Mad Men

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Mister Tee
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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:17 pm

Confirming Mad Men's status as creme de la creme TV, it today received a Peabody Award -- which, as Groucho Marx once said, is the only award really worth getting in the television industry.

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:33 am

Damien wrote:SPOILER
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I don't think there was any need to give Don Draper a mysterious past/invented identity. I find him to be more interesting as an Everyman figure -- the odd particulars about his becoming Don Draper make aspects of the character contrived, whereas everything about his "present" is so perfectly drawn and utterly believable.

But we'll see where they go with this in the second season.

I have to disagree with you here, Damien. I think that Don's mysterious past/hidden identity is completely fitting with the character and the premise of the series. His entire outward persona and success is based around the idea that he can sell anything, create a mirage for people to marvel at while hiding the unseemly, uglier sides of whatever "product" he's selling (the newly-discovered detrimental effects of smoking, Menken's lesser status on Fifth Avenue, Nixon's stodginess and unsexiness, etc.). Which ultimately makes his creation of "Don Draper" his most successful ad campaign. The fact that his most successful self-creation is starting to unravel at the very moment his career is shooting through the roof is even more ironic and tragic. The writers have done a great job of slowly peeling away the layers of his past and giving us hints along the way of why Don is the way he is.

Also, I think that one of the things that makes Don's "present" so utterly believable is the overarching idea that he could lose it all at any moment. In that sense, he really is like the archetype Everyman because so much of the idealism he values (embodied in the America of the early 1960's) is itself teetering on the brink of dissolution.

Caught the episode entitled "Indian Summer" last night. What a fantastic episode. Not since Six Feet Under have I savored a series in such a way. Each installment is so rich in detail, so well-acted and packing of a punch. This is truly the best show on television in the last two years.

I thought that Elizabeth Moss absolutely shined here. She has carefully telegraphed her character in such a specific way -- it's fascinating to watch. Her slow, steady rise up the corporate ladder is believable. She seems to have gained a newfound confidence that comes out in every interaction she has. I literally cheered for her when she asked for a raise and a new desk. Don's support of her is admirable. That boy she went out on a date was cute, though!

That moment when Betty was walking up the stairs (in her nightgown, IIRC) with the young salesman trailing behind her was incredibly erotic. January Jones really sold that moment of how you can give into something or not give into it. Great work.

Betty doesn't seem to know the first thing about how to keep Don corralled. I feel like she's in a remedial course for "How To Be Married in the 60's".

And, I have to say way to go to Maggie Siff (Rachel Menken) for her versatility. Her Manhattan department store heiress could not be any different from the Israeli burn victim she played on nip/tuck this past season.




Edited By flipp525 on 1206981042
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:45 pm

The overt symbolism of Joan's married lover giving her a bird in a gilded cage in "Babylon" was simply mind-boggling. Especially after telling her he wishes he could find her a fourth floor walk-up, devoid of windows and virtually inescapable, in which he could pop in and out of to fuck her at his leisure. Scenes like this really make me appreciate the advent of the sexual revolution.

Oh, and my early guess on Don Draper's "secret" is that he's Jewish. AlOh, and I just loved it when Don Draper was like, "All men love Joan Crawford. I mean, Salvatore is simply crazy about her." Ha!though, I can already think of a million reasons why that's not it. Without anything else, I'm sticking to that for the time being.

Oh, and I just loved it when Don was like, "All men love Joan Crawford. I mean, Salvatore is simply crazy about her." Ha!




Edited By flipp525 on 1205866389
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:24 am

This is such a fantastic show; best new show on televion by leaps and bounds. Every episode is so rich in detail and characterization, it's hard to unpack everything with just one viewing. So satisfying. I just watched "5G", the episode in which Don's (half?)-brother finds him after Don's picture ends up in the newspaper as part of an advertising award ceremony. The scene where he gives his brother money and then leaves him in that decrepit little apartment was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.

Betty Draper is also vastly interesting as a character. She seems to have a child-like quality that allows Don to treat her as a tabula rasa, painting onto her whatever he needs to (and she, herself, is almost like an ad board for the "happy American wife" product). As the writers deconstruct the 1960's American family, it seems worth pointing out that Don feels like a stranger in his own life.

On an unrelated note, is Midge a high-end call girl or am I just completely missing the boat here?

The head secretary (Joan, is it?) is one of my favorite characters (to Peggy: "I've never come up to you and seen you not look like you need a drink." Ha!)
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby FilmFan720 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:31 am

I was hoping that was what you were going to say, Damien. I never really got fascinated by that subplot, but can see where it may become a fascinating thematic piece in the show. When does season two start, anyone know?
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Damien
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Postby Damien » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:27 am

FilmFan720 wrote:Spoiler Alert - what is your mis-step Damien?

SPOILER
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BIG SPOILER!
I don't think there was any need to give Don Draper a mysterious past/invented identity. I find him to be more interesting as an Everyman figure -- the odd particulars about his becoming Don Draper make aspects of the character contrived, whereas everything about his "present" is so perfectly drawn and utterly believable.

But we'll see where they go with this in the second season.




Edited By Damien on 1203838103
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:03 pm

Spoiler Alert - what is your mis-step Damien?
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
- Minor Myers, Jr.

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Damien
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Postby Damien » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:09 pm

I'm delighted you're enjoying the series, Flipp. It keeps getting better as it goes along (except for what I think is one mis-step) as the character are more fully developed. The recreation of both the look AND the mores of the period is astonishingly good.
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:32 am

I'm only two episodes into it, but I really like Mad Men. It's smart, witty, and polished with great performances and an uncompromsing, almost microscopically-detailed examination of the early 1960's ad culture (and what fantastic art diretion!). Equally engaging portraits of the plight of the "modern woman" as well as her male counterpart, neither group is pitied or lionized. At turns humorous and engaging, it can also be dark and foreboding. I mean, when you have a scene with a pregnant woman smoking while he friend admonishes her child for putting a plastic dry-cleaning bag over her head (yet her only concern is for the location of the pressed clothes contained therein and not, ya know, her daughter suffocating!), you know that you're tuning into a subversion of the late 50's/early 60's prototypical ideal. They're all so wonderfully naïve and as a modern-day viewer, we aren't laughing at them from a vantage point of hindsight, but caught right there with them, mired in all the complexities of the times.

Jon Hamm's Don Draper is dashingly handsome, a flawed everyman whose subterranean life keeps the viewer guessing from beginning to end. I'm looking forward to seeing his character's arc. There've been some Dickensian shadings introduced regarding his upbringing that I find interesting. I've already pointed out the fag of the ad group (um…d'uh!). And I'm really happy to see Elizabeth Moss on a regular television show again as I think she's quite the gem. Thanks for the recommendation, Damien!




Edited By flipp525 on 1203522306
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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flipp525
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Postby flipp525 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:46 pm

Damien, I just downloaded the first episode onto my iPod on your recommendation. Looking forward to it.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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kaytodd
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Postby kaytodd » Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:32 pm

I love this show. It sounded intruguing when I started seeing ads for it during the spring. My parents' raving about it got me to start watching it. They were both in their early twenties in 1960, my father just getting started in his career as a physician. In the fall of 1960, when this show is set, they were newlyweds and my mother was pregnant with her first child, me. Their memories of 1960 are sharp and filled with affection. They agree with you, Damien, that Man Men's technical aspects (sets, costumes, photography) are spot on. They have both told me the show is moving at times to watch, so many little details are just right.

I like the technical aspects but I also like the stories, the writing and acting, both big parts and small. Interesting characters, sharp dialogue (makes the sometimes overly melodramatic plot lines enjoyable).

I think it pulls off something remarkable. People my age and younger, who became adults in the 1980s and later, take for granted that people cannot say or do certain things in the work environment. We grew up in environments with totally different attitudes (at least open attitudes) about racial and religious prejudice and sexism. Most people will find the behavior and attitudes of the men who work in this office reprehensible. But the actors and writing are so good I am interested in and care about all of these characters.

I would like to see this show have at least one more season. But this could be a problem because I predict quick stardom and busy schedules for at least a few of the stars of this show, especially John Hamm and Elisabeth Moss.
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living. Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Damien
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Postby Damien » Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:59 am

Because a series this good deserbves its own thread . . .

I'm a couple episodes behind -- just watched the Labor Day episode, which had some beautiful dialogue and thrillingly emotionally resonant moments.

As much as I love the relationships, characterizations, situations and dialogue of the show, what always amazes me is just how spookily accurate the period detail is. (I was 5 in the year the show takes place.) The plaid thermos jug that Betty is taking to the shore is exactly the same one my parents had in the 60s. And a reference while watching a Kennedy commercial to "Maypo" was perfect. Cam, Magilla, Tee, remember Marky Maypo? LOL
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell


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