Stark, Raving

Okay so my favorite television series Mad Men has closed for the season. There have been disturbing rumors going around that the series might not return for a third season. Mad Men has received Emmy awards and gained the affections of the critics, but it has not gained a large audience in comparison with the paint-by-numbers forensic cop dramas that dominate TV-land.

I was very pleased to read that Weiner has no intentions of leaving the show! In fact some say he may be negotiating to ensure a fourth season. So while the real world may be going to shit at least Mad Men is on the right track.

If you haven't for some reason caught Mad Men yet you are missing something special. Mad Men is a drama about Don Draper an advertising guy on Madison Avenue set in the 60s. His company Sterling Cooper is populated with well-rounded characters, their repartee is slick, funny, and as per the era politically incorrect.

In fact one of the best things about the show is the way it approaches social themes without being preachy. There is no messiah figure in Mad Men who brings all the right progressive ideals. In fact the protagonists are often sleazy examples of bigotry, racism, sexism, and misogyny. Yet at the same time they are human. Some of the strongest characters in the series are the women. Joan Halloway, Peggy Nelson, and Betty Draper all showcase different facets of women in a time hostile to freedoms we take for granted.

But for all the social and political themes the show explores at its root Mad Men is sexy and stylish. The characters live lives that seem at times luxurious, free, and simple and other moments reveal their lives to be nightmarish and stifling. What is most consistent is the details of 60s lifestyle. The references summon nostalgia that is constantly tempered by the drama.


Songy said...

I just finished watching season 1 of that show. Gripping and dark. Sometimes I find it little too depressing bug still love the show.

I agree with you. I like that aspect of the show. It lets us to make our own judgement. Also it is sexy. Very.

Ian Brown said...

The darkness makes the humor and growth really sing in this series! It's the carefully woven darkness and brightness that makes Mad Men a strong drama. I hope you enjoy season 2 as much as I did.