Mad Men, on AMC, is the best new series Ann and I have watched in a very long time. From its ingenious opening credits, with faintly mysterious music, to the ending songs with their evocative, often ironic or just plain brutal counterpoints to the drama on the screen, Mad Men is innovative, rich, and complex.
The episodes feature great writing, an evocation of the early 1960s that does not include, but does provide touches of, the coming counter-culture, a searing insight to the sexism of the day, which still exists now, although it’s gone underground, and storylines that contain the same sense of mystery, of people not being who they present themselves to be, that the opening music hints at.
I’m not really fond of period pieces going back to the late 50s/early 60s. I did not expect to like Mad Men. What Ann and I both discovered is a drama that doesn’t rely on nostalgia or a sepia-toned lens to evoke a period and a point-of-view that seem both familiar and alien to us now.