More Love for “Mad Men”

12 08 2008


Watching AMC’s brilliant show, “Mad Men” is like taking a weekly trip in a time machine. Creator Matthew Weiner has not only done a wonderful job creating the early 1960s, but he has replicated the social mores that are long extinct.

On last week’s episode number 16, “The Benefactor,” the show’s lead character Don Draper (John Hamm) is placed in an awkward situation. A Lenny Bruce-like comedian has insulted the wife of product that he is endorsing. When Draper tries to broker a resolution, he is stone-walled by the pitchman’s wife/manager who just happens to have a thing for him. After briefly considering taking up the manipulative’s woman’s offer, Draper finally puts his foot down in one of the year’s boldest/coldest scenes on television.

During a reconciliation dinner, Draper makes one last pitch in the woman’s bathroom, no less, for the manager to make her client apologize. Instead he is blackmailed and he calmly grabs the woman by the back of her hair pulling her back and let’s just say, she has an “involuntary upskirt moment” where Draper makes his point. “Just do what I say,” whispers coolly and releases the woman to follow the task.

In the current politically-correct environment, “Mad Men” stands out as bold throwback where men were men and women knew their place. Ad men consumed alcohol throughout the day and women were in the work environment as entertainment. After observing first hand on “The Sopranos” the need for a strong lead character, Weiner has found his man in the incredibly talented Hamm.

Only 16 episodes into his run and Hamm’s Draper is very much the conflicted man. In love with a woman that he appears to have outgrown, he had a couple of affairs in Season One only have a change of heart in the emotionally charged finale, “The Wheel.” While the first season revolved around Draper’s rise in the firm of Sterling Cooper, Season Two finds his attention more focused on matters on home front.

In a world full of plastic programming, reality and glorified talent shows, “Mad Men” is the rare combination of a show that has plenty of early 60’s style and detail that is bursting at the seams with substance!

For a quick primer, download the entire season on Apple’s iTunes

Here are the Top Ten “Un-PC Moments” from “Mad Men”


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13 09 2008
“Mad” About Don Draper! « FilmGordon

[…] One of the best and most interesting leading men on television can be found on AMC every Sunday night. As the creative director of Sterling Cooper, Don Draper may not be the heart but is definitely the soul of winning series, “Mad Men.” […]

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