It's no secret that we're big Mad Men fans here at Film.com. It was one of the most buzzed-about shows of 2007. Ever since the first season ended last fall, we've been waiting anxiously for season two. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait until July 27. In the meantime, fans and newcomers to the show will be able to catch up with the first season when the DVDs are released on July 1.
So what makes this show so good? To start with, it has a stellar pedigree. Creator Matthew Weiner wrote the pilot as a spec script. David Chase read it and hired Weiner to write for The Sopranos. After that series wrapped, Weiner started shopping for a network to develop Mad Men into a full-blown series. AMC took the bait; Mad Men's cinematic look and period setting fits right in with their classic movie format. In fact, if you tuned in and didn't recognize any of the actors, you might wonder what old movie you were watching.
To put it lightly, 1960s Madison Avenue was not the most politically correct environment. Mad Men doesn't shy away from the sexism and racism that ran rampant through ad agency offices. Many of the lines, such as the junior executives comments to and about the secretarial pool, are a bit brutal to hear. It's to the shows credit that the writers and actors don't shy away from the ugly truth.
Mad Men also tells a hell of a good story. Last season, in addition to the ins and outs of the ad business, characters dealt with blackmail, a pregnancy so secret even the mommy-to-be didn't know about it, myriad marital infidelities, office politics, and two heart attacks. At the conclusion of the season, all the characters were on the verge of crisis. It would have been easy to pick up right where we left off, but instead, we are going to jump ahead two years.
I can't wait to see what the fallout from everything that happened last season turns out to be! Will Don and Betty still be together? Did Peggy keep her baby? How is Pete dealing with her promotion to copywriter? Has Roger Sterling gotten his health under control, and if so, has he stuck to his vow to turn over a new leaf? I wonder how Joan will handle that.
Pretty much everybody I know who has seen Mad Men thinks it's great (except for one friend who says she can't get over how uncomfortable all the actresses look in their pointy 1960s bras which ... I kind of get). It has also been recognized with several awards, most notably the Golden Globe for best drama on television. However, the series averaged less than a million viewers per episode in its first season. It seems there are a lot of people out there who don't know what they're missing. If you're one of them, I strongly encourage you to check it out, either on DVD or when season two starts late next month.
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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.