Philosophy Summed Up in a Single Sentence

Sometimes the best, most memorable dialogue on a TV show is a short, one-line sentence.  In numerous TV shows we often see a recurring character drop a line that is comedic, thought-provoking, and memorable.  These quotes are often referred to as the character name with the given suffix-isms.  The trend originated from the character Brittany from Ryan Murphy’s Glee, notorious for dropping comedic one-liners, which people began to call “Brittanyisms” to suggest that Brittany’s lines was its own unique kind of philosophy.  But –isms have spread across numerous TV shows.  Mad Men itself has manifested some great one-line philosophies of its own through the character Joan.  Rarely do we ever see Joan carry a conversation, but when she speaks it is sharp, witty, and concise, thus earning her fair share of “Joanisms”.  Some examples from Mad Men include:
"The medium is the message.”  (Season 1, Episode 6 “Babylon”)
“This isn’t China.  There’s no money in virginity.” (Season 1, Episode 9 “Shoot”)
"That’s life.  One minute, you’re on top of the world.  The next, some secretary is running over your foot with a lawn mower” (Season 3, Episode 6 “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency”)
While a fair share of Joanisms are indeed comedic, they also embody everything about the sixties from gender roles to cultural perspectives.  With Joanisms having such a lasting effect on viewers, it’s a friendly reminder that while Mad Men consists of a lot of talk between advertising men, it’s often Joan’s lines that wrap up the episode’s theme in a single lasting sentence.

1 comment:

  1. I think this was an interesting topic for a post. I myself find humor in the witty things Joan says, and I think some interesting ties could be made between her sayings and the phases of her life (marriage, leaving Sterling Cooper, etc.)It would also be a great angle to open this "witty sayings" theme to other characters on Mad Men. For example, I particularly find Roger Sterling to have many witty sayings when he speaks to his colleagues, and Don Draper when he speaks during a sales meeting. The theme does fit perfectly with Joan however.