Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I began taking college courses the summer after I graduated from high school.

I decided to get Comp II out of the way, just to be done with it, but mostly because my professor was a man I’d known my entire life, so it promised to be an easy A. (It totally was).

What I enjoyed most about the course was not the ease of my grade, but that instead of having to write criticism and analysis of classic literature, Dr. Fox had as write movie reviews. Following the same standards, mind you, but still – we could choose anything from Fellini to Dumb and Dumber. This nearly made my little 18 year-old head explode – my AP teachers in high school would have never dreamed of letting their students write about anything they chose.

I can’t remember now all the movies I wrote about – just Being John Malkovich, and holy shit did I regret that choice, but anyway, back to the point of this post: thus began the development of my critical eye towards pop culture. My nerd-girl seal of approval for any book/movie/TV show/album/pop culture phenomena is saying I Want To Write A Paper On It. Not that I ever will, but just that 1) It’s that ripe for the picking, and 2) It is something that I would willingly drown myself in and pick apart for any length of time, since I am fickle and have a short attention span.

Which brings me to the REAL point of this post: to further pimp out Mad Men.

Dude, this show is not just Super Mega Paper worthy – this is THESIS-worthy.

Sunday night’s episode was good in its own right – the concept of Duality, and of Truth. Which is the truer self: the one the world sees, or the one behind closed doors? Which is more accurate? Some people could argue that the symbolism of the ad campaigns featured each week and their reflection of the intended theme of the episode is maybe a little heavy-handed, but I disagree – 2 days later, I’m still chewing on it and finding more meaning.

And then there’s the series as a whole: gender, and feminism, and advertising’s affect on American popular culture (and/or vice versa), oh my! Not to mention the subcategories under each (or all?) of those headings: the sexual revolution and its influence in the workplace; interpersonal dynamics and office politics, ageism, sexism – I could go on and on (Trust: just ask J). And I also realize that the series is a thesis unto itself – we laugh at the antiquated technology, and the fashions and the societal norms of the time, but have we really come as far as we think we have in 45+ years?

I fully realize that my geekometer is topping out, but the show is really that good.

Note: I was getting ready to publish this post, when I read Jezebel’s.

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