Island" and I don't find the situations entertaining. If I did, I'd watch the show.
posted by grumblebee at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2009


I suspect that people who don't like a show's characters and plots have trouble relating to people who do. So rather than accepting those differences, they create more complex reasoning. If you think Don Draper is a boring character or that he's poorly acted, then surely it can't be the case that I like the show because I think he's an interesting character who is well acted.

Nope. It's because it's another so-called "critically-acclaimed" show with an obvious, predictable premise and obvious and predictable situations, characters and dialogue.
posted by Zambrano at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2009


If anything, everybody I know seems to think that life in the 50s and early 60s was miserable, nobody had sex because they were too repressed and morally afraid of it, racism was assumed to be correct by every single person alive, and on top of it all everything was boring.

That's kind of the other side of the extreme depictions of life in postwar America. It's largely just as much as a false narrative as the Leave it To Beaver ideal.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


We might bend over for the tenderfoot cocksuckers that don't know cunt from Mad Men and say they should get their fucking money back and they might then get their accounts closed, purely by fucking accident mind. Up jumps some other users in righteous indignation, ask us to check out other horseshit TV references. My vision of locusts return. I see mods descending in swarms.

Some say he bends over for the tenderfoot cocksuckers that don't know cunt from Mad Men, and that his vision of locusts return, seeing mods descending in swarms. All we know is, he's called tellurian.
posted by davejay at 10:07 AM on November 5, 2009


I suspect that people who don't like a show's characters and plots have trouble relating to people who do. So rather than accepting those differences, they create more complex reasoning. If you think Don Draper is a boring character or that he's poorly acted, then surely it can't be the case that I like the show because I think he's an interesting character who is well acted.

Nope. It's because it's another so-called "critically-acclaimed" show with an obvious, predictable premise and obvious and predictable situations, characters and dialogue.

You and I are talking apples and oranges, but I guess I didn't make my point clear.

You are explaining why (you think) the show is bad.

That's not what I'm talking about. I am not talking about whether it's good or bad or why it's good or bad. I am talking about how people who dislike it try to fathom the psychology of people who do.

I'm someone who does, and yet I don't give a shit how critically acclaimed it is, especially since I hate most (positive and negative) reviews that I read.

I like it BECAUSE I like the "obvious, predictable" premise (which to me isn't obvious or predictable") and the characters and dialogue. Since you don't like these things, feel free to think of me as nuts for liking them. But it would be pretty insulting if you decided I was lying about the reasons I say I like the show.
posted by grumblebee at 10:12 AM on November 5, 2009


I have never, in my entire life, met a single person who actually believed that life in the 50s and 60s was anything like how it was on Father Knows Best or Leave It To Beaver. If anything, everybody I know seems to think that life in the 50s and early 60s was miserable, nobody had sex because they were too repressed and morally afraid of it, racism was assumed to be correct by every single person alive, and on top of it all everything was boring.

Anecdata, but you know, I have met people who are so consumed by nostalgia - or so miserable with their current lives - that they really do believe that times were simpler and happier in the late 50s and early 60s. This includes people who were alive and over the age of 12 at the time. Trent Lott seemed to think that the world would have been a better place if Strom Thurmond had been elected president in 1948, for example. IIRC, he backpedaled wildly with handwaving about a simpler time, a happier time....until people started asking him, simpler and happier for whom? Blacks? Women?

"Back in the day", children were more polite, there was little crime, everyone had jobs and knew their place. Cars and housing were affordable, men opened doors for women - who were happy to stay home with the polite children - and so on. Growing up in the 70s, I was aware that a lot of people thought this - not my parents, but their parents, and many of my aunts an uncles. It doesn't strike me as an unusual mindset, although it seems to be much less prevalent today.
posted by rtha at 10:22 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


grumblebee, just ignore Zambrano. He thinks everyone's favorite band/TV show/brand of shampoo sucks, and he is so far above us in taste that we we should be grateful for every pearl of wisdom he drops. These pearls are made of condescension and arrogance, and they should be left alone.
posted by rtha at 10:25 AM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Let me be more specific about why I like the show. I don't really care about its commentary about office life or the 60s or whatever.

On a recent episode, Betty Draper was at a party with her husband. A man showed up that she's in love with. In one shot, you see, from her point of view, her husband across the room, smiling at her. In the same shot, further back, you the other man, also looking at her. Then there's a cut to her face, and you see her expression.

