Tag Archives: TV Reviews

Millennial Endtimes: #MrRobot

Last week, real-life Mr. Robots hacked San Francisco’s rail system to give thousands of riders free rides through the glossy playground of what a dear friend calls the Google Babies: tech economy fortunates who transformed SF from a proudly dirty queer/alt/boho haven to a Bubble city.

Bubble, bubble. Toil and trouble.

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On Competence (TfH Watches TV 2)

Mad Men went out with a wimper.

Wherefore this wimper?

Partly the hubris of spreading a single season over two years. Partly the series’s obsession with a tired Freudian narrative of an otherwise great man whose dead whore mom got stuck to his Achilles heel.

But partly the loss of Don’s competence. With no other competence to make up for it besides cruelly (used and then) underused Joan Holloway Harris.

Mad Men got less compelling around when Don stopped showing us how great an adman he was. And it never even bothered showing us the boldly designed steam off Peggy’s hot Googie shit.

Professional competence. Our new fantasy.

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Orphan is the New Black

What if our darkest feminist nightmares came true?

Girls who disagree with their fathers get locked in a cage with their mouths sewn shut?

Women are killed unless they can reproduce? And when they can, they are no more or less than incubators?

Women’s bodies are objects of science, subject to constant observation and kept ignorant of their status as experiments?

Sometimes they are artificially inseminated using animal husbandry tools?

Sometimes fathers commit incest meditated by reproductive technology so it’s NOT ABOUT SEX AND/OR POWER AT ALL. Nor is it creepy. Nor is it anti-Christian.

Women on TV are seemingly infinite variants of the same thin, beautiful, vulnerably strong white woman in leather?

Everyone lives in Canada?

 

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Zombies on Mad Men!!!

Zombie nouns in a zombie finale of a zombie show.

The nouns: Post-industrialization. Financialization.

The post-post-war economy based on ideas and services. Based on abstract ideas of “value.”

An economy that by the zombie finale of Mad Men is any moment now, just about, right on the edge of fully usurping the old order of pensions, factories, and loyalties.

Bert Cooper’s elegant valediction celebrated this culture as it died out—and as Cooper helped wreak its death.

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TV Schizophrenia (#MadMen)

In 1961, Thomas Szasz crystalized a particular kind of countercultural trope: the “mentally ill” genius. His The Myth of Mental Illness asserted that people can be “disabled by life.” That one sensitive to the absurdities and senselessness of life may appear mentally ill, but really tells Truth in a hostile society.

By now it’s trite: Sherlock Holmes, House, the lady in Homeland. Hannah Horvath. Gonzo.

No one’s crying about the dude in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest anymore.

But Peggy cried about Michael Ginsberg.

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Hollow Portents (#MadMen #Finally)

Friends, if you can’t blog something nice, blog it late.

Mad Men y’all.

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