I am caught up on Mad Men. It was a long month (or was it a week? a year?). It was less than a month. Quitting a flexible, satisfying, well-paying job that provided enough financial stability to get through a Masters in order to take a month and a half to prepare for a long-term self-investment (PhD) can really take away the ability to put things into perspective. But here we are, ~52 hours later. I have remained active and socially interactive, discussing openly my Mad Men immersion. My brother made fun of me for talking about television as art, but even when Mad Men sucks it’s still good because it is beautiful. My favorite M M critical reviewer, Molly Lambert, wrote an incredible piece on the S5 finale and ended with a reminder (barely needed)—“the central questions of Mad Men: can people change? Is it ever for the better? Do we really grow up or do we just get older until we die?” Mad Men should never try to answer these questions because as transforming as the show is, no one cares what the answer is in the context of television. I don’t live in LA so I don’t feel like an asshole when I talk about TV. It’s not as fake for me, but it’s still a show. I love it for the same reason I don’t like Catcher in the Rye: I don’t believe it is phony to ask questions without expecting an answer.
Anyway, S5 was so good despite its super duper depressing topics: quitting (Megan, Peggy), giving up (Lane), giving in (Joan), despair (Pete), guilt (Don, but only partially because he can’t really feel things). Success is a fucking joke at this point for SCDP. Joan is my favorite character by a long shot…she literally sold herself short because she knew it was worth it. How fucking crazy is that? She owns herself and the fucked up decisions she is forced into making—the best quality any person could have. I could go on and on. Don’s up somewhat from his S4 nadir but he’s still in a desperate place; Peggy got out just in time; Roger voted yes to whore out the mother of his child (not good, dude); and as much as he sucks completely, I will never be able to fully hate Pete as long as this scene exists. I’m glad I am caught up. I’m not going to think much about Mad Men again until S6 airs.