Mad Men

It’s Sunday. And that means Mad Men day. If you haven’t seen this show yet, light up a cigarette (even if you don’t smoke), surf on over to Netflix, and rent season one. Stop reading right now and do it. I promise it will enrich your life. This show is outstanding. From the moment the opening credits roll, you know you are in for a treat. Ok read on.

It comes from Matthew Weiner, who was a writer and producer on The Sopranos… and it shows. They’ve taken The Sopranos formula and applied it to the advertising industry in the 60’s. In a Pyrex mixing bowl; add terrific acting, attentive production design, and complex storytelling. Stir and bake at 450º for an hour. Ice with wonderful character development. Top with some stunning mis-en-scene. Present to friends. The writing is probably the best on TV right now.

Not surprisingly, each episode feels like a Sopranos episode. The use of music is the biggest give away, but there are others. It can be argued that each character has a doppleganger to someone on The Sopranos. Don is a bit more mysterious than Tony. Though Mad Men is not as overtly humorous as The Sopranos, the show contains subtle eye-wink humor throughout. All good drama should be this way. Like The Sopranos, it’s about characters. They spend time on little things. Each episode is more of a psychological analysis than anything else. Don’t expect to be blown away by shocking revelations every Sunday. Just enjoy the arresting ride. Mad Men has deservedly received massive critical acclaim, and for once everyone is dead on. You will get hooked after the first episode.

Set in 1960’s Manhattan, people smoke and drink non-stop. In fact the smoking is so rampant that you tend to have a sore throat after watching. The room you’re in becomes musty. I’m not kidding. That’s not exactly something that may get you interested, but it demonstrates the show’s power.

Women hold an interesting position within the show’s universe. They are generally seen as objects within the office and usually treated poorly by their husbands. Assuming the writers have done their history homework, it seems like ladies of the day were somewhat comfortable with this situation. Certainly a different time. Luckily, our heroine Peggy is paving roads. In fact, I believe this show is a much about women as it is about Mad Men.

In an informal survey (basically me staring at girls) I’ve decided that this show has helped bring back the 60’s look. I have notice more and more women are covering up and dressing like the women on this show. The torpedo bra being a notable exception. When you are influencing culture on that level, you know you’ve got something special on your hands. And it’s hot ladies.

Season Two: Sundays @ 10 on AMC. Due check it out.

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