This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Remember when this place was just flame-throwers and rotating knives? I miss that."
11981 members | you are not logged in | 27 May 2018


December 29 2010

"You know what my favourite show is?" "It's about a handsome anti-hero, a man with a Scottish name and a nickname that means something significant in Latin. He's a war veteran who's spending his days in a less noble line of work..."

Hmm. Some of those comparisons are a bit of a stretch. Mal's not leading a double life, nor is he adopted. Simon's only "ambition" is for his sister. Zoe isn't taken for granted by Mal at all....yeah, I dunno bout this :) Some of the similarities are interesting though.
I've had this saved for a couple of months now. It's from 4chan, I think.
Sad, sad attempt by the writer. Although, I have been watching Madmen, and it's decent.
Hmm. I may have to finally try Madmen.
Really? We're going to complain about the comparisons? This is tongue in cheek, right?

Nice attempt by the writer though. When things are kept sufficiently vague, they do have a certain symmetry to them.
Tumnus: Mad Men is decent!?!! I was a skeptic. A full-blown "how-on-Earth-can-Mad-Men-beat-Breaking-Bad-for-best-drama" skeptic. No more. Mad Men is an incredibly nuanced feminist drama. The show may technically be about Don Draper, but really, it's about Peggy, Betty, Sally, and of course, Joan. The lives of these women, and how they make their way in this dystopian but very real society that many Whedonesquers lived through is stunning. (Those are the 4 main ladies, I suppose, but there are more, like Faye in Season 4.)

On another note, I liked this a lot. It was fun. =) But I don't get the Scottish thing or the nick-name thing. Captain tight-pants? I think I'm missing something there.
Malcolm and Donald are both Scottish names. As for the nickname, River says it best- "Mal. Bad. In the Latin."
Oh, and Simon: Give the show a shot. It's a slow burn, and I would recommend not giving up too early. It evolves. It evolves more quickly than The Wire, for example, but still it becomes great only with a bit of time.

And though I am a man who finds men attractive, I cannot stop staring at Christina Hendricks' body in this show, in those authentic 60's outfits. It's not sexual for me; it's...disbelief and marvel at her unique and voluptuous beauty.
Thanks, kishi. I remember that now.
5X5B: I am not too far into it. I have seen about the first five episodes I think. It hasn't wowed me yet. I'll finish up the season. I got the first three seasons on blu-ray for 9.99 each on black friday, so I will eventually watch them all. But, right now it has taken a backseat to a Dollhouse rewatch in blu-ray. I'm hoping I start to like Madmen more...but right now I'm just kinda watching it and thinking "needs more connor and safron".
Haven't started on "Mad Men" yet so I don't know how much of a stretch it is. Describing 'Firefly' as "feminist" is pushing it a bit though IMO (not that it's anti-feminist particularly, it's just that feminism doesn't really feel central to it in the way it was for Buffy for instance).
This was cute.

Mad Men is good, but overrated. A tad too much polish and attention to style, and too little attention to story. IMHO.
Lots of people do consider Firefly anti-feminist, though, from what I've seen - usually because of the Companion idea.

What's "Don" mean in Latin then?
Oh, and Simon: Give the show a shot.

I think you mean Sunfire. I thought the comparison was hilarious.
You all look the same to us.


Lots of people do consider Firefly anti-feminist, though, from what I've seen - usually because of the Companion idea.

Fair point though prostitution isn't a cut and dried issue in feminism from what I gather (i.e. some feminists may think it's anti-feminist and some pro or neutral).

(funnily enough 'don' - the honorific, not the name - is, according to Wikipedia, from the Latin word 'dominus' for lord or master. And in Gaelic 'Donald' means 'great chief' so Don from 'Mad Men's parents clearly had big things in mind for him. Wikipedia's silent on the whereabouts of his troosers though)
LOL @ troosers
Was it just me, or did the first line of the description make anyone else think of Angel?
It's about a handsome anti-hero, (check!) a man with a Scottish name (Liam) and a nickname that means something significant in Latin. (Angelus)

Of course, the war veteran part doesn't fit exactly since the government kind of forced him to serve and as far as we know he only did the one mission, but the rest of it is kind of accurate...

[ edited by leonhart_17 on 2010-12-30 14:51 ]
That was fun, I'm not not a stickler for 100% accuracy in something like this.

And I'm with 5X5B, Mad Men is pretty much perfect. It's cerebral and subtle, a deliciously nuanced and stunningly insightful portrait of a time in our recent history when everything was changing, especially for women.
Of course, the war veteran part doesn't fit exactly since the government kind of forced him to serve and as far as we know he only did the one mission, but the rest of it is kind of accurate...

Cut to Angel’s apartment. Angel is filling up a black bag with weapons.

Doyle: "Wow, you’re really going to war here. - I guess you – ah - you’ve seen a few in your time, yeah?"

Angel: "14, not including Vietnam. They never declared it."

