The Guardian claims Mad Men’s “portrayal of both professional and personal relationships is excessively realistic, almost uncannily, reassuringly so,” and yet writes a 483-word column on why “Draper’s cocktail habit never really seems to get in the way of ordinary life.” They forget to mention that the ubiquitous use of cigarettes fails to kill anyone, too.
The entire point of a glossy, sexy motif is that it’s part of the aesthetic of a show. Mad Men isn’t about a raging alcoholic. Nor is it about an excessive smoker. Strangely, The Guardian identifies exactly what the show is about: “the difficulties of marriage, the tension between men and women at work, the unfair nature of competition in the office.” I don’t see anything wrong with their use of alcohol consumption as prop scenery.