I've started bingeing. No, not alcohol - Netflix. If you don't have Netflix in the UK, it's internet based streaming TV, and I bet you have it, but it's called something different.
Anyway, I love it, because you can watch season after season of your favourite TV show -WITHOUT COMMERCIALS!!
First, we watched the whole series of "Nip and Tuck", which I had completely missed when it was first on TV, then we watched "House of Cards" - the USA version, then the WHOLE of "West Wing".
I'm not blogging about this because I want to demonstrate my addictive personality - we already know all about that (the wine thing), but firstly to remind myself to go back and re-watch some episodes as I was still drinking when we first got Netflix, and they are hazy at best, but secondly because since being sober, I have fixated on all the drinking that goes on in fictional TV.
Now clearly the depiction of drinking in Mad Men is integral to the plot, but it is the "normalizing" of women drinking that I have sound fascinating.
I started to watch "The Good Wife". For those of you who may not have watched it, very basically it is the story of a wife whose adulterous husband is also the State's Attorney who ends up caught in a sex scandal and ends up in jail. She (Good Wife) stands by him, and takes up her long abandoned career as a lawyer to make ends meet. And each season watches the high and lows of this career.
Now I avoided this drama series because I didn't buy the premise that a smart women lawyer would stand by her sleazy man (inexplicably her husband ends up as State Governor), but given that I haven't yet found another Mad Men series, I tried it.
And here's the thing. The lead character is (as I've said), a strong, independent, smart lawyer (with the aforementioned blind spot). And in almost every episode, she drinks wine alone.
She doesn't get home from a hard day at the office, and put on the kettle, she always pours a large glass of red wine. And then another. Completely. Normal.
When did it get normal? We've had this debate in sober cyberspace about drinking alone, and how it should be something that is "crossing the line"....but here it is, on mainstream TV for all to see....drinking alone is not only NORMAL - the smart, independent, lawyer ladies DO IT ALL THE TIME!!
I'm not whining and blaming the "bad TV people who are being paid off by the alcohol industry" - but now I've typed that, it seems feasible - but didn't we go through all of this with smoking?
Am I turning into a paranoid bore?
It just seems sometimes that the odds are stacked against us.
It isn't that I believe that women see this TV show, and then think " Oooh, I want to be a Good Wife, I'll break out a good bottle of red", it's the casual visual image of women drinking when they feel like it. At the bar to celebrate winning a case. At lunchtime, with a colleague. In the evening, while preparing dinner, after dinner while working on the laptop. With no consequences. No hangover depicted, no running around after sleeping through the alarm, no throwing yesterdays clothes in the dryer to get the wrinkles out because you couldn't be bothered to do laundry, no puffy eyes, no difficulty concentrating during the first meeting of the morning, no eating an Egg McMuffin to get rid of the queasy feeling in your stomach, no guzzling water/coffee/water....and so on, and so on...
As you can tell, I did get pissed (angry, UK friends, not actually "pissed").
Just give us a break. Would it really hurt to have a strong female character who doesn't drink? And is still cool? And strong, sexy and independent? Apart from "Wonder Woman"?
Anyway, I think I'll just start watching "Orange is the New Black". There can't be anything shocking or controversial in a comedy show, can there?