Sunday, September 9, 2007

Ad Men

It took me a while to get into Mad Men, a new series on AMC, Thursdays at 10. It's so carefully representative of the late 50s/early 60s that the very pregnant women smoke and drink, the sexism is rampant at home and at work, and people smoke EVERYWHERE. It's actually very uncomfortable to watch at times, not having grown up with any of those things being true. However, it also has some of the best characters on TV. They're all in advertising, which was just becoming a big deal on Madison Avenue at the time (hence Mad Men), take long, alcohol-laden lunches, and try to make a lot of money. I really like the main character - Don Draper, who seems to be living at least a triple life. He's got a faux bohemian girlfriend in the city, a perfect Betsy Crocker wife and 2 kids in the suburbs, and has been hitting on a client. However, he does all this while seeming in perfect control and still a good guy. And we've found out that he changed his name and some of his identity at some point when a long-lost brother returns and he pays him to stay away. It's not done to be mysterious, but there's a lot of unexplained innuendo and subtlety. There's also the newest kid at the office (who was "Connor" on Angel which took me ages to figure out) that is just kind of spooky - he's from a rich family, just married, but seems to want to be a cool, big-shot kind of guy, and fails miserably. He's of the "F&*k, I'm good, Just ask me" style with nothing to back it up. Plus, he's having an affair with one of the perfect secretaries (cone-bra, corsets, and all). The characters on this show are just so compelling, it's hard to explain why the stories are so good, but you just can't stop watching. P.S. - "Saffron" from Firefly plays the office vixen, she's awesome!

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