(from "City of")

And FWIW Liam (from William) is Irish rather than Scottish. But your point stands leonhart_17, it goes to show that if you cherry pick the right facts you could make a lot of characters match each other.
guidedby, too little attention to story? I have to respectfully disagree. After the first season ended and I snagged the DVDs, I did a rewatch and finding all the details and clues they laid out in plain sight throughout the early episodes was amazing to me, how they knew what the tale they were going to tell was in such minute detail from the very first shot....

As a fan of both Firefly and MadMen, I loved this tumblr thingy.
Mad Men is brilliant storytelling and it being equated with Firefly elevates both properties.
I didn't particularly think much of Mad Men when I first watched it. I saw the first season when it aired on the BBC, but didn't watch the last one or two episodes and didn't feel like I missed much.

I recently watched the first three seasons, pretty much back to back and have to say it is stunningly good. It definitely takes a long time to get going, but not because the early episodes are particularly bad, but because you basically have to teach yourself a new way of watching television. There is absolutely zero spoon feeding going on here, you either get what is going on or you don't. It probably is one of the deepest programmes you can watch (I can only exclude The Wire in that, as I've yet to watch much of it.) It also seems to be one of the rare shows where each season seems to better the former, which I hear has continued with the fourth.

Anyone making a comparison between it and Firefly, even in jest, is definitely saying good things about Firefly.
Saje, lol, I had completely forgotten about that! I messed up the name bit, but the war veteran part was right, so the point stands :) Thanks for the clarification!
'Mal' does not mean 'bad' in Latin. Malus/malum/mala means bad, depending whether the word it decribes is masculine, feminine or neutral. So yes 'mal' is the body of the word meaning bad, but it doesn't mean it in itself means bad.

Interestingly enough, I decided to chec my dictionary for 'don' and turns out 'donum' means 'a gift, sacrifice'. So again the body of the word is the nickname, but the body of the word is not the whole word.

Now about the article, who's the 'independent woman who the main character wants, but who sleeps with lots of other men' on Mad Men? Is that someone from season 4 since I haven't seen that one yet. I can't think of any woman who would fit, consistently at least, from the 1st 3 seasons.

[ edited by Nocticola on 2010-12-31 00:25 ]
guidedby on Mad Men:
"A tad too much polish and attention to style..."
I think most of us who lived through those years remember well the period's polish and attention to style, sometimes with little shudders.
I love both shows. A lot.
While you might be able to appreciate Mad Men's style more than I, having lived through the period, that doesn't mean it's a great show. I appreciate it too, it's incredibly well-done, but I guess all I can say is I just don't like the choices they make story-wise as much as everyone else.

I know I'm in the minority here, and that doesn't bother me. Although I certainly don't appreciate Vandelay's implication that if you don't think it's great, you don't 'get it.' I get it. It's not quite as complicated a show as everyone makes it out to be.

What keeps it from being great to me is the lack of emotion. They try to shoehorn some in here and there, but it doesn't work. I also don't care much about any of the characters. That definitely doesn't help. And the most recent (4th?) season finale that everyone loved? Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.
Re: Mad Men and emotion -

Mad Men is a subtle show. It's not like The Wire or BSG where omnipresent death and tragedy can be used to supercharge the emotions. Shows like that easily dip into melodrama because the premise allows it. "Why shouldn't I be drinking and spouting exposition, fighting drug dealers is hard!" And as long as it's not completely insane, it usually doesn't feel manipulative (although it often is.)

The reason there are few shows like Mad Men and people don't stop creating cop/doctor shows is the relative ease it takes to make people feel something caused by the constant exposure to death. That's not saying other showrunners won't try (Sports Night), it's that probably most of those won't get a green light and those that do have traditionally not faired spectacularly well.

Mad Men has to make you feel things something about people living in a world apart, but certainly the world far closer to most people than a cop or doctor show. The best episode by far in S4 was NOT the finale, it was The Suitcase which basically pays off the the under the surface friction between Peggy (whose had the best arc of anyone) and Don and the most you get out of it is a tense arguement or two. And in that moment, it becomes obvious that Don needs Peggy. That is very real, and extremely emotionally satisifying for me at least. Honestly, the finale was within Don's charecter (although barely), but rather bleh.

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't think that you don't like the show because you don't get it. I think you don't like it because you don't like it. But to imply there's a lack of emotion in the show, I just think that's a gross mischarecterization of Mad Men. The emotion is always there, it's simply supressed by design. That's what makes it all the effective when someone like Don can't hold his emotions in check anymore. People aren't as suppressed as they probably were in the 60's, but most people at work still don't go around crying all the time. You suck it up and move on.

[ edited by azzers on 2011-01-01 01:06 ]

Greatly appreciate your well thought out and civil response. That can be rare. It does seem to come down to what you said. I just have a different response to the show. I think I also get frustrated cause I do love most of what seems to be 'agreed upon great tv,' such as The Wire and BSG. But I like subtlety too.

And I never said I don't like Mad Men. I think it's a very good show. Just overrated, in my opinion. A lot of what they try to do feels clumsy to me. Especially the finale. I did love The Suitcase, though, and I couldn't agree more that it's a shining example of what the show could and should be. At least we can agree on that. :-)

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home