My comments on the blogs of others:
1. http://raws.adc.rmit.edu.au/~s3282725/blog2/ Sarah Jackson
On her Mad Men post…
Interesting stuff Sarah, that’s for sure. I love that last little scene so I was glad to find that you had analysed it so closely, especially the Bob Dylan lyrics.
The film noir connect was just awesome, despite how obvious it was to you I had actually never considered the aesthetic similarities of film noir and Mad Men. So true though, Don Draper is that classic “lone detective” figure so commonly portrayed in film noir.
Interestingly, I interpreted the fantasy segment slightly differently. While of course the possibility that Don is imagining what he wished would occur, I feel Don is too emotionally void to genuinely regret not being with his family. I think he regrets not regretting it, but that is about it. I see it more as the director existentially reflecting on what Don’s life could have been: a life where his family are the priority and he genuinely loves his wife. Don is a man who has stated he doesn’t believe in love and only sees it as a marketing tool. This scene sums up Don’s existence, one that could be so full of love but instead he is alone inside…. for what reason we don’t know. The Bob Dylan lyrics you highlighted only adds to this, for although Dylan mourns his relationship there is overpoweringly a stronger sense of detachment. Like Don it feels more like Dylan regrets not his failing love, but more so regrets he doesn’t care enough to fix it.
And sure enough, Don ends up alone in the house on his stairs, with no where to go.
2. http://jennybaetv.wordpress.com/ Jenny Bae
On her HBO post…
Hey Jenny 🙂
I loved your post about HBO and it’s big aim to be a brand, I wrote about something similar myself in one of my showcase blogs. You might be interested in thinking about HBO’s tag: It’s not TV. It’s HBO. This basically implies that HBO has christened itself as something superior to actual television, that HBO produces such quality shows that all the rest of the television industry is separate from HBO. How obnoxious! Still, there is no point complaining, they probably have the right to be obnoxious with the amount of wonderful television shows they create.
I like that you used Lost as an example of complex narrative. I wouldn’t have thought of it straight away because I’ve been so closely stuck in the HBO pay TV mind frame, I remember Lost being on free television every week. Although as you say Lost is successful in the intrinsic story, shocks and twists, it is arguable that was a show that steadily declined… an example of a good thing pushing its luck to far. It makes me think that perhaps what makes true quality television a decent complex narrative is a level of restraint. Lost couldn’t stop with the twists and turns and shocks… as a result it lost (haha pun) some of its respectability. A lot of other complex narratives however try to hold back and not give the audience too much to keep them guessing, wondering and making their own interpretations. This is why those shady shows such as Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire or The Wire leave a lasting impression!
3. http://spencekelly.wordpress.com/ Spencer Kelly
When I did this blog post I went into the long, rambling explanation surrounding all the reasons why television isn’t dying. I acknowledged that while the internet has perhaps changed the way television now exists but it has not killed it completely- I compromised. However you just came along and BAM. Basically you stated, “television isn’t dying you idiots, just look on the internet and you’ll see everyone is talking about it.” Talk about hard-hitting evidence. And it’s hard to argue too. I had never actually considered the internet as a place to television to be obsessed over in relation to the death of television, in this context I had only seen the internet as something that hinders television as people download shows through it instead of watching tv. You’re right though, if anything the internet gives fans a world to discuss, debate and share their love of their favourite shows. No one can ignore that when something such as Masterchef’s final is on the Facebook world is going nuts as people comment on every action. The internet offers just yet another community, in this case for television. Totally ace.