Mad Men

Mad Men is a TV series whose 2nd season just finished last Sunday on AMC. I have been on this series since it came out, and I definitely love it. I don’t think I’ll find anything as fun to do on Sunday nights for a while.

The series’ main story revolves around a picturesque suburban family in the late 50’s, early 60’s. Matthew Weiner, of The Sopranos fame, couldn’t have produced a better plot to fill the impeccably detailed scenes of Mad Men. The characters are so natural, yet have the glossy sheen of the 50’s. January Jones plays Betty Draper, perfectly playing a doll with a bright smile hiding her waxing insecurities in Weiner’s doll house of a set. I think she was last seen on We are Marshall, with that one fool from Lost. Jon Hamm plays Don Draper who suitably steps inside the door of his house, greeted warmly and predictably by his wife and children. But it’s what the times can afford that keeps things interesting.

In the 60’s, there was no cell phone, no Internet. There was a phone, and those who could afford one. People smoked and drank like they didn’t know it would kill them, and even if they knew, they did it because they could afford it. Buying a car implied first that you knew how to drive, and second that you could afford traveling where the train could not take you. Different times indeed. Boggles the mind to know that was just fifty years ago.

In these times, a man could lead two lives. One connected to the phone at work, and one connected to the phone at home. In these times, a wife of an advertising agency partner who can afford to stay at home and raise her kids with a nanny, schedules an appointment with a psychologist not because it helps, but because it’s something she could do during the day. I know, these things could very well happen in these times, not just in the past. (Hey you see that? It’s a glimmer of Weiner genius. It’s so elusive.)

It sometimes amazes me what I’ve learned just being exposed to free HBO. I mean the porno’s are great (educational!) but I’ve always wondered what made people talk so enthusiastically about shows like The Sopranos. So I looked it up and found Weiner behind all this mischievousness. Rather than go into the depths of the series, which ended recently, I decided to see what he currently works with. Mad Men, as I’ve heard, was rejected by HBO while AMC swooped on them. It was a concept so rich with potential, about a time that truly mirrors our own.

As elections near and our economy reflects the current level of perceived anxiety, Mad Men stays relevant with parallel emotions of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the death of Marilyn Monroe. I do not know where Weiner will take the series, but I will stay tuned.

I mean I will have to put up my fisticuffs if you don’t think Christina Hendricks is teh hotness. She makes me want to put on a suit, hat, sweep her off her feet and take her dancing. I love how the series made me revisit the music of Miles Davis. Hopefully it’s true how Mad Men showed how people appreciated his music back in the day, cuz I did the same.

Sometimes I wonder how people find TV series interesting. How could someone think that they can remain timeless (as film-makers hope to be in their films) when you begin with just a plot and try to write seasons as you go? Doesn’t that just end with endless plot twists and repeating motifs? Like how sequels past number 4 warrants another prequel and after that it’s just distasteful? Beats me. But looks like there’s hope with series like Mad Men. People who follow this show are few and far between, but this is something to watch. Stories like this could be told on the radio and still have the same effect.

Signing off,

Amos Ibrahim

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One Response to “Mad Men”

  1. […] also be cool is if they went for the retro-sheen style much like how they designed the sets for Mad Men. Captain America should be a classy and upright fellow, a guy that Obama would probably love to […]

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