Sunday, August 23, 2009
Lance Mannion's take on "Mad Men" here is provocative. But lots of works -- Shakespeare's romances, the plays of Chekhov and Beckett, the fiction of Kafka -- can be played or read as both comic and tragic. Criticizing "Mad Men" for not being played as a comedy seems to me to miss the point -- we do laugh at it. (Well, I do, anyway.) To assume that its creators intend it to be taken seriously because the actors are playing it straight is to miss the genius of the work. And to reduce Don Draper to just "a jerk" is to miss the devastating portrayal of the compartmentalized life.