Posts Tagged ‘Lee Garner Jr.’
With the season 5 premier airing in just a couple hours, I wanted to share with you my…
Top Ten Reasons Why Mad Men Is the Best Thing on TV
10. Set Decor. Or is that set direction or . . . I don’t even know what it’s called because I rarely ever even notice it on a show but the sets on this show, that 60′s style, from the high class homes and apartments to the beatnik slums, from the posh clubs to a great scene in a classic diner, so often while I’m paying attention to what’s going on, I’m also thinking about how cool the style was from that era.
9. Bertram Cooper. The bow-tied founding partner may be the only television character I’ve ever seen who actively encourages his fellow partners and employees to read a book or two from Ayn Rand. For that alone he makes this list.
7. Watching my dad’s generation operate – it’s the closest I’ll ever get to having been there to see it in person.
6. The drinking. Classic scene – Roger Sterling: I bet daily friendship with that bottle attracts more people to advertising than any salary you can dream of. Don Draper: It’s the way I got in. RS: So enjoy it. DD: I’m doin’ my best here. RS: No, you’re not. You don’t know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it’s good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do. // And it’s a lot of fun watching both generations operate with a glass of whiskey in their hand as part of the office routine.
5. Peggy Olsen. You really have to cringe watching some of the things Peggy and the other women had to endure in the workplace back in those times, but here was a woman who blazed a trail, moving up to a position that had been “men only” territory. Where women of today would have the recourse of a lawsuit, Peggy only knows she can never let them think they’ve broken her. She’s admirable for all her courage and strength, she’s a smart and sexy woman (in a girl next door kind of way.)
4. Joan. Forget about how hot Christina Hendricks is, okay wait, why would you want to forget about how hot Christina Hendricks is? Okay, so leave those aside, I mean, leave that aside and just look at what this woman does for the entire firm. She gives advice and it is brutal, but it is exactly what that person needed to hear at that exact moment, every time. She’s cool under pressure, she always thinks in terms of what’s best for the company as a whole, she is hands down, the MVP of the team and it is just amazing watching her operate.
3. Roger Sterling. Most people have some sort of editing mechanism that serves as a gateway between thinking a thought and voicing it – Roger Sterling has none of that. But whereas a lot of people would not be all that funny if they shared everything they were thinking, Sterling is more often than not downright hilarious when he lets it fly.
2. Nostalgia. As with any era, there was a fair share of bad in the early 60s, but the writers manage to straddle a fine line with it, for example we often get a scene or a line that is grossly un-politically correct to our modern sensibilities, yet in the hands of the writers of this show, it’s usually funny enough that we find ourselves both laughing and cringing at the same time. I can also remember for three or four episodes leading up to November of 1963, wondering how they would deal with the Kennedy assassination, and when that episode came, the way the writers handled it was profound – I had always grasped how that day might have been as devastating for all Americans as I know 9/11 was, but watching the event through our favorite character’s eyes, this was the first time I ever really felt how the devastation could have been comparable.
There was so much that was good about the 60s too, though – the optimism that we as a nation had risen to become the best place in the best of all possible worlds, the suits, the shades, the dresses, the way the cars looked, it was a style that in