There May be Hope-O-Vision

It’s been, well, months since my last post, and I’m feeling somewhat more positive. That, and the fact I finally now have a job, means I haven’t had much time to expose myself to bad television, which in turn I could slate for your entertainment. The actual story goes like this…

I watched one of the first episodes of OMG! With Peaches Geldof, a show doomed from it’s very title, and was enjoying  the mental exercise of creating eloquent yet scathing comments about it. I mean, title and main celebrity aside, this shows premise, which was to dig out unconventional people from different walks of life, then mock them, could have a book written on it in itself, and never mind the clichés that accompany it (yes, there is a flamboyantly gay guy in a minor role). So I’m sitting there, already penning my suicide-o-vision episode two, when a friend of mine appears on the screen. As a guest.  Now, since then, I’ve read reviews on the show, and people have been very kind to her. After all, the guests aren’t what make the show bad, just everything else. However, I felt a bit worried about slating a show that someone I knew had featured in. I spoke to my friend over a social networking site (the only interaction any good recluse needs in this day and age), and this is what her comments were on the situation:

Me: So I sit down to write my latest review on “what’s terrible in television” and you pop up on the show… talk about dilemma :p stop making my job harder XD

Her: Hahaha sorry!! The show itself I agree is terrible, but I’ve had many thank you’s from the fetish scene for sticking up for the blood fetish and not disease ridden! So I got across what I wanted ^^

Me: It should be a platform to discuss subversive cultures and lifestyles. It’s a missed opportunity, although not surprising considering it’s being done by ITV by way of Peaches Geldof

Her: Exactly the show had so much potential, yet it went back to a closed minded girl who just thought it was fun to point at things she finds weird. Ahh well some people saw what was trying to be said at least, while others will merely view it as a freak show, but so goes tv!

Me: Yeah. I write a couple of articles that are supposed to highlight the lowest common denominator in contemporary television-shows that have no redeeming feature. I feel bad now, see as how the contestants actually looked like they wanted to get an honest message across. Still gonna write the article though, if nothing else knowing someone who made the effort has fuelled my distaste for it

Her: For some reason tv under estimates the human thirst for knowledge and now just throw out shock horror stuff. Even if someone is trying to get an intelligent point across that others want to hear, they still presume all people want to see is the freaks. Though because of this now we have the fun generation who are closed minded and thinks it ok to point and laugh. I think myself and others who have appeared on the show have at least swayed a few people to open there minds! Which is worth it in the end 🙂

Needless to say, I never wrote the article in the end. I couldn’t do it, and that really took the inertia out of the whole SOV idea. Maybe it’s because the show was so bad, it became an easy target, but I think more that in damning the show, I could very well be belittling any good that DID come from it. That isn’t the case with my pilot, Holly’s World, but it definitely could with this. So I never wrote it. In fact, it’s my friends birthday today, and I’d like to wish her a happy birthday!

Anyway, moving on, I didn’t write anything, and then didn’t have time nor energy to watch anything new. I don’t know if there even is anything new. X Factor/People Got Talent/Dancing on Ice/Stars/Broken Glass have all been done before, and there is little to nothing of any kind of interest there. I did however get the back catalogue of a particular series, and while I may be late to the party, it’s one hell of a party.

Mad Men is an American high budget drama, that chronicles the lives of advertising executives in New York. It is set in the early 60’s, and straight off the bat, looks fucking incredible. The swearing is most definitely necessary, this is the shit.  Everything seems perfect, down to the smallest detail. Remember, these were the post war years of fortune and style, and the film reeks of both.

The two main characters that you are introduced to in the first episode,  Don Draper and Peggy Olson, are a creative director and a secretary respectively. They are introduced differently, with Don being an established man in the company, to whom many of the other employees look up to, while it is Peggy’s first day, and she is being shown around the building. This is one of the finest ways to introduce a show that I have seen ever in television, and it sets the tone perfectly.

I can’t express how well these characters are both written and performed. No one in the building has a clear motive, no one acts quite how you’d expect. I’m holding a hell of a load of details and characters back here, purely because I can’t tell you about them. You NEED to see this show, and discover them for yourselves, make judgements on them, and to try and guess where this story is going.

The defining characteristic about Mad Men is the fact that it’s not only set in the sixties superficially: the attitudes of the characters are heavily representative of the era, a huge risk considering that it’s made and broadcast in overly conservative America. You are plunged into the deep end in this show, with the first episode being about a smoking advertising campaign, and damn, smoking is everywhere. Nearly every person smokes, indoors, in bed, everywhere. Everyone is a smoker, and it’s rubbed unapologetically in our faces. Similarly appropriate themes include unapologetic sexism, casual racism, and pure, unadulterated chauvinism. Unadulterated is an ironic term considering every man in this show seems to have a mistress on the side. Oh, apart from the hilarious homosexual man, not socially allowed in this time to be open about his sexuality, and so is prone to over emphasising his “straightness”.

The humour is sharp, and intelligent, and the dialogue is fantastic, although it is helped by the spot-on delivery, that can only be achieved by a fantastic cast of great actors. Yes, this may well be one of my favourite shows of all time.

Where Mad Men really wins though, is in it’s portrayal of itself. Yes everything is glamorised, but many of the more controversial aspects of the show, sit uncomfortably in comparison to the world of today. You want to be there, living the New York life in the good times, but the social attitudes are unnerving, and slightly scary. It makes you thankful of the various  social rights movements that have happened since, and how the world has changed for the better. In fact, for the fools who moan about how “political correctness has gone mad” , this show contains a fantastic record of how the world may have been, had a little madness not ensued from time to time.

I watch this show, and I want to drive a big car. I go to work in a suit, but it makes me want to brylcream my hair back, drink Whiskey Sour’s before every meal, and go to a burlesque show for a stag do, where the women have curves, and look a damn sight sexier for it.  This was a day and age where people cared about their appearance, both physically, and out of common courtesy. Simply, this is one hell of a good looking show.

The storyline is equally as engaging, but I won’t describe one line of it. Go and see this show. While I’ve been writing, I’ve found out that this show has won 13 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes. If, like me, you never caught it, GO NOW!

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