mad men.

September 29, 2008

Thanks to Netflix, I’ve started watching Mad Men. After reading all the hype from the first season, I felt it was time to check it out and see if it lived up to the rave reviews. Having watched only three episodes, I am feeling quite torn.

The opening is refreshing: a black and white figure falling against the brilliant background of gigantic Times Square-esque advertisements. Quite fitting for a show about a man in the advertising business. Credits roll in black, white and red. It’s all very clean and sharp. The characters are growing on me slowly. Each one has flaws and virtues that make them charming and awful. Unfortunately, it makes it so much harder to love them.

Set in the 1960s, the show seems to highlight major societal changes (and I mean more than just the plaid wallpaper in the kitchen). From the perfectly combed and unmoving hair to the copious amounts of alcohol and continual smoking of cigarettes, it hammers you over the head with the differences. Living in a smoke-free city, working for a company with a strict alcohol policy and almost no dress code, the comparison is ridiculous if not impossible. Even more surprising were the constant, obvious jabs at women that, in 40 years, have pretty much gone into hiding. Perhaps bringing it to the forefront makes the 21st century audience think about how the same stereotypical ideas are alive and well, if no longer discussed openly.

I predict I’ll be in love with the series by the end of season 1.


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