Sunday, November 22, 2009

Watching

Rex has been enjoying two television series on DVD lately, which are both acclaimed in their own way: "Mad Men," which is critically praised, and "Arrested Development," which was a cult hit. I find them both intolerable. Both are extremely well crafted, and Mad Men is also visually beautiful. But both demand that you take pleasure in watching people treat each other cruelly, and entrap each other in intolerable situations because of their unwillingness to tell the truth.

On the other hand, last night I rented two animated films, "Kung Fu Panda" and "Up." I watched them in that order but should have reversed it. Poor Rex, who was playing around on the computer while I watched, enjoyed "Kung Fu Panda," but found "Up" depressing for the way its story centers around loss. The central character is an elderly man, voiced by Ed Asner, who strikes out on an adventure that was once a dream he and his late wife shared; he does so at that particular moment because his house is threatened by development and he is threatened with being put in a nursing home. For me, and for many watchers of "Up," this poignancy is part of the sweetness of the story; but for Rex it was just depressing.

So I suppose I have to concede that I might be missing something in "Mad Men" as well. I'm reserving judgement on "Arrested Development."

2 comments:

Melinda said...

Don't worry about trying to force yourself to find appeal in Mad Men (though I personally love the show). There are plenty of good shows out there -- if something's not for you, it's not for you. Have you checked out The Tudors on Showtime? I don't know if DVDs are available yet, but you might enjoy the series very much -- Henry VIII when he was young and hot and played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers -- they take many liberties with history, but you can't beat the costumes, the accents, the intrigue and of course the occasional beheading! The series has completed three seasons and will premiere its fourth season next spring. You can watch some of it online at http://www.sho.com/site/tudors/home.do -- I urge you to check it out!

Tommy said...

"Mad Men" is too much text as textbook for my taste. I expect 'Questions for Discussion' at episode end. Kung Foo Panda was just an inferior product to my mind. "Up" was frequently brilliant and all-around good. I was close to tears at the prologue. The dog was especially wonderful, after being crushingly bad-dogged, then, "I hid under the porch because I love you."