That moment made me FEEL. It made me feel what she was going through, torn between the two men; it made me feel lustful and ashamed and scared she'd (I'd) get caught. That's what I expect from good drama. I want it to make me feel the way different foods make me taste.

For me, "Mad Men" is filled with moments like that -- moments that make me feel joy, shame, sadness, fear, pride, anger, guilt, etc. Many other shows have a much more limited palette of feelings. Many other shows -- for me -- don't really evoke the feelings they are trying to evoke, or not as deeply. So it's not the case that if "all" I want to do is feel, I can just watch any old show. It's very hard for a show to effectively push my buttons that way. "Mad Men" is one of the rare shows that does.

If I fuck a woman, I want to feel her fingers digging into the flesh of my back. If I "fuck" a TV show, I want to feel the grit on the sidewalk under the character's shoes. I want to feel their anguish when they get fired; I want to feel the bourbon sliding down their throats.

Sorry for the vulgarity, but that's why I watch. It's sensual.

You may watch for different reasons. That's why I watch.

Viewed this way, which I know isn't the way all people do it, it's absurd to talk about "predictable" premises. "Hamlet" and "King Lear" have predictable premises. So does "The Godfather." Whatever.

Pizzas and coffee and cake and onion soup are all predictable. I don't care. I care about how they taste.
posted by grumblebee at 10:26 AM on November 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


grumblebee, just ignore Zambrano.

Thanks, but in a conversation, I'm not in the habit of ignoring people. I know it's sometimes foolish to engage, but I'd rather give people the benefit of the doubt and risk being a fool.
posted by grumblebee at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2009


Also, I don't have a TV.

I'm so sorry for you. TVs are useful appliances. Maybe if you save up, you'll be able to afford one soon.

Look into getting a toaster, also--it's much more efficient than trying to brown the bread over a stove burner.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Grumblebee, I have only watched a couple of episodes, and your description is exactly the impression that I got - and why I agree with people who say that it's a great show.
posted by The World Famous at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2009


I think the confusing thing about saying that you watch a show for its characters -- even though I suspect that's why most people watch most shows -- is that it's almost never the initial hook.

It takes time to become interested in most characters, just as it does for most real-life people. You don't start watching the first episode of "Mad Men" and instantly want to know everything about Don Draper. And you certainly don't care about him before you've ever even seen an episode. So you come for something else -- the way the actors look, the genre, the art direction, the critical reaction, because a friend recommended it, etc. -- but you (many of you) stay for the characters.

I bet most people don't pick up "Lord of the Rings" because they care about Frodo. They pick it up because they want to read a story set in a fantasy world. If I told them about the main character and said, "I know a Western you could read with a character just like Frodo in it," they probably say, "Thanks, but I'm in the mood for a fantasy right now." Yet a few chapters in, they've fallen in love with Frodo. If he could leave the book, they'd probably follow him into another genre.

Since non-character elements are key to INITIALLY luring us into stories, I think that conversations about stories tend to get stalled on those elements. If we're talking about "Mad Men," it doesn't really matter if you've watched the show or not if we talk about the critical reaction to it or its take on the 60s. But I can't really get across the to you the way I feel about the characters unless you get involved in the show and watch it.

I think that the way we tend to discuss stories is artificial to what goes on in most people's brain while they are experiencing those stories.
posted by grumblebee at 10:41 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


These mad men.... what are they so mad about anyway? Are there twelve of them?
posted by dgaicun at 10:42 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Interesting comments, grumblebee.

I think you've touched on what annoys me about most TV these days. After awhile (could be the first three episodes, first season, first three seasons, etc) what initially drew me to the show gets less and less attention and I'm left watching these annoying people all trying to sleep with or kill each other or both.
posted by ODiV at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have never, in my entire life, met a single person who actually believed that life in the 50s and 60s was anything like how it was on Father Knows Best or Leave It To Beaver.

That's beacuse the people who do are all GOP incumbents in Congress. (zing!)

