Things I Love: "Mad Men"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The AMC dramatic series Mad Men recently became available on Netflix Instant Watch, and I have rolled through the episodes by compulsion. It's a show that, as far as I can tell, gets everything right - character development, story arcs, dialogue, visual aspects, acting, music, and so forth.

There's a lot of tawdry and/or despicable stuff on the show, no doubt about it. There's excessive smoking and drinking, philandering, racism, domestic abuse, deception, and enough misogyny to give me a headache. But here's the thing, the thing about how they handle these themes that really appeals to me: the show's producers don't glamorize the unsavory stuff. Everything that's broken in this historical fiction is clearly presented as broken. Everything that's wonderful in life -- love, family, friendship, creativity, hard-won success -- is glamorized and treated with reverence and affection. Check out this scene if you're curious to see an example.

And here is a video for your viewing pleasure, one of those recut trailer things that people do to give a certain movie or TV show a completely different tone or message than the one it actually has. The person who did this one added the music from Inception and cut together some scenes to make the conflict between Don Draper and Peter Campbell look super sinister and cray-cray.

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