If you’re not watching, you’re missing out

I’m talking about Mad Men, AMC’s hit new drama, about an ad man on Madison Avenue in the early ’60s.  It just won 6 Emmys, so it’s been in the news.   If you haven’t yet watched, I highly recommend going to NetFlix or Itunes and starting at the beginning, because it’s a case like Sopranos or Six Feet Under–you can jump in anywhere, but you’ll get so much more out of it if you start at the beginning.  It’s an elegant, evocative, disturbing portrait of a milieu that we’ve all heard about–Madison Avenue, right?–but don’t know that much about.    One angle that moves me profoundly is the role of women.   The wives and mothers and secretaries and mistresses and office manager.   The sexual politics are brutal, and most of it is just so thoughtless.  Not cruel or deliberate, just the way things are.  

It is a great character drama, and I learn something every time I watch it.  Subtle, sharp, smart.  For the writers who might be reading here, this is a good one to fill the well, and remind you of what can be done with very small details.  

It is on AMC on Sunday nights.  Check it out.

Anyone else here a big fan?

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7 thoughts on “If you’re not watching, you’re missing out

  1. HUGE HUGE FAN! I had wanted to watch this show last year, but didn’t have AMC. Got a new digital TV service last spring, and this summer AMC ran a marathon of all last season’s episodes. I DVR’d them all and fell in total and complete love. I was born in 1953, so basically, this show is my life. I will tell those of you too young to remember that the clothing, the furnishings, the appliances, the cars, the hair, even the UNDERWEAR (LOVE those pointy bras-LOL), AND all the smoking and cocktails, are spot on perfect! The clothes are just dreamy beautiful. Betty Draper IS the woman I wanted to grow up to be. The Breck girl perfect hair. The immaculate clothing. And Don Draper looks like the perfect man I thought I should grow up to marry. In one episdoe someone refers to them as Barbie and Ken, not by saying it but by asking “Do you two come as a set?” I laughed out loud. But as you said Barbara, the glossy and gorgeous surface, especially with the female characters, covers up a lot of stuff bubbling underneath. Those women are just like my mother and other female adults were.

    I cannot wait until the women’s movement starts rumbling – it already is here and there, with Peggy and with Betty’s recent outbursts. That episode where she broke up the chair and wore the same dress the whole next day was absolutely BRILLIANT portrayal of the pain and intimate things that go on between a husband and wife – it gave me chills. And, the Kennedy assassination is coming up, as are the Beatles (I hope they work them in somehow).

    I also find the inside look at how advertisers draw us in and manipulate us to buy things – really fascinating the way they tap into our psyches so effectively.

    Just the best show on TV right now if you ask me. As Barbara said, subtle, smart, funny, sad, layered. Fantastic writing. Yes, I would say I’m a fan. LOL

  2. I’m a huge Mad Men fan! Sunday night is my fave tv night with that and True Blood.

  3. True Blood? I don’t know that one.

    Gail, wonderful commentary. On those pointy bras, I remember a major breakdown in my house when I was young teen, and the bra we brought home that had that pointy look. This was quite a bit later, and that was a look that was definitely, horrifically out of style. I wept and wept and wept.

    SO right about the dress Betty wore all day, and in the same episode, I loved the moment when Joan was undressing at the end of what was a painful day for her, and the camera zooms in on her shoulder and the deep dent her bra strap left on her shoulder. Brilliant.

  4. I love Mad Men. It is so well written and the fashion…wow. I had forgotten what it was like back in the day.

    True Blood is on HBO and it is from the Charlaine Harris books of Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series. It is a lot of fun! I think it can be watched “on demand” too.

  5. Yes, I’d forgotten about the bra strap mark. There is SO much going on under the surface on this show, especially with the female characters. I think this may be the first TV show to really address this decade, and I’m loving it. The sixties were the greatest time to grow up – so much going on in politics, history, technology, fashion, music. Things that revolutionized our culture. I’m always wishing they’d have an I Love the 60s show, but there were so few music videos from that day. And their demographic probably doesn’t care. But it was the coolest time to grow up ever.

  6. Donna! I was just thinking about you.

  7. I be here!…lol

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