But seriously: the 1960's brought an enormous amount of foment to our society, and people who had been in a securely-established status-quo no longer felt comfortable that they knew what to do. And that's about when the idea of the 1950's and early 1960's as a fun rockin' time started (American Grafitti, Happy Days, etc.) That happens -- nostalgia tends to let people focus on the good stuff and overlook the parts that sucked. (To wit: That 70's Show was all "disco, STAR WARS premiere, Todd Rundgren" and very little "Watergate, oil crisis, Jonestown"). Given enough distance people can get seduced by nostalgia and forget about the bad stuff. And the pop culture enforces our need to overlook things.

So while lots of people intellectually know about the social problems with the early 1960's, many more people think of American Grafitti when they think of the early 1960's, as opposed to thinking of the Cuban Missle Crisis, say.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's Days of our Lives with bikers and skinheads. I caught two episodes on a recent JetBlue flight and wow, it's a straight-up soap opera.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:04 AM on November 5, 2009


Episodic TV is probably not the best medium for someone like you, ODiV. Most long stories are necessarily going to become character stories after a while. It's hard to keep up anything else.

If you're using story to try to make some kind of social, moral or political point, what are you going to do after you make it? If it's mostly plot, too many continual twists will make the story seem contrived (see "24"), and if you want to avoid that, you'll need to place "character scenes" in between the car chases. And if, as a writer, you think of those scenes as filler, they will be bad character scenes.

On the other hand, a feature film is, in theory, short enough to give you what you want.

Since I like character stuff, my response is "what else is life about besides sleeping with and killing each other?" I mean that somewhat metaphorically: we all want to seduce each other and repel each other. That's the human condition. If there's a story about the human condition that bores me, I don't think that's because the human condition is dramatically untenable. I think it's because that particular story is not well wrought.
posted by grumblebee at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


grumblebee:

Nobody care that you like Mad Men, and some of us are getting very tired of people always yammering on and on and on about how great it is.

That's not to say, "You people must be idiots for liking something I don't," or "I strongly disapprove of your enjoyment," or anything like that. It's just, you know, we get it. You like Mad Men. Good for you. NOW SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:08 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


cares. with an s.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:08 AM on November 5, 2009


Sys Rq, I'm sure you're right about your own mindset, but you're wrong that nobody cares that I like "Mad Men." I know that, because I'm repeatedly told why I like it (in this thread and out of it). I'm am told why I like it when I just bring up that I'm excited it's on tonight -- even if that's all I say about it.

I'm told I like it because I'm following a trend or because I've been seduced by the critics or because I fantasize about being able to get away with slapping secretaries on the ass...

In my view, people seem perversely interested in why I like the show.

However, it seems that I have offended you, and I'm sorry if that's so.
posted by grumblebee at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


it's a straight-up soap opera.

It's Henry Rollins' first foray into soap opera stardom.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2009


It's Henry Rollins' first foray into soap opera stardom.

No, that was Black Flag.
posted by The World Famous at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Mostly Awful Drivel Making Everyone Natter
posted by Sys Rq


…

But you're telling the guy explaining things and trying to be insightful to SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY?
posted by floam at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nobody care that you like Mad Men, and some of us are getting very tired of people always yammering on and on and on about how great it is.

Well, I care - or I'm interested, anyway, in what grumblebee's take is on the show and why it appeals to him. This is rough-and-tumble meTa, to be sure, but there's no need to be SHUT THE FUCK UP rude about this. If you don't want to read what grumblebee - or anyone else - thinks of this or any other show, you can click another link and go read something else. Or maybe go outside for a walk, since people talking about a show in a thread about the show seems to be upsetting you.
posted by rtha at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I feel sad that I didn't use the internet back in the days of cheers, because I'd really like it if everybody went on and on about that show, it's expert plotting, and twisted characters. Man, cheers, what a fantastic show.
posted by Think_Long at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2009


Peggy Noonan (Reagan's former speechwriter) has made an entire career out of telling people that everything was better back in what she calls "The Great Abundance" i.e., the 1950s and 1960s as experienced by middle-class white people.

For those of you in the UK, she's like a cross between Peter Hitchens and A.N. Wilson, if that person had a prominently featured column in the Financial Times that people actually read and took seriously.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:32 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Or maybe go outside for a walk, since people talking about a show in a thread about the show seems to be upsetting you.

Yes, this was the part I didn't get myself. I would have taken it to MeTaTa if such a thing existed, but since it doesn't, stop being such a rude jerk, Sys Rq.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2009


I totally understand not being a fan of something, but what's the deal with getting angrier the more others seem to like it, and even angry if they see only references to it? We don't do that here so vocally with many other things.

