Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mad Men

Mad Men (2007-)
Created and written by Matthew Weiner
Starring Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, and Vincent Kartheiser
Costarring January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Staton, and John Slattery

I'm late coming to the Mad Men party.   Nevermind that it's won Golden Globes, been nominated for Emmys, is the most watched show ever on the AMC cable channel, and features one of the hottest actors on the big or small screen:  I'm just now seeing the show for the first time.  Of course, I don't have cable, so I can't watch cable programs until they come out on DVD.  My daughter has been trying to get me to watch Mad Men for quite some time.  Likewise I've been trying to get her to watch Boston Legal.  Finally, we settled on getting together once a month to share DVDs.  First up was Mad Men.  We watched a few episodes from Season One, and now my 15-year-old son and I are trying to cram four seasons in before school starts; we are that hooked.  As my son says, this show is really addictive.

Mad Men is "a term coined in the late 1950s to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue.  They coined it."  So begins the cable soap opera, which opens at the dawn of my favorite decade:  the 1960s.  It's no surprise that the ad execs would promote themselves with such a dashing turn of phrase.  Says Roger Sterling, co-owner of Sterling Cooper, the ad agency in which Mad Men is set, ad execs are shameless self-promoters.  All of them save our hero Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who keeps his head down where his personal life is concerned and his past well buried.  Good thing his talent speaks for him.  A veteran of the Korean Conflict, Don is a hard-drinking, smoking philanderer.  Oh, and he has a wife and kids in the 'burbs.  But despite the glamor in this most prestigious of advertising agencies--or maybe because of it--sexism and racism are rampant.  And yet Don's secretary Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) with a little help from Don and a lot of talent manages to rise from lowly secretary to lowly copywriter.  She has plans for her life that include a lot more than the traditional marriage and children.

Amazon links:
Mad Men: Season One
Mad Men: Season Two
Mad Men: Season Three
Mad Men: Season Four


  1. My mom writes a pretty sweet blog and I liked her entry on Mad Men (mainly because it is one of the best shows ever and I turned her and my brother Jackson onto it) and I am looking forward to finally watching Boston Legal.

    There are a couple things about the show that makes it exceptionally interesting. I think the fact that Jon Hamm (or Don Draper as he's known on AMC) is strikingly handsome in this dead on 1962 way. It's hard to explain but he is the primary sex symbol of the show; I have only seen this done in a couple other T.V. shows or movies. (Hugh Jackman in the X Men movies is also a good example--I'm not saying that the women in X Men aren't beautiful but they tone down the ridiculous female super hero uniforms while showing us a lot of shirtless, and in X Men 2 for one frame, a completely nude Wolverine.).

    So, as I was saying, Jon Hamm is not typically my type but I really don't think the show would have been half what it is if they hadn't found the tall, dark haired stud with the constant five `o' clock shadow. He is not good to his wife and sleeps with all sorts of women but it seems to be his male coworkers that carelessly allow women to fall in love with them when they cheat--probably because Roger and Pete couldn't get half the women Don does so they don't know how to handle it when they do.

    There is a whole lot I would love to sit and yack on about when it comes to Mad Men. All I can say is that I can't wait until Season 5 comes out on DVD. And if anyone is a Breaking Bad fan, don't let any spoilers slip out, but that show is brilliant and keeps taking turns I wouldn't expect. I was behind three episodes because of how busy I've been at work so I took the few hours I had to go home and caught up on my BB viewing. Wow...that's all I have to say. AMC and HBO have started a generation of shows that are as high quality as feature films. The directing and cinematography are every bit as good. It's great.

    1. I like Roger Sterling, not for his looks especially, but for his wicked sense of humor.