Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mad Men

There is something beguiling about this AMC television series.

I set our Tivo to record it after hearing enough hubbub to peak my interest. I LOVED what I saw and like any good series, it made me want to watch all episodes from the pilot forward.

If you haven't seen it, the show is set in the dawn of the 60's at an advertising agency called Sterling Cooper. This appeals to me for a number of reasons... I was born only a few years later, and I'm in the advertising business. The series is only kind of about advertising, though, with the plot focused mostly on the lives of the characters.

Its period accuracy feels a little stereotypical, sort of like it's been filtered by our optimized memories and the movie Pillow Talk... but that is part of the appeal, and exactly what the producers were shooting for. Everything from clothing to family structure (bread-winning father, stay-at-home wife, well-behaved children) is staged perfectly to make the show sort of feel like a caricature of itself. (a la Sopranos, and not surprising since writer Matthew Weiner is a Sopranos alum)

The characters possess zero realization that the world in which they are cozy is about to change dramatically. With the Kennedy era on the horizon, the cold war shifting into high gear and Woodstock and hallucinogens lurking in the not-too-distant future, it makes the 20/20 hindsight of the viewer feel even more delicious. The entire country is on a precipice... and nobody knows.

Back in the early 60's men were men, kids were less dependent on television and did better in school, and life seemed easier. Unfortunately women were relegated to mostly support jobs and housewivery, and lots of molds were yet to be broken. Both the positive and negative social aspects are accurately portrayed and sometimes accentuated for effect.

I really look forward to Sunday nights, much the same way I did during the run of The Sopranos. 9 pm central, AMC.


Blogarita said...

I think I'd like to give it a try, but I don't expect SG will like it. The first two seasons are on Netflix, so I might try watching it when he's at work.

Violet said...

has it been on for 2 seasons already? i haven't even heard of it! we'll have to watch it together.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

No Tivo here, and 9 p.m. is bedtime for this Bonzo. But nice review, kid.

Clippy Mat said...

I miss the Sopranos.
That's all.

Sarah said...

Paul is hooked on this one too. We missed the first seasons too but I have a feeling we will be watching the rest!