I can't even find any other "please stop referencing x" MeTa posts, although I'm sure they exist. What's with this special hate for a TV show people seem to like?
posted by floam at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2009


Thanks floam, rtha and Sidhedevil.

I would rather not be any part of what started a pile-on. I have memailed Sys Rq to see what's up. Can we keep the "dispute" private, please?

I am going to take a break from this thread. There's been too much grumblebee here, anyway.
posted by grumblebee at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2009


What rtha said.
posted by grouse at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2009


After you see my 12th post on Gilligan's Island you'll get it.
posted by GuyZero at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2009


grumblebee:

If you're using story to try to make some kind of social, moral or political point, what are you going to do after you make it? If it's mostly plot, too many continual twists will make the story seem contrived (see "24"), and if you want to avoid that, you'll need to place "character scenes" in between the car chases. And if, as a writer, you think of those scenes as filler, they will be bad character scenes.

True enough. These days you can't make a show that doesn't evolve somehow. If there's no real difference between season 5 and season 1, why not just show season 1 again instead of laying out the cash for a new one? I just get annoyed that I'll start liking a show that's 85% about something and has maybe 15% character development and then two seasons later seems way more slanted towards half and half. Then later their personal life starts to take over the remaining half (like if she's a cop then a serial killer starts stalking her).

On the other hand, a feature film is, in theory, short enough to give you what you want.

I find the scope of features put me off a lot lately. At least with TV we seem to get some sort of baseline of the lives of the characters. In a film we're always seeing some weird 1 in a million super bizarre day/weekend/month. Because they don't have the continuity of a TV series to worry about, features can just do whatever they want to "up the stakes", which ends up feeling a lot less real to me.

I went to see Transformers 2 (I know, I know) and realized how much happier I'd have been seeing a movie about a kid with a transforming car hanging out at college. He's having trouble in classes and with fitting in, he wins a couple of drag races, he gets a new girlfriend for awhile that his car doesn't like, he gets into some trouble, he fights some decepticons, etc. Why does the world have to be in jeopardy all the time?

Maybe a miniseries would be more my speed?
posted by ODiV at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


After you see my 12th post on Gilligan's Island you'll get it.

Look. We get it. You like a show set in the 1960s that has a curvy redhead, dysfunctional characters, a dashing leading man, unusual set design, and surprising predicaments for the characters. But can we please just limit the Gilligan's Island references a little bit?
posted by The World Famous at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


TWF, I nearly spit tea all over my keyboard.
posted by rtha at 11:44 AM on November 5, 2009


> What's with this special hate for a TV show people seem to like?

I don't think there's any special hate being displayed for the show (except for Sys Rq, who's being inexplicably jerkish); the point of the post, as well explained by Wolfdog, is "If your post doesn't really have anything to do with Mad Men, then shoehorning in an unnecessary reference to it is a good way to get interesting discussion of your real topic derailed or curtailed rather quickly." And grumblebee has already admitted that this was correct as far as his post is concerned.
posted by languagehat at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2009


I can't even find any other "please stop referencing x" MeTa posts, although I'm sure they exist.

We may be losing track of the original complaint -- it wasn't "please stop referencing X," it was "please stop referencing X if doing so requires some complicated mental gymnastics."

In other words: a reference to MAD MEN in the midst of a conversation about one of the actors/a period set piece/the props used on the show? Cool.

A reference to MAD MEN in the midst of a post about David Duchovny for no other reason than "if MAD MEN were real, David Duchovny would have been three years old, you know"...? Kind of stretching it.

In other words: we had a big thread about the etiquette of name-dropping, where it was established there was a difference between "Susan Sarandon was my baby sitter when she was a teenager" and "Susan Sarandon was in front of me in line in the bank once". The OP was talking more about making the MAD MEN references that were more like "Susan Sarandon was in line in front of me at the bank".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


...a three hour tour...
posted by fixedgear at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2009


Can we keep the "dispute" private, please?

Well, no, grumblebee.

To be honest, I don't really care whether or not Sys Rq's rude jerky post hurt your feelings.

