Tuesday, August 21, 2007


If you haven't seen Madmen - you should get on that right away. Especially if you love retro 60's decor, fashions, lifestyle and attitude. It's so spot on accurate and also unbelievably good. It's unlike any other period show I've seen. The characters are real and say real things. They are sexist, racist, anti-Semitic and smoke like fish. The woman are actually round and robust and are dressed like the women in our old family photos. They could be your grandma, your father or your aunt - they say and do awful, ignorant things, but you love them and root for them anyway.

The show revolves around characters who work for a huge advertising agency called Sterling-Cooper in Manhattan in 1960.

I recorded the first episode on our DVR and begged MDH to watch it with me. He's not a big fan of serial dramas, but came around when I told him that it is created, produced and written by Matthew Weiner who also produced and wrote The Sopranos. We were both instantly hooked. The details drew us in and the story line seems to be keeping us there.

The details:
  • Full ashtrays in every room.

  • Lit cigarettes in every hand (I remember all grown ups doing everything including iron, pump gas, shave, eat while smoking).

  • Mile high rises on all the men's trousers.

  • Scotch, scotch, scotch...

  • A business meeting scene where such a big deal is made about a new client being Jewish the Sterling-Cooper "madmen" call in the only Jew in the firm to sit in on the meeting, a lowly writer whom no one has ever met, and instantly mistake him for the client. The client is actually a woman - they are stunned. The detail I love - the untouched shrimp cocktails on the conference table.

  • Beer cans before there were pull tabs.

  • Old fashioned - the cocktail people!

  • The characters start drinking the minute they walk into their offices.

  • The use of "china men" and references to them doing laundry.

  • There always seems to be a secretary crying in the bathroom.

  • State of the art IBM Selectric typewriters.

The story lines:

  • Creative Director Don Draper's double lives, wife, mistress, and an identity change sometime after the war.

  • Don's wife Betty and her mysterious hand tremor.

  • Salvatore Romano the effete - will he be outed?

  • Innocent Peggy the new secretary has already nailed Pete Campbell the night before his wedding - and seems to be starting up with Paul.

You know what? Just watch the damn show. If you've got cable then you probably have AMC. It's on all the damn time and if you've got the premium cable it's on AMC On Demand any time you want AND in HD if you've got that too.

Here's a link to some pictures of the sets: http://media.amctv.com/photos/madmen/props/index.html?s_account=rm-amctvcom&sswidth=805&ssheight=440&expID=bc02a0c0-5e9d-4f05-9eaf-dcdce8a58585

No comments: