I admit that when I heard Mad Men was going to premiere just as I was starting this TV guestblogging gig in the otherwise rather deserted month of August, I breathed a sigh of relief. If there is one television show that not a one of my communist, death-panel-supporting, child-killing liberal feminist friends is ashamed to admit to loving, it is Mad Men.Mad Men, in short, has an acceptable television pedigree. In my particular case, and I am not kidding about this, I started watching it because it was recommended to me by none other than Joyce Carol Goddamn Oates at a talk I attended a long time ago at the NYPL. Talk about your "I-don't-even-have-a-tv" bookworm street cred. And Feminist bloggers love Mad Men too. In fact, it's just about the only television show that gets universal coverage in the feminist blogosphere, and all week, everybody's been gearing up for the Big Event. DoubleX is live-tweeting it. Some other prominent feminist bloggers, including Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte, are having a salon about it at RHRealityCheck. And pretty much everyone I know who loves Mad Men loves to talk about how very, very feminist it feels to have so many nuanced portrayals of women on a single television show.
I, too, think that there is a lot of feminist merit in Mad Men - more on that in a second post this weekend, and I'll have thoughts on the premiere next week, it's gonna be a Mad Men heavy guestblogging experience - but I find it really problematic as a show to recommend to people who aren't feminists, or who aren't, at the very least, what I would call ready for a serious discussion of gender roles.
Image from susanphotography at Flickr under a Creative Commons license.
I am just about the only person I know - and certainly the only feminist - who has been religiously watching Showtime's Nurse Jackie (In fairness, Jezebel started out covering it but seemed to lose interest very quickly, and the only regular commentary I see on it is Jacob's excellent recaps at TWoP.) Maybe I should be generous to the fools people who don't watch the show. Perhaps the neglect is due to the unfortunate dead end of July and August. Perhaps it's because the show has the unfortunate timing of airing whilst we are all salivating at the imminent prospect of a new season of Mad Men (more on that tomorrow, by the by), which happens to be everybody's favourite feminist-food-for-television thought nowadays. Perhaps it's because most people I know only watch television shows once they are out on DVD anyway, so all first seasons on cable are kind of a wash, popularity-wise.
Hi Bitch blog readers! I'm a sometime blogger (under an assumed name, mostly, but my sorely neglected personal blog is here) and I can't tell you how excited I am to be associated with Bitch even briefly. I am incredibly honored to get to talk to and with you for the next few weeks about women and television, a subject about which I am embarrassed to say I know entirely too much.
Saturday morning cartoons was a rite of passage for many of us growing up in the USA in the 1980s. Smurfs, Transformers and even the WWF cartoon was on the docket each weekend. Yes, each of them were platforms for selling us cereal and toys, but it still stinks.
If I were in a same-sex relationship in California and looking to formalize my commitment to my partner, this new show on the CW, Hitched or Ditched, would not be improving my mood right about now. They pick a straight, non-engaged couple and surprise them with an ambush wedding in one week? Srsly? And they won't let couples who've been together for over 20 years and have children together be at each other's bedsides in the hospital?
OK, Gretchen Bonaduce and Danielle from Real Housewives of NJ are both maybe a little psycho, but can we get a little bit of love for these two plucky divorcees trying to pick themselves up and move on with their lives? No?
Move over, Jon and Kate, and scoot down the bench, all you Duggars -- there's a new big family reality show on the block! It's called Fostering Love, and it's got a uniquely Californian twist on the genre: a same-sex couple expanding their family through pretty much every type of reproductive technology available. Also, they move to an alpaca farm. It's awesome.