My investment in it is that it shits up the thread. That part is my business and everyone else's reading it, which is why I said (jokingly but kidding on the square) that I would have taken it to MeTaTa if such a thing existed.

My issue isn't that Sys Rq was rude to you--it's that he was so pointlessly rude in a thread I was enjoying reading.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:08 PM on November 5, 2009


Sorry, everyone. I was under the impression this was a MeTa thread about a TV show.

Apparently, though, it's an environment much more serious than that, where typing an exasperated swearword is the most grave insult imaginable.

My bad.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2009


Sys Rq: shhh. The grown-ups are talking. You'll get a chance when they're finished.
posted by nushustu at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, though, it's an environment much more serious than that, where typing an exasperated swearword is the most grave insult imaginable.

No, it's an environment where telling someone directly to SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY is frowned upon.

Your bad, indeed.
posted by scody at 12:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


And, grumblebee, for what it's worth, that all-caps line wasn't directed at you specifically, name-followed-by-a-colon notwithstanding.

It's just, my god. The same way you're frustrated about how people tell you why you must like the show, I am frustrated at people telling me how I'm missing all the awesomeness, and then describing a bunch of stuff that I simply do not find the least bit awesome, and then rolling their eyes when I tell them I just don't share their tastes, as if that makes me such an asshole.

It has happened a lot--to the point that I've apparently begun to just cut straight to the asshole part so they can dismiss my opinion on the matter and we can all get back to whatever.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:34 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It takes time to become interested in most characters, just as it does for most real-life people. You don't start watching the first episode of "Mad Men" and instantly want to know everything about Don Draper. And you certainly don't care about him before you've ever even seen an episode. So you come for something else -- the way the actors look, the genre, the art direction, the critical reaction, because a friend recommended it, etc. -- but you (many of you) stay for the characters.

For whatever reason, I find that's not the case with my HBO viewing. The premise might have me there, but the characters are the initial hook for many of the shows I remembering being hooked on at first view. Six Feet Under, Oz, Deadwood, Rome. Take Six Feet Under. Why I'm there: the premise. What I notice first: the art direction. But first hook: the characters, no question whatsoever. Their predicaments, the plot twists -- those may have made it hard (or impossible) not to throw the next episode on, but characters are almost always the initial hook for me, and the desperation for new plot territory is usually what eventually drives me off.

Mad Men or Breaking Bad, I agree. The characters didn't grab me at first.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2009


Which is why it is good that you willingly choose to participate in threads about Mad Men, because, you know, if you didn't, then where would you find all the people telling you how good the show is?
posted by nushustu at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's just, my god. The same way you're frustrated about how people tell you why you must like the show, I am frustrated at people telling me how I'm missing all the awesomeness, and then describing a bunch of stuff that I simply do not find the least bit awesome, and then rolling their eyes when I tell them I just don't share their tastes, as if that makes me such an asshole.

I can't do anything about what people say to you in the rest of your life, but in this part of your life, you can walk away from the thread, or not read it in the first place, rather than telling people to SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY. You are not required by mathowie or anyone else to participate in this discussion. Unlike you, lots of people have managed to express their dislike of this show, or their dislike of it popping up frequently in tangentially related posts, without coming across as incredibly hostile and rude. I'm sure there are tons of mefites who hate this show or discussion of same, and they are voting with their feet (or fingers, in this case) by just not showing up here.
posted by rtha at 12:42 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Which is why it is good that you willingly choose to participate in threads about Mad Men...

I think it does speak to the "except we're seeing a whole ton of non-Mad Men threads turn into Mad Men discussions or making Mad Men references" topic.

I don't notice it because I know nothing about the show and I don't know if it's one of those things like the World Series where people should sort of know about it to be up on current events versus something like some esoteric tv show like The IT Crowd which I personally love but I'm aware it has a small but loyal following so I don't go all wacky making continual references to it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Which is why it is good that you willingly choose to participate in threads about Mad Men, because, you know, if you didn't, then where would you find all the people telling you how good the show is?

The post at the top of this thread expresses sentiment I agree with. I have noticed the shoehorning, and I have found it annoying.

As for where else I'd find all the Mad Men fans always talking about Mad Men: I work in graphic design. I deal with these people all the time. It's...yeah, I don't like it. It's getting to the point where I'm beginning to reconsider my career path just to avoid the constant Mad Men worship.

