2 Mar

Betty Draper. Fierce.

Mad Men is one of the few critical favourite shows that managed to slip past me until very recently, and I’m regretting not getting into the show earlier. I’d watched the first three episodes when it first came out and while I liked it didn’t grab me enough to use my then-precious bandwidth on it. That moment came in episode 5, when the slow-burn (and as much as I love it now I have to admit the pace is glacial at times) began to pay off and they revealed that the show is less about setting up an elaborate image of the past, but rather to destroy it.

The show is a rarity in that it’s camera work and visual design is used as a metaphor, another part of the overall message of the show. The impossibly well-kept sets and costumes only reinforce the artificial facade of polite society, one that is slowly collapsing with each passing week.  Of all the television I’ve seen (and I’ll admit it’s a lot) only Dexter does the same, with its saturated colours and super-bright soap opera lighting that contrast the sunny environment with the interior darkness. Breaking Bad comes close, but I’d have to watch it again to give a specific example.



Many tragedies  have befallen the planet in this decade, and there will be many more in the years to come. It is a difficult thing, as an individual, to comprehend suffering on such a massive scale. Sometimes I think that we can’t, that the human brain simply isn’t wired right to know that there more than 6 billion people on the earth and really get what that number means.  But this, the tiniest number related to this tragedy, is somehow more surprising. It had simply never occurred to me that human beings were capable of  changing the earth in such a way that we could alter how much time is in a day. It’s an old cliché that time moves faster the older you get, maybe there’s a lot more truth to that than I’d realised.


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