Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy (and other tales of cable)...

...if it turns out that you drowned that baby, you won't recover from it. I don't mean you'll keep boozing and sleeping around and ruin your life - I mean, you'll lose your viewers. There's no way we're ready to watch a man drop a baby in the river and walk away. It's just not going to happen. I mean, I already barely watch you anymore. You and your buddies at the firehouse started out as flawed but redeemable characters. But now, you're just sexist, racist, homophobic, and more importantly - because you could've overcome those traits - you're just plain mean. Even Television Without Pity says, "TWoP readers didn't really take to the tale of a firefighter who was often drunk, irresponsible, sexist, racist, and homophobic, and therefore, it's time to turn the hose on Rescue Me."

And while we're on the topic, I don't really care that the gender "issues" brought to the fore on Mad Men are true to the era. They make me damn angry to watch. What is the point? Yes, television is supposed to make one think, but it's not supposed to make me pissed-off for no reason. I have enough sexism to deal with in daily life without needing to reach back into the sixties for a fix, thank you very much.

Now, Damages I'm enjoying. So far. But it strikes me that this is a show that will very quickly go the way of Lost. Too much intrigue, too many promised answers that lead to more cliffhangers, and I will stop watching. Damages writers, I hope you're approaching this show like Murder One and that all will become clear by the end of the season. I'm not prepared to give you longer than that. If I had the time for twisted plots that never ended, I'd go back to watching soap operas. I like my dramas tied up in a neat bow at the end of the season.

For this reason, my new favorite show is Survivorman. Drop him on top of a mountain, in the ocean, on a deserted island, and he survives. Alone. Without food. Without a film crew. He does it all himself. And I'm damn impressed, both at his skill and also at the Discovery Channel's ingenuity in thinking this one up. I will definitely keep watching.


Cassandra Says said...

I love Survivorman! And it amused me greatly that one of the nastiest environments he encountered so far was my own dear homeland, otherwise known as the Scottish Highlands. Mr. Cassandra has never quite believed me about how grim things are up there, and used to scoff at my tales of how hikers get lost up there.
He is scoffing no more. Also, peat bogs are really fucking scary.

Daisy said...

What precisely is pissing you off about MAD MEN?

The platinum-blond woman's hairdo is exactly like the Mousketeer (sp? how do you spell mouseketeer?) named Cheryl... I pestered my mother for that hairdo, and all I can say now is THANK GOD she wouldn't do it! ;)

I watch it mostly for the gorgeous (and perfect! ) sets and fashions, which take me back to my childhood in just this way.

And all that cigarette-smoking! I remember ash-trays all over everyone's house.

plain(s)feminist said...

Cassandra - I will have to watch for that episode!

Daisy - What's pissing me off about Mad Men is watching the way that the men talk about the women, the lives that the women lead, the huge double standard...the usual suspects, really.

Daisy said...

Daisy - What's pissing me off about Mad Men is watching the way that the men talk about the women, the lives that the women lead, the huge double standard...the usual suspects, really.

Yeah, I've long noticed that some artists can do "the past" and show sensitivity to women, and some just can't. I wonder what the difference is, if we tried to quantify it?

Check out THE LAST PICTURE SHOW if you have never seen it. Same time frame is represented as MAD MEN (rural Texas, not NYC), but the movie is very sensitive to women, and featured several feminist actors who gave their characters a definite feminist *spin*.

It's an amazing movie.

Daisy said...

OOPS, I stand corrected! THE LAST PICTURE SHOW is set a whole decade earlier! (1951) (I shoulda known, it has a shot of Red River in it.)

And it's still more feminist than MAD MEN!