THE ACCURACY OF MAD MEN. Daniel Mendelsohn in the New York Review of Books (February 24) criticizes the television series Mad Men harshly. Here is a blog post from the Commonweal blog with interesting comments about Mendelsohn’s essay. The post quotes his criticism: “The writing is extremely weak, the plotting haphazard and often preposterous, the characterizations shallow and sometimes incoherent….” One of the comments quotes Mendelsohn’s criticism of the accuracy of the show: “To my mind, the picture is too crude and the artist too pleased with himself. In Mad Men, everyone chain-smokes, every executive starts drinking before lunch, every man is a chauvinist pig…” This article by Kenneth Roman and John Emmerling in the Wall Street Journal (July 23, 2010) reports on a poll of 101 alumni of a large advertising agency, asking what it was like back then. They found that 58% of the men smoked, that 68% of them had one or more drinks at lunch and that 39% of them had two or three drinks at lunch. As for sex, 55% said that they were aware of sexual activity taking place on the office premises. By the time I started working in an office in 1968, I think that things had changed.

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  1. Lee says:

    Also, the few times I tried to watch it the show was full of the lay/lie error.

  2. Philip says:

    Despite my claims that I am going to accept usage as the test of grammar, I flinch at the lay/lie error.

  3. Lee says:

    Me too, and I used to make it before Annalisa beat it out of me. I could eventually live with lay/lie but “and I” makes my skin crawl.

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