Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet, sweet suicide.

Have you seen Mad Men? This is one of those television series that critics and rabid fans tell you that a) you aren't watching and b) you really suck because you aren't watching it because it is so stinkin' good.

I don't know about all that. I like good movies and I like good TV. A while back I decided to check out Mad Men and, I must say, it really is pretty good. It took until season two for it to really amaze me; overall I'd say it's an interesting and compelling show, especially if you're a US citizen.

But, my views on popular entertainment are not why we're here, are they? The reason I bring the show up is that every time I watch the opening sequence the phrase "sweet, sweet suicide" comes to mind. I'll post it below so you can see what I'm talking about.

The trancy music, the faceless cartoonism, the generic businessmen floating down... It all seems like a beautiful, drifting, perfect suicide. I doubt that's what the creators meant but, being a guy who's spent most of his life thinking about suicide, that's what I see.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not on the edge. I'm okay for now. However, I can't watch this and not think how relaxed and lovely this guy looks as his floats to his death.

I've often wished I could...

A few minutes later: I'm having some trouble with this video. If you can't play it above, click here.


Natalie J said...

I like the show, too. But I can't stand the beginning. You could be like me...Tivo it and fast forward through the beginning. Then, maybe, you won't be forced to think about it! Glad you aren't giving up!

The Pursuit of Happiness said...

Actually, I'm not that bothered by it. In fact I find a little cathartic.

There's a passage from a Jack Kerouac book that I've been trying to find for a while. I might have mentioned in it in an early post. He visits a friend in the hospital who recently attempted suicide. He talks about how the act, the attempt left her. I can't remember the exact words he used but it was something about how the extreme act made her seem not drained but released. (You can see why I'm having trouble finding the passage!)

Anyway, the way he goes on it's like he vicariously experienced her suicide and feels better for it. That's how I feel about this opening sequence. Whether or not it's well conceived, people commit suicide to solve a problem. I feel just a little bit of that when I watch this.

Natalie J said...

Maybe my dislike of the beginning comes from the anxiety I feel sitting through beginnings to any show (The Sopranos and True Blood bring out the worst anxiety). Entirely different problem for me. So, as a result, I fast forward them all. If you do find the Jack Kerouac quote, you should post it. I would be interested in reading that.

The Pursuit of Happiness said...

How do intros cause you anxiety?

I love the Sopranos intro. Cool music and it always makes me want to smoke a cigar.

My wife is the same way with every intro, even movies. Her's isn't anxiety based, she just wants to get on with it. I'm a total nerd. I like reading who directed, who wrote the script, who did the music...

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