Sunday, October 05, 2008
6024: Should AMC’s Mad Men Move To BET?
Mad Men is suddenly displaying more complimentary depictions of Blacks than a Tyler Perry flick.
Sheila—copywriter Paul Kinsey’s Black girlfriend—showed up at Sterling Cooper. In addition to providing an opportunity for staffers to stare when the two kissed, her presence allowed for historical references. Sheila and Paul had planned a trip to Mississippi for a voter registration drive, with Paul commenting about marching and getting shot. Paul initially backed out to attend a convention in California instead. This led to a lovers’ spat that continued in the elevator, creating a visual-cultural juxtaposition between the interracial couple and Hollis, the Black elevator attendant. Kinsey even insisted that Hollis refer to him as Paul versus Mr. Kinsey. Later in the episode, Sheila and Paul rode a bus with other Black and White activists.
Betty and Don traveled to her parents’ home. Betty’s folks also have a Black housekeeper, who also has a very warm and loving relationship with Betty and Don. Why, Betty literally cried on the wise old woman’s shoulder.
Carla made a brief appearance too, establishing her caring role in the Draper household.
In short, it was another instance where Blacks were the most positive and respected characters in the program. Whatever happened to Mad Men’s obsession with accuracy?