I’ve been thinking a lot about Mad Men this past fortnight. Well, one specific episode at least. There’s a scene in the season 3 episode My Old Kentucky Home which has several staff members invited to a party at agency co-owner Roger Sterling’s home. During the party, he takes to the stage with his wife and sings a song with her while in blackface.
In the current climate, I was wondering what would happen with this episode? So many shows are just pulling episodes from their run. But, like with The Golden Girls and 30 Rock, the blackface scene in Mad Men actually served a pretty strong message about blackface. In the context of Mad Men, it spoke to one of the ongoing themes of the show which is about generational divides and the need to leave some things in the past. With the Mad Men scene, it creates a firm line between the characters - who are the old guard and who belongs to the new wave of youth culture sweeping the US?
As of this week, Mad Men is returning to streaming services with the show landing on Amazon Prime Video. When viewers watch the episode, they’ll see a title card warning at the start:
“This episode contains disturbing images related to race in America. One of the characters is shown in blackface as part of an episode that shows how commonplace racism was in America in 1963. In its reliance on historical authenticity, the series producers are committed to exposing the injustices and inequities within our society that continue to this day so we can examine even the most painful parts of our history in order to reflect on who we are today and who we want to become. We are therefore presenting the original episode in its entirety.”
Oh, also, please watch Mad Men now that it is coming back - the show is really clever, funny TV.
The new Aaron Sorkin film The Trial of The Chicago 7 is confirmed to now debut on Netflix instead of a cinema release. The streamer will debut it globally sometime before November after paying a cool $50 million for it.
Also coming to Netflix soon is a new Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) film. With this, a Sorkin film, and David Fincher’sMank debuting later this year, Netflix firmly have the Dan Barrett demo looked after.
With the world at its lowest point in a lifetime, we need heroes more than ever. Good news today that animated superstars Beavis and Butt-head are returning to TV for a 9th season of their show, Season 8 aired back in 2011.
Mike Judge will again be in charge, with the show debuting on Comedy Central.
CBS will air two colourised episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show this Friday night in memory of Carl Reiner. The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now In Living Color! originally aired in 2016, with Reiner overseeing the colourisation process.
Below are two other colourised episodes that also aired during the 2016 specials.