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plaid wallpaper

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?

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4 comments on “plaid wallpaper”

Em (4 September 2010 at 11:53 pm)

Doesn’t Pete have the best apt ever? I want to own those wooden giraffes. And the Old Fashioned is a worthy cocktail. But I think Betty’s house is kind of hideous, minus the fainting couch.

I am completely obsessed with 1963 (Kennedy and Sylvia Plath died, pre-rock ‘n roll revolution etc.) and when the show sped by it with Don and Betty’s divorce part of me wanted to insist that it got more air time.

Joan has the best outfits. Roger has the best one-liners.

Then we started watching Veronica Mars and everything else is forgotten.

maura (6 September 2010 at 1:52 pm)

Oh no, I love the kitchy parts of Don + Betty’s house! Well, mostly the kitchen, I guess. Though the plush headboard on their bed is hilarious.

And <3 <3 <3 Joan’s outfits, though also the other girls in the office. Can’t stand most of Betty’s wardrobe, though — crinolins every day? Seriously? Was it really like that?

Veronica Mars was so great! We were so sad when it ended, even though the earlier seasons were best. Jonathan says that Kristin Bell has tweeted that there might be a VM movie.

jonathan (6 September 2010 at 9:31 pm)

aigh! spoilers! aigh!

maura (12 September 2010 at 11:36 am)

Like we didn’t see it coming miles away! We just watched the “don’t come home tonight, Don” episode. It cracked me up when Betty was accusing him of having an affair with Bobbie Barret and said “she’s so OLD.”

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