You know, about money…

Even when you say it’s not, it is. It *is* about money.

I’ve been watching with great interest the whole Mad Men story with Matthew Weiner, and how his battle with AMC to retain the series the way he wants it almost cost him the whole shootin’ match with Lionsgate. Weiner swears it’s not about money, but rather artistic freedom. Well, sorry Matt, but artistic freedom IS about money, or at least the freedom from being weighed down by its constraints. In other words, it’s always about money for somebody. Looking at the deal he finally struck with the studio (demands that cast members not be cut for financial reasons, Weiner’s reticence to give up two minutes of episode time so AMC could air two more commercials), money is indeed at the forefront of this drama — only with the studio on the major spending end.

I suppose that’s what producers do, after all. Spend money to bring something to the screen. And I’d be more cynical about the whole issue if MM was not my favorite show ever. Worst part: only three more seasons, and it’s all over for good. I guess it had to end somewhere. Truthfully, who wants to see Roger Sterling in a leisure suit? Or anyone else, for that matter? I think 1970 is a good place to stop if it all has to end. Besides, I’m sure Weiner wants the show to go out on a “high,” as opposed to dragging it into an era when the players would surely be watching themselves become extinct in a world that has definitely moved on.

Why do we (I) even get so incredibly attached to a made-up story on television anyway? The vicarious lifestyle, seeing people endure real problems like one’s own, fantasizing about being someone else…I suppose it all figures in. I know that’s why I love fiction, in books and on the screen. This show also brings back memories for me — a kid growing up in the 1960s and 70s. I recognize (and recall fondly) the clothing, the hats, the decor; everything has a personal place for me.

Mad Men will remain my absolute favorite drama of all time — unless something better comes along in the future, which just might happen. But I have to get through the final three seasons, which, at this rate, could take ten years.

What show is your favorite, and why? (Yes, this is where you participate in the discourse, my fiends.)

Yipes I’m late for the shower.

Photo – AMC, Lionsgate

7 thoughts on “You know, about money…

  1. Suzanne

    I have to say that I can watch Friends for hours. And M*A*S*H (the earlier years in particular). But I guess those aren’t dramas….uhmm then that would be Hill Street Blues, Medium, …there are probably more but my fever-ish head can’t think right now. Yeah I be sick and now H isn’t feeling well. Luckily we aren’t working much this week.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Oh no! :-( Fevers are the worst. I’m glad you’re not putting in a full week if that’s the case. Lots of tea and water and soup for you!

      And I remember watching Medium once and really liking it. I’m surprised you get so many American programs over there. Is there a channel devoted to it? Does Netherlands have its own TV shows and series?

      1. Suzanne

        All the channels here can buy American series so we do get to see a lot. And thank goodness they do subtitles which means I can hear the real American voices! In Germany they do voice overs….that would drive me nuts. Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, all the CSIs, Bones, Oprah, Dr. Phil…the list is endless.

        As for Dutch programs there are a few but the comedies are totally lost on me…not that I don’t understand it I guess I have a different kind humor and don’t find them funny. There have been a couple of dramas I’ve watched. The Original Big Brother started here and I watched that.

        We also get some nice channels via satellite — more British channels, and the UK’s Food Channel which shows mostly American programs (Ina Garten, Ultimate Cake-Off, Cake Boss etc etc etc).

        Plenty to watch and unfortunately I do!!

  2. BoomR

    Hey…**I** wanna see Roger S in a leisure suit!! :D Complete with bell-bottoms & platform shoes, too!! WOOT!

  3. Hannah

    My favorite show is Law and Order Special Victims Unit…… the very best one of the series….. although Law and Order LA isn’t to bad.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I’ve watched SVU a couple of times. What I like about the L & O shows is that they’re not really “serial” in nature; you can pick up an episode here and there and not have missed anything. Do you believe that’s how just about ALL nighttime TV used to operate?


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