It will come as no surprise to find out Mad Men is my favorite TV show. (And really, the only one that I watch regularly and with true devotion.) Of course, how could I resist those dresses, that music, the cars, all that drinking and smoking, the turmoil of the era, and the everything-is-perfect-with-seedy-undertones appearance? In 2007, I was instantly hooked at the first promo I saw for it, with that little silhouetted ad man and Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good” playing.
The Season 4 DVD is released today, which makes it a glorious day, one that you would think can have no negative connotations associated with it. But as the Season 5 premiere is being delayed by contract negotiations, I write with a heavy heart. Let’s hope it all gets worked out quickly and smoothly!
Besides being aesthetically pleasing, delicious to the ears, and all together delightfully naughty, it just has really great stories, characters, and multiple plots that keep one engaged. And it’s so refreshing that such an intelligent, genuinely written, and original show can not only be recognized for being so, but can be sustained without a wide audience. After it’s first season, it barely had a viewership (in terms of the bloated networks, that is) and yet it went on to win an Emmy, two Golden Globes, and numerous other awards. And it was fortunately brought back by AMC for following seasons, where it has definitely seen a rise in it’s ratings. We must thank the entertainment gods that be, for AMC. Any of the regular networks would have dropped Mad Men probably just a few episodes into that first season. Those networks definitely do not reward quality, nor critically acclaimed shows (ahem, Pushing Daisies. Still bitter over that one.). Mad Men restored my faith in the concept of “good television.”
How brilliant is that opening? And that little ad man, and his fall from grace past all the lies and “prettiness” he has created? And the opening music? It all makes me melt in anticipation for the first peek of each episode.
I would definitely wear those dresses. I might pass on the hats though. Yikes. The wardrobe department on this show is tops. They are so authentic (not that I was alive in the 60s to know) and accurate with their clothes. From Betty’s typical housewife look, to Joan’s bombshell secretary look, to Peggy’s no nonsense business look. And let’s not forget the men. Suits, and ties, and hats, oh my! (Please, bring back the days of something besides t-shirts and jeans or baggy shorts!)
Drinks? Yes, please! I make light of it, but the portrayal of the drinking and smoking is pretty frightening, but it sure is fun to watch. I like the idea of martinis at lunch, perhaps just not so many that you refund them after you climb some stairs on your way back to the office. Ick. (Roger, Season 1, Episode 7).
So I encourage you, go, put on a pretty dress (or a skinny tie) and meet up with your pals for a cocktail lunch while listening to some Chubby Checker and being politically incorrect. Go.
Photos: Screen shots from Season 3 DVD