maura @ 10:07 pm
So as I mentioned, we’re watching Mad Men. It’s been both good and bad to be working our way through a pile (3 seasons!) of TV. The good is that there’s always something to watch, which is particularly good since none of the other shows we watch are back on yet. Which is of course the bad, too, esp. when it’s 11:30pm on a school night and that tiny evil voice is saying “just one more…”
It’s definitely making me feel kind of weird. I mean, it’s a great show, but I feel conflicted about it. It’s kind of depressing (Jonathan: “it’s a drama!”) — I guess I hadn’t realized that so much of our other TV viewing is comedy. Except Fringe, which doesn’t count because it’s scifi. And House, which is much too funny to be a real drama.
I have a antagonistic mental relationship with the 1950s. Yes, I know the show’s set in the early ’60s, and that all of the in-your-face sexism and racism is pretty much the whole point. But watching it makes me annoyed that the whole myth of the perfect postwar 1950s even existed in the first place. And still does today: I read a great book on the subject a few years ago by family studies professor Stephanie Coontz called The Way We Never Were.
Even with eyes wide open, though, the myth of the 50s is powerful stuff. Because who doesn’t want things to be that way, at least on some level? The (theoretical) good parts: the dream of the middle class. A nice backyard and a Girl to come clean up the dishes. Jonathan made us a Delmonico steak for dinner the other night while drinking an Old Fashioned, and it was tasty.
It would be easier for me to ignore the myth if I weren’t so madly in love with the style. The mid-century modern furniture, the awesome skirts + blouses, even the mustard-yellow appliances: it all makes me swoon. Jonathan remarked that the set and costume designers must be having a ball. How can an era that invented brown plaid wallpaper be all bad?