The television provides a constant background noise here, but I don’t truly keep up with that many shows. Right now there are just three. Mad Men ended its second season at the end of October, and Rescue Me won’t start its fifth season until next March, so the only one I’m currently keeping up with is Sons of Anarchy and its first season finale is next week. Probably a good thing because I’m finding myself a little bit too involved. If you, too, have been watching, I am pretty sure you are just as devastated (well, as devastated as a person should get over a fictional character) as I am by a somewhat unexpected and tragic death in tonight’s episode. And those of you who have known me for a while, or know me in real life even a little, are probably not surprised in the least that I want to be Gemma (some of you are muttering that I already think I am her). I also want her Cadillac XLR. Working on that!
Everyone likes to see shows that are about their own life, I think. If the show is done well, you can relate to it. If it’s done poorly, you still get the fun of picking it apart. Until the three shows I mentioned, the only shows I really felt that way about were the ones that were filmed in my current or former hometowns. Since those towns are Honolulu and Chicago, I’ve probably watched too much television in general and some pretty bad television at that (hello, One West Waikiki and Baywatch Hawaii).
The Honolulu neighborhood I lived in for most of my childhood, including my house, appears for a brief moment in a 1975 Hawaii 5-0 episode, “Termination with Extreme Prejudice.” The Chicago neighborhood I’ve worked in since 1987 has been frequently used for television: Early Edition, Cupid and ER. A 2003 ER episode “When Night Meets Day” features a scene with Pratt, Abby and Susan looking for a missing baby in the alley behind our office. All of our building’s dumpsters played important roles in that scene.
Anyway, back to Mad Men, Rescue Me and Sons of Anarchy. Advertising, firefighters and motorcycle gangs. I was two years old at the time Mad Men begins in 1960. But most of my adult life has been spent in typography and prepress production, much of it for advertising agencies. Sterling Cooper and the agency folks seem somehow so familiar. My husband is a firefighter and we both enjoy Rescue Me. He gets the added fun of picking apart the technical aspects. I’ll take his word on that part. He says a lot of the stuff on the show could and would happen, but no way all at the same firehouse. He is also an officer of an independent (non-criminal) motorcycle club (see why I think I am Gemma?) and we both enjoy watching and sometimes picking apart Sons of Anarchy. Before any of you who watch SOA asks: we were married before he joined the club. I am not nor was I ever passed around, thank you very much. I hear that younger California bikers really do dress like Jax, but here in the vast midwestern wasteland, even the HOG members will point and laugh at guys who would actually ride their Harleys in pristine white sneakers like that.
Wow. That’s a lot of words on a rather trivial topic, isn’t it?