Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mad about Mad Men

Over the past couple weeks I have had the chance to watch the 13 Episode first season of Mad Men.

Have you watched this TV show? It's great.

There is a lot of work that goes into the period series. Most television series deal with a contemporary time frame, often for ease of costumes, set, stories, etc. But there is something so magical and creative in this period drama that cable-station AMC has put together.
The premise of Mad Men is the story of an creative director Don Draper (Jon Hamm) who works on Madison Avenue as an ad exec.

The story plays out in two worlds, the primary world is the office and work environment of Draper, with a rich cast of 1960s characters and themes, including heavy smoking, sexual discrimination in the work place and 1960s Nixon-Kennedy politics. The advertising enlivenment is a perfect place to bring into discussion a number of pop-cultural thoughts and products of 1960.

The second world opens up this same world of themes in the personal family life of Don Draper. In this world Draper's wife Betty Draper (January Jones) has the opportunity to interact not only with Don and their two children, but also with the other ladies and families in their suburban neighborhood.

The show also has enough intrigue, open ended questions, and soap-opera style to make you curious of what's going on and what's going to happen from one episode to the next.

Yet, I think what I appreciate the most about this series (at least season 1) is it's exceptional execution of something that's a little different than what the networks spit out, and it really is quality, entertaining, and intriguing programming.
I could say more, but are you watching this? Because I'd love to see TV have more of this and less of this.


James (SeattleDad) said...

Thanks for the review. I am putting this show on my list. We usually rent and watch a series on disk and that is the only media we get. We have gone through quite a number of series and are constantly looking for something new and entertaining that is less than an hour in lenght. Any other ideas from readers would also be appreciated. Have recently watched 'The Wire', 'Big Love', 'Lost' 'Heros', 'Rome' as well as others.

Ando said...

I've been wanting to check this show out. Thanks for the review.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I've been watching the show. What I like about it is that it captures the feel of the era quite well--it doesn't try to project 21st century attitudes on people in 1962.

Lorna said...

When I watch Mad Men, which I do faithfully, I'm thrown back to the time I was just beginning to work--the clothing, hairstyles, mannerisms and interpersonal relationships are wonderfully, and sometimes, sadly, true.

James Austin: I need to put in a plug for "Firefly", the best 13-espisode series ever.