An insane editorial in The New York Post today posits that Mad Men “takes Sally Draper‘s sexual story too far.” (I realize that it might be redundant to call an editorial in the Post insane, but oh well.) It’s clearly some trollsome bullshit, but let’s take a look at what crack TV critic Linda Stasi has to say.
She starts out by saying that the show is doing irreparable harm to Kiernan Shipka, the actress who plays Sally:
Maybe the parents of the 12-year-old actress who plays Sally, Kiernan Shipka, are too caught up in the glamour of the show to stop the harm it has caused their child — harm that is being played out before the country.
backs up her statement with evidence completely changes the subject, saying that the things Matthew Weiner has done to the fictitious character of Sally Draper are “child exploitation”:
“Take little Sally’s scene this past Sunday night.
In it, she snuck [sic.] out of her dad’s apartment to meet creepy Glen (played by Weiner’s son, Marten Weiner) at the Museum of Natural History.
When she gets stomach pains she runs to the bathroom, where she pulls up her dress, pulls down her underpants, squats on the toilet and there, in close-up yet, they show her little-girl, white cotton underpants soiled with her first menstrual blood.
Excuse me? That is a violation of a child’s private moment that no man, let alone an entire nation, should see.
But, like other equally inappropriate and gratuitous scenes involving Sally, it did not even move the episode (otherwise the best of the season) forward.”
So basically, Stasi is mad at Weiner for violating the privacy of an imaginary person, and also because she doesn’t understand the show’s interconnecting themes of sex, death, and womanhood. She has similar complaints about the episode where Sally is caught diddling, as well as the one where she walks in on Roger getting a beej from her step-grandmother. “Again, this was a scene that not only did not move the plot forward, in fact, it stopped it cold,” she writes. It’s unclear what kind of plotline she thinks would be sufficiently forward-moving for Sally. Perhaps one in which she plays with her dolls and pledges to stay a little girl forever?
She’s also concerned that pedophiles are getting off to these scenes:
I can’t help but wonder whether Weiner ever considers if scenes like that excite child sexual predators. Does he care? Surely this must panic her parents — no?