I have been wanting to write this post for a long time. I thought about it a few weeks ago, but I needed a kick in the pants to write this article. I needed to contribute to a site that I’m writing for, ProjectShanks.com, and thought that this would be the perfect way to start. A person’s first post on a new website should have pretty girls in it, right?
I feel like I’m getting ready to break up with a girlfriend who banged all of my friends, recorded it, and made me watch it. How do you get everything off of your chest at once? By the way, I think I dated a girl that would do that. She was pretty evil, but we’ll save that for another fun post.
This post is about the AMC show, ‘Mad Men.’ Is it bad that I let a television show annoy me this much?
I had never watched a single episode of the show until this winter. A lot of my friends were really into the show and I avoided listening to them talking about it. A handful of my friends even dressed up in fancy clothes to watch each episode that a local theater. I swear that my friends aren’t as douchey as I make them out to be.
My interest began to grow when I watched Jon Hamm host ‘Saturday Night Live’ and appear in ‘Bridesmaids.’ He seemed like a funny guy and I caved in and asked a friend to borrow his ‘Mad Men’ DVDs. This was a big move for me, because I rarely give into ‘hype.’
I have only caved once and it was because of a girl. I refused to watch the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ movies, but the girl that I was dating was a big fan. She wanted me to watch them and I tried. My old roommate owned the entire trilogy and I took them into my room, opened a beer, and put in the first movie. After 15 minutes, I needed a new beer (I should add that it was about noon). I went downstairs, grabbed a beer, and was about to go back to Middle Earth, but I had an amazing idea. I grabbed all of the blankets that I owned and I talked my roommate into making our living room into a huge blanket fort. Four hours and many beers later, I remembered that I never went into my room to finish it. I ended up drinking beers with the neighbors in our new blanket fort.
I watched the first season of ‘Mad Men’ and I was numb. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. I let it slide, since the first season of a show isn’t usually its best. The second and third seasons were finished over the next few weeks. A feeling of anger and regret started to sink in, but I was still trying to hold onto hope. It was taking me longer and longer to finish each season. The fourth season was done after a month and I was left with a month until the premiere of season five.
I added up the amount of time that I wasted on watching all four of the seasons of ‘Mad Men.’ Each episode is roughly 45 minutes long with each season having thirteen episodes. I will never get those 39 hours back.
Season five started in March and I was still stuck on stage 2 (Anger) of the Kübler-Ross model, commonly referred to as the “Five Stages Of Grief.” I wasted all of that time, so I might as well waste a few more hours and keep watching. It’s not too late, watching January Jones will make it all worth it. Maybe the lovely actress will show some side-boob (it’s on AMC, that is the best you are going to get on regular cable). The first two episodes aired with no signs of Betty Draper, aka Miss Jones, and in the third episode, she’s wearing a fat suit (#facepalm).
I am officially declaring that as of today, I will no longer watch ‘Mad Men.’ I have finally made up my mind. Even if Betty’s body bounces back from her thyroid problem, it won’t change my decision. I’ll just keep looking at the January Jones photo that I posted at the bottom of this post.
Here are five reasons why I have grown to hate ‘Mad Men’:
- Every character hates their life. Most of them have great careers and make a very comfortable living, but they are never satisfied. You could say that they all sabotage their lives, which is an accurate statement. This could be the reason that they are always drinking.
- The show attempts to frame the late-50’s and 60’s as the coolest era. Everyone smokes and drinks during the day, men always wear suits, and 80% of the women are beautiful. All of these things are exaggerated and fans of the show always list the show’s authenticity as a reason they watch it. If I drank as much as the guys at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, I’d be passed out by lunch. I want to add that most of the show’s fans were not born to live in that era. The show barely touches on the rampant racism and the constant threat of a nuclear attack by the Russians.
- ‘Mad Men’ is the New England Patriots of television. In the eyes of critics and fans, the show can do no wrong. Matthew Weiner is Bill Belichick, a man who drafts no-name players and ESPN does nothing but praise him. In hindsight, the last quality player who Belichick drafted was Jerod Mayo…in 2008. ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ are off the air and critics needed a new show to praise. The last two seasons of ‘Mad Men’ were worse than the first three.
- The show’s storylines move at a snail’s pace. Critics panned ‘Boardwalk Empire’ for its slow pace, yet they never mention this show’s speed. The normal arc of a television show season is that they have a few storylines that end at the end of each episode or in a period of episodes. They also have a few that drag throughout the season, yet a lot happens in these storylines, because they are complex. The season-long themes in each season of ‘Mad Men’ are not complex and could be told in half of the time. They often step away from the main storyline for entire episodes and still inch towards its ending.
- They made me hate January Jones and Christina Hendricks. Seriously, how did Matthew Weiner do this to me? Betty Draper and Joan Harris (Hendricks) are two of the easiest to hate characters. Betty has some weird sexual tension with a young boy and Joan hates anyone who is happy. Even the characters that they want you to like, Don Draper and Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss), are often sad sacks that go through episodes moping around. In closing, a lot of shirtless and/or partial nude men have been seen lately…this is only strengthening my argument against Mr. Weiner.
I am better off freeing up the hour each week that I waste on ‘Mad Men.’ I can finally start watching either ‘Justified’ or ‘Friday Night Lights.’ I’ve heard amazing things about both of the shows and I can’t wait to start them.
After reading this post, I hope at least one person makes a blanket fort.
For other posts about pop culture, check out ProjectShanks.com. A friend of mine recently started the site with some great guys. I’m contributing some posts over there and expect great stuff very soon.