cdhooks commented on The very white poetry of 'Mad Men'Oh, and as for Mad Men: I don't think it's correct to say that the characters are fighting over status or money. They're struggling, and failing, to find success and happiness, which is something it has in common with a huge number of dramas. Again, I think your reads on the show would be different if you had been exposed to more than 40 minutes of it. Betty isn't a sad character because she's fat – she's a sad character because she's horribly emotionally damaged, and she's inflicting that damage on her children. A number of other reads you have on characters and plotlines aren't quite right, but I won't bother making this any longer than it already is. Again, appreciated the article – especially Kevin Lee's excellent insight. But it suffers in the specifics.
Posted on June 9th, 2012 8:41pm
cdhooks commented on The very white poetry of 'Mad Men'Stephen, Appreciated the article, but felt compelled to say two things. First, I think you've totally misread The Searchers. The protagonist is a man deeply and fundamentally damaged by his hatred for the Cherokee – I strongly feel that in no way should it ever appear in the same sentece as 'Gone With the Wind,' let alone 'Birth of a Nation.' Second, The Wire. I'm sure many people have told you that you've missed out, and should power through your squeamishness about the first scene. Frankly, I don't have a lot of respect for a cultural critic that would make his mind up about a world-acclaimed television show based on its first two minutes, especially because pilots and first episodes are piss-poor ways to judge a show's totality. But mostly, I wanted to say that the scene in question is based on actual conversation – and was related to David Simon by a beat cop. That doesn't, of course, necessarily excuse its inclusion in the show as being condescending. But I think that's significant – and the exchange beautifully sums up the show's five seasons, in ways more complex than you allude to. The Wire's not perfect and praise for it has sort of lost it's meaning – it's a token of cultural literacy among a certain set, and I know how that can irritate some people. But you really are missing out on something, and not, I think, for a very solid or well-evidenced reason.
Posted on June 9th, 2012 8:31pm