Primetime finds drama (and absurdity) in the tech world
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In “The Monolith,” a recent episode of Mad Men, Sterling Cooper & Partners is invaded by a massive mainframe IBM computer, throwing the agency into a whirl of anxiety. Like the humanoids in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the mortals of SC&P gape at an impassive slab that may transmute everything. The year is 1969, and Neil Armstrong will soon walk on the moon. But maybe, the episode suggests, this landing was the more giant leap. After all, we haven’t been back to the moon in more than 40 years; we revisit Facebook every five minutes.
Mad Men isn’t the only current TV series to acknowledge tech’s power.