By Scott F. Stoddart

ISBN-10: 0786447389

ISBN-13: 9780786447381

AMC's episodic drama Mad males has develop into a cultural phenomenon, detailing America's preoccupation with commercialism and photo within the Camelot of Sixties Kennedy-era the USA, whereas self-consciously exploring present preoccupations. The 12 serious essays during this assortment supply a huge, interdisciplinary method of this hugely correct tv express, reading Mad males as a cultural barometer for modern matters with consumerism, capitalism and sexism. subject matters comprise New Historicist parallels among the Nineteen Sixties and the current day, psychoanalytical methods to the convey, the self as commodity, and the "Age of Camelot" as an "Age of Anxiety," between others. an in depth forged checklist and episode advisor are integrated.

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Additional resources for Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series

Sample text

This single unassuming statement is pregnant with the struggle Don will face for the remainder of the series. Indeed, he must decide which woman truly has “everything” or “nothing”— Betty or Midge? Is it the woman who bears the conventional markers of affluence and respectability but who is so suffocated by outmoded tradition that she ends up in psychotherapy, has a marriage on the rocks, and hears her dead mother’s voice instructing her to keep up appearances? Is it the anti-establishment woman who thinks she is free from these trappings but finds herself so over-socialized in the opposite extreme that she is in a self-imposed prison of her own making, both inadmissible by “good” society and self-isolated because of her fear of appearing at all influenced by bourgeois convention?

This constant struggle between masculine newness and feminine replication plays out, yet again, in the naming of baby Gene after Betty’s recently deceased father. In response to Don’s objection, Betty snarls that this is something people do to keep hold of their memories. Later, after a frightened Sally recognizes the uncanny reemergence of Grandpa Gene through her new baby brother, Don reassures 1. “We’ll start over like Adam and Eve” (Hernandez & Holmberg) 29 her that Gene is just a baby ... one whose identity has yet to be formed (“Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency” 3:6).

Pete is like the absurdly effeminate dandified man whose over-cultivation either causes him to lose his vigor, or prevents it from properly developing, representative of a high aristocracy on the decline. Pete’s face has the softness of a child; it seems unformed and imprecise, an amorphous mass of chubby cheeks still waiting to take shape precisely because it has never been allowed to follow its own natural course of development. Stunted from the onset, Pete is, in many ways, still a child; we see this clearly as he sits on his couch, in a kid’s pajamas, sifting through pictures of Don as a child on the farm (“Nixon vs.

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Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series by Scott F. Stoddart


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