As for SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY, it's perfectly obvious that there is no hope of that happening in the near future. It was more of a primal scream than a serious suggestion.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:51 PM on November 5, 2009


I love Mad Men, for many of the reasons grumblebee mentions. I don't give a shit that other people also like it, or don't like it, or if "cool" people like it; I like plenty of things that are not "cool." And there are plenty of "cool" things that I don't care for. I don't think I am a special snowflake for feeling this way; I think the vast majority of people are like this. "Watches Mad Men" is not enough information for you to accurately pigeonhole a person in order for you to dismiss them, you know? There are shades of gray available, and some of them are quite lovely.
posted by chowflap at 12:54 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


... And yes, there have been a lot of Mad Men posts, and the ones that are actually on-topic (stuff directly related to the show) are enjoyable to me, as a fan. If you are not a fan, skip the post. I already know I don't care about the latest thing Google is creating/thinking about/releasing/whatever, so I do not tend to click on those links. Seeing yet another Google post on the front page does not enrage me.
posted by chowflap at 12:57 PM on November 5, 2009


I dunno. I have a hard time seeing Mad Men stuff actually derailing conversations. Outside of individuals who purposely shit in threads, I don't understand how people can get upset by conversations not going the way them want them to. It's like being at dinner w/ a bunch of people and being upset that some of them are talking about their dogs or something when you'd rather talk about the weather, only these people aren't really your friends, and you can always get up and change tables and sit with people who are talking about something you're interested in.
posted by nushustu at 1:00 PM on November 5, 2009


"No, it's an environment where telling someone directly to SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY is frowned upon."

Like church; unlike gramma's funeral.
posted by klangklangston at 1:01 PM on November 5, 2009


It was more of a primal scream than a serious suggestion.

So what? It was still extraordinarily rude, and -- more to the point -- it breaks the site's guidelines. SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY, directed at another user, is not acceptable discourse here, whether it's literally "a serious suggestion" or not.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


And yes, there have been a lot of Mad Men posts, and the ones that are actually on-topic (stuff directly related to the show) are enjoyable to me, as a fan. If you are not a fan, skip the post.

....What about the ones that are NOT on-topic? Since those are the posts that this whole thread is about in the first place, after all?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on November 5, 2009


I am frustrated at people telling me how I'm missing all the awesomeness, and then describing a bunch of stuff that I simply do not find the least bit awesome, and then rolling their eyes when I tell them I just don't share their tastes, as if that makes me such an asshole.

It has happened a lot--to the point that I've apparently begun to just cut straight to the asshole part so they can dismiss my opinion on the matter and we can all get back to whatever.


But what you did here was butt into a conversation where some people had said, to the group, "Why do you guys who like 'Mad Men' like 'Mad Men' so much, anyway?" and some people were answering why they liked "Mad Men" and you came up to someone who was answering the question that had been asked by someone else and said 'SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.'

That's a shitty way to act.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:06 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Empress, I find those forced and silly. But not infuriating.
posted by chowflap at 1:08 PM on November 5, 2009


I don't hate the show or anything, but I have noticed a lot of separate 'mad men' posts of late that could probably just as easily be added as comments to the tens of still-open threads.

Interesting that you say that, since my (admittedly inexpert) searching turns up fewer than 20 Mad Men-related posts to the blue-- ever.


missed this one. I guess my point is more about the recent spate of them - there have been at least 5 or 6 related Mad Men posts in the past month and a half. Which really, in the grand scheme, is not that much compared to health-reform filter and all. Just my general observation.

This thread really doesn't have anywhere left to go, should we just talk about how awesome it feels to wear a suit to work? because it does.
posted by Think_Long at 1:12 PM on November 5, 2009


How about we talk about how awesome it feels not to wear a suit to work. I have a lot more experience with that.
posted by dersins at 1:14 PM on November 5, 2009


Yeah, I'm feeling damn awesome in my hoodie and jeans right now.
posted by naju at 1:14 PM on November 5, 2009


I find those forced and silly. But not infuriating.

for the record, I'm not bothered by them either.

But I'm seeing people in THIS thread consistently miss the point that this thread is NOT about all MAD MEN posts forever and ever amen, it is ONLY about the "forced and silly" ones.

