Friday, 4 December 2009


An appendix to yesterday's post on Mary McCarthy's The Group: I forgot to mention that a copy of the book appeared in the current series of the critically-acclaimed and popular American TV show, Man Men. From the screen-shot below you can see that the copy is being read in the bath by the character, Betty Draper; set in the 1960s the book itself would have been topical and I like the clever and historically-accurate product-placement.

As I have disclosed previously on Twitter to some fellow bloggers, I have tried to watch Man Men but I can't get into it. I find it aesthetically pleasing (the sets and styling are sumptuous) and I have a love of the period but it fails to fully sustain my attention; it is a very gentle and character-focused show and my concentration fails. I have attempted the first two or three episodes of the first season and my boyfriend is a huge fan so should I persevere? I have the feeling that it is a series that I would ultimately love and that it is the Richard Yates equivalent of television. Furthermore, how can the inclusion of The Group not sell it to me? I have heard nothing but positive reviews thus far but I need some extra encouragement ... so do you watch it and recommend it?


The Literary Stew said...

I've seen two seasons of Mad Men and did enjoy it and I'm one of those who hardly watches TV. I saw both seasons on dvd. You may enjoy it better that way since you can pace yourself or watch 2 or more shows in a row.

Try watching a few more. If you're not hooked soon then you probably won't be. I think I got hooked from the start. However, I'm in no rush to see season 3.

Eva said...

I've watched Seasons Two and Three, mainly because they were available for free on my digital cable and I was sick, so I couldn't read. For me, it's all about the eye candy-most of the characters are awful, lol, so I can't find myself worrying much about their fate. It's not a show I HAVE to watch, but I was glad it was there when I was sick. Maybe I'll see season one eventually...if it shows up on my digital cable!

mel u said...

I like the show a lot-for some reason they show it 5 or 6 times a week here in Manila-it is a good historical look at post WWII America-to see how women are treated in the office is shocking to many I am sure-

Anonymous said...

Claire, I'm addicted to the show Mad Men; this, from a person who watches virtually no television whatsoever. I think what pulled me in was the setting from my childhood era, but then I became entranced by the characters and the very clever lines. My husband and I are arriving late to the scene; we had to rent season 1 and 2 which we watched in one weekend to catch up with season 3. Perhaps you might like to start with season 1 and see if that pulls you in. Then again, not every show is for everyone. Usually I find television incredibly annoying. ;)

kimbofo said...

Well, you know I love this show. It's a slow burner though... you really do have to watch it carefully and not have it on while you're on the internet at the same time (which is typically how I "watch" TV these days), because it's all about the looks people give each other rather than the things they say.

I've only ever watched it on DVD, which means I can binge out and view three episodes in a row if I feel like it. Series 3 is being screened on the BBC in late January, but I'll probably wait for the boxed set in the summer.

You might find it helps if you read "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit" by Sloane Wilson (there's a review on my blog), because it tells a very similar story to that of Don Draper's and may get you in the mood to watch the show!

Jeane said...

My husband and I have been watching it. He's far more into it than I am- the office politics and all. I'm more fascinated by how it portrays a different era- not only how women were treated in the workplace, but their parenting style as well! Sometimes I laugh, other times I'm shocked. It's very interesting (but I do fall asleep a few times).

Steph said...

We've watched the first two seasons of MM, and I have to say, I kind of don't get the fervor over it. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but it is quite slow and I can't say that it really gripped either of us in a "must-watch!" way. We started to watch the second season, but then got out of sync with it, and just haven't managed to get back in the groove with it.

Interesting you compare it to Richard Yates, though, since I just finished Revolutionary Road (review to show up some time next week... I'm still collecting my thoughts!), and I got very strong Mad Men vibes!

Paperback Reader said...

Apologies for the delayed response.
Thank you for your input, everyone. For the most part you are quite enthused by Mad Men and have convinced me to definitely give it another go. Kim, your advice to not watch whilst online helps!

Steph, looking forward to your review on Revolutionary Road! I've only seen the film.