Mad Men

Jeff VanderMeer • August 29th, 2007 @ 3:17 pm • Culture

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.

Jeff

6 Responses to “Mad Men”

  1. Jess Nevins says:

    Jeff–

    My wife and I are both enjoying it as well. My only cavil is that I’m finding it difficult to find someone to root for. It’s a chilly series, and while I’m enjoying its style and complexity I’m still looking for a character to get behind. Of course, the fact that that’s my only complaint about it means the show is far ahead of everything else on the small screen.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Yeah–I think in the context of the show, I can root for Draper (is that his name?) even though he’s cheating on his wife. But I do agree it’s chilly. On the other hand, the department store owner is fascinating, too.

    Jeff

  3. Lane says:

    Anyone else surprised to find AMC actually redeeming itself to an extent with this?

    Also, am I the only one who feels the compulsion to make myself an old-fashioned whenever I watch this show? I think that’s what Draper is usually drinking. My wife and I recently upgraded our home bar, and I’m wondering if the show is sending some subliminal cocktail desire that sparked that upgrade. I used to be strictly a beer guy.

  4. Jess Nevins says:

    An old-fashioned or a sidecar or a highball. And at least three cigarettes. (I swear I’m getting second-hand smoke just from watching it).

  5. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Yeah–the smoke is so pervasive.

    Reminded me that my grandpa used to order a drink called a “rusty nail,’ although I think that’s more 1950s, perhaps.

    Jeff

  6. fart says:

    This show is shitty, as stated above all the characters are callous pricks and the Amy Winehouse song made me cringe.

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