From where I'm sitting, this conversation looks like this:

"I don't like green jellybeans."
"What? Why don't you like jellybeans?"
"I didn't say I don't like jellybeans, I just don't like GREEN jellybeans."
"How can you not like jellybeans?"
"I DO like jellybeans, just not GREEN jellybeans."
"You know, though, here's the thing about jellybeans..."
"Listen. I'm cool with jellybeans. It is only specifically GREEN jellybeans I don't like."
"I just don't get people who don't like jellybeans."
"..."

Etc.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2009


How about we talk about how awesome it feels not to wear a suit to work. I have a lot more experience with that.

yeah. well the suit only feels awesome until everyone else in the office looks at you with an odd look, and then you're forced to make up some story about how you have to go to a funeral/wedding/bar mitzvah and you simply had no time to change.
posted by Think_Long at 1:18 PM on November 5, 2009


Sidhedevil: Yeah, actually, you're right. I really am sorry. Sorry, grumblebee!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really hate how everyone disses on January Jones in mad men, because it makes me think they are too stupid to watch the show.

As it turns out, people of all levels of stupid are allowed to watch, and get credit for watching, things that I happen to appreciate more robustly.

PS Peggy sucks

And I am not sure why people think MAD MEN WORLD:: SHIT HAPPENED IN THE 60S FOR REAL! is a good fpp topic.
posted by shownomercy at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2009


M
A
D

M
E
N


say it type it argue about it whether it's good or not or if the redhead is hot or if don drapper has a mad big penis lol remembver when that dude got his foot cut off by a zamboni it was sickk as hell
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:28 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sys Rq, popping back in to say, "No worries."
posted by grumblebee at 1:28 PM on November 5, 2009


I totally understand not being a fan of something, but what's the deal with getting angrier the more others seem to like it, and even angry if they see only references to it?

Hype Backlash
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2009


I hate all the things you Like.
posted by French Fry at 1:34 PM on November 5, 2009


don drapper has a mad big penis

Oh, man, now I want to form a band just to claim this as a band name. I'm crazy on a tambourine!
posted by Skot at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2009


I hate all the things you Like.

I like your favorite band.
posted by The World Famous at 1:37 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dammit, EmpressCallipygos, now I want some #^%$&! jellybeans.
posted by zarq at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2009


Yay, Sys Rq! Yay, grumblebee! SnuggleFilter for the win!
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:56 PM on November 5, 2009


My Batman-villain name is The Snuggler!
posted by grumblebee at 2:02 PM on November 5, 2009


Oh, doesn't SnuggleFilter sound delightful! It reminds me of an evil villain grumblebee and I created called "The Snuggler": "I'm going to get you Batman! But first... (sounds of snuggling)"
posted by Evangeline at 2:03 PM on November 5, 2009


jinx.
posted by grumblebee at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2009


It could be worse, those cocksucking Deadwood lovers could be posting.

Best Of Al Swearengen [video | 6:26].
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on November 5, 2009


"Pussy is half-priced. Next fifteen minutes!"
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2009


Sys Rq: shhh. The grown-ups are talking. You'll get a chance when they're finished.

I see what you did there. But, I don't think you did. This past Sunday night's episode was titled: "The Grown Ups."
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


But it's got some shiny clothes and set design, so people ignore the fact that every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch to ooh and ahh over the backgrounds.

We watch the show because every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch.
posted by signal at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2009


It was more of a primal scream than a serious suggestion.

Trivia...

'Tears for Fears' band name was derived from "'Primal Therapy,' developed by the American psychologist Arthur Janov...The Hurting may be considered 'Tears for Fears' only true concept album, as references to emotional distress and primal scream therapy are found in nearly every song."

"Two TFF song titles from their first album 'The Hurting' were taken from chapters in Janov's book; Ideas As Opiates and The Prisoner. Roland and Curt made the album so they could afford to take Janov's 'Primal Scream' therapy..." *

From their second album: Shout.
posted by ericb at 3:13 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


We watch the show because every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch.

Except for Ken Cosgrove who "seems to take everything in stride."
posted by ericb at 3:18 PM on November 5, 2009


We watch the show because every individual in the show is a miserable unpleasant wretch.

This is also why I read Hardy, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Flaubert. . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:20 PM on November 5, 2009


versus something like some esoteric tv show like The IT Crowd which I personally love but I'm aware it has a small but loyal following so I don't go all wacky making continual references to it.

