Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World


Don't you love Mad Men? Have we ever discussed it before? I don't believe so. I just love it. It's totally my kind of show and I'm intrigued to know what's going to happen at the end of this series.

Someone of my acquaintance dismissed it as style over substance, but I disagree. It builds layer upon layer each week until the whole thing can't take anymore layers. To the uninitiated it's draggingly slow and dull as ditchwater. But who says everything has to be so fast? It's collective ADHD. I find the langorous pace rather relaxing. Stuff does happen. And Jon Hamm really, really reminds me and my brother of our dad back then. Hair, suit, job, everything.

It's been a great season: Betty's dissatisfaction with his marriage; Don and that teacher and being at the beck and call of the bonkers Conrad Hilton; Sal's sacking over his sexuality; Roger Sterling - my absolute favourite character - and his dry as vermouth wit; Peggy's transformation into a real woman; the English guy having his foot cut off by that lawnmower. It's all here. It's such a time of limitless possibilities and opitimism. It makes we want to throw it all in and take a big chance on something new. But of course I won't. Sigh.

So much as I love it, my only grumble would be there's not enough locations. It's probably very hard to make them look like they did 50 years ago, and that recent trip to Rome was clearly not shot there, but they could try. I want shops, streets, tiki lounges, roadside lodges and motels. Perhaps that's all a bit obvious but they had much more in the last series, when Don went AWOL in LA.

The series is clearly building to the Kennedy assassination, after which America was never the same again. So it'll be interesting to see what happens after that. I live in fear that January Jones or Jon Hamm will get some rom-com film deal and rashly leave the show, meaning it'll lost its allure. Not that they're the best characters, but everyone's of equal weight and to lose even one them would be disastrous. I want to travel through the Sixties with them and come out the other side. I want to see Pete Campbell grow his hair and Peggy start wearing groovy prints. I want someone to be conscripted once the Vietnam war breaks out...

Are you with me?

14 comments:

Helen said...

We are just about to embark on a viewing frenzy of Series 1. It was one of those things that I really wanted to watch, but it started and I missed it and only wanted to watch from the beginning. Will let you know in about a week what I think of it.

Cocktails said...

I want to be with you as I loved what I saw of the first series, but I find it difficult to commit to drama series of any kind (not now I've kicked my Eastenders habit anyway).

I wish that the BBC would put shows that I would like to watch like Mad Men, Wallander, Spiral etc. on at a consistent and decent time rather than moving them round the schedules and filling up precious airtime with rubbish.

beth said...

I admit it - I voted 'style over substance' in the first series, but I'm still there. And this is despite wanting to give most of the characters a good slap week in week out.

My favourite is Pete Campbell - I don't understand what's going on with him. But I'm not sure if it's genius characterisation or totally sloppy, inconsitent plotting....

Five-Centres said...

Pete Campbell is a frustrated rich kid who's main downfall is envy. He's got it all, but he wants something else. Very interesting character.

I know what you mean about schedules, Cocktails, but it is on at the same time each week (Weds, 10pm, BBC4) so not that hard to find.

And Hels, looking forward to hearing your views. It's ginchy to the max.

Cocktails said...

Yes, but this is season 3. Season 1 didn't start off like this did it?

And that's too late for me!

Bright Ambassador said...

Love it for all the reasons you've given, but also because there's a tremendous sadness about every character.

I'd like to marry Joan, by the way. More Joan!

Would you like a spoiler I inadvertently picked up on a Rush forum?

Five-Centres said...

Oh Joan! She's my desktop wallpaper. She's a goddess.

Go on then with the spoiler...

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Ishouldbeworking said...

I CAN'T commit to this, I just CAN'T. There's too much stuff already. I want it to go away.

Anonymous said...

I prefer Doctor Who.

TimT said...

I'm with you all the way - it's my favourite show.

My only quibble with this series is the way some plots and characters have been set aside for several episodes at a time. Yes, Don and Betty are fabulous and fascinating, but I want more of Peggy's journey to liberated womanhood, Ken's career as a novelist, Pete's marriage, Laine, 'Moneypenny' and the rest of the Brits...

Five-Centres said...

I agree TT, but we must be patient.

Anonymous said...

I like Mad Men, too.

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