Mad Men season 6

We’ve decided to launch On/Off Screen by sharing which upcoming screen releases we’re most excited about this year. So we’ll take turns introducing ourselves and our enthusiasms over the next few days.

This year I’m really looking forward to the start of Mad Men season 6. There are two reasons for this: One is that I really do love that show. The other is that, with a toddler and no babysitter, TV is pretty much the main source of entertainment in our household. It is readily available, and it is more compatible with sleep deprivation and general exhaustion than, say, reading novels or (good grief) doing exercise.

In case anyone has managed to avoid Mad Men altogether, it is an AMC drama that is set in the 1960s, and focuses on people at the Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce. If you think you may want to watch the show, beware that this post will include spoilers.

Life in Mad Men is pleasingly different to my own, and the glamour and the cocktails are particularly attractive right now. However, blatant sexism and racism is less enchanting. It has been fascinating following the development of characters like Megan (Jessica Paré), Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) – the constraints they have been facing as women, and how they negotiate their roles at home and at work. Season 5 saw some major changes for all three.

Most of all, I want to see what they do with the character of office manager Joan. Towards the end of season 5 there was a heartbreaking episode where the reliably vile Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) manipulates her into sleeping with an important client, and she requests a company partnership in return. I am very interested to see how they develop the dynamic within the previously all-male partner group, and I wonder if the way she got that position will have significance later on.

Joan Mad Men

The next post will be from Bertha Chin on Monday.

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