Uh, I just want to say here that I, for one, take every given opportunity to link to this video. I'm not trying to tell you guys what to like or anything BUT EVERY EPISODE OF THE IT CROWD IS ON NETFLIX AS AN INSTANT VIEWER AND THAT IS ALL I'M SAYING OKAY GUYS NO PRESSURE
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's Days of our Lives with bikers and skinheads. I caught two episodes on a recent JetBlue flight and wow, it's a straight-up soap opera.

It is meant to be viewed, apparently, through Hamlet-tinted glasses. So, yeah, soap opera, but in a grand tradition.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:37 PM on November 5, 2009


*puts on cool sunglasses*

it matters.

signed,

grad student in the field
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:37 PM on November 5, 2009


BUT EVERY EPISODE OF THE IT CROWD IS ON NETFLIX AS AN INSTANT VIEWER

My father is going to rue the day he gave me his password and said "I like After Hours, can you pick some other movies I might like?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:40 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Shakespeare didn't write weekly hour-long episodes of Hamlet for a reason.
posted by GuyZero at 3:44 PM on November 5, 2009


Shakespeare wrote weekly hour-long episodes of Hamlet for no reason.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:54 PM on November 5, 2009


Oh, he had his reasons.
posted by The World Famous at 3:58 PM on November 5, 2009


Believe it or not, Shakespeare wrote every episode of According to Jim.
posted by brain_drain at 3:59 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Liar.

Shakespeare didn't write "According to Jim" at all.

It was Bacon.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:03 PM on November 5, 2009


Not to offend, I want to be cool and discover stuff as much as the next guy...

But, while it's not hipster per se, but is there anything more, shall we say, scenester than saying, "I guess a certain smug hipster cachet has grown up around this show. I was lucky enough to start watching it before all of that..."?
posted by Jahaza at 4:04 PM on November 5, 2009


Mmmmmmm. Francis Bacon.
posted by The World Famous at 4:15 PM on November 5, 2009


But, while it's not hipster per se, but is there anything more, shall we say, scenester than saying, "I guess a certain smug hipster cachet has grown up around this show. I was lucky enough to start watching it before all of that..."?

Um, my scene is basically working myself to death and then sitting around my apartment. So probably a lot of things are more scenester than that. I have a pretty fucking kickass cat, but there's not much else happening in the world of me for anybody to envy. I'm glad I saw the show before it was the basis of an Oprah episode (!), etc., because I came to it without either ridiculous expectations or a predisposition toward finding fault with it because everybody else liked it so damn much. I think anyone who watches it for the first time now is probably coming to it with some kind of preconceived ideas (good or bad) that may detract from actually, like, watching it. Like if you started watching The Sopranos in, say, 2003.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:19 PM on November 5, 2009


Empress, why don't you like jellybeans?
posted by klangklangston at 5:04 PM on November 5, 2009


Who was more delicious: Francis Bacon or Kevin Bacon? Discuss.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2009


Who was more delicious: Francis Bacon or Kevin Bacon?

That would depend, I think, on which Francis Bacon you're comparing.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's Kevin.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:27 PM on November 5, 2009


Francis Bacon now, or Francis Bacon circa 1590?
posted by The World Famous at 5:33 PM on November 5, 2009


What, no love for Roger Bacon?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:49 PM on November 5, 2009


Hamlet was made of bacon. If he wasn't edible, they'd have called him Piglet.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Etymologically stav, he was made from a small ham. Not bacon.
posted by GuyZero at 9:21 PM on November 5, 2009


*shakes bacon hamfist*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:22 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is bacon, if not small ham? That is the question.
posted by taz at 3:14 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's really the only question that matters.

*heads for AskMe*
posted by languagehat at 5:52 AM on November 6, 2009


Raw jellybeans are the perfect accompaniment for milk steak.
posted by electroboy at 6:33 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mad men: fuck this show!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:02 PM on November 6, 2009


Thanks, that just added to my conviction that money is entirely a sham. There is no fucking way ever that his act is worth that kind of money. None.

Uh ... You know that Larry the Cable Guy is worth nine figures, right?

This is the market. It ain't us. Well, put it this way, most of the money is made playing to audiences who like Larry the Cable Guy.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:00 PM on November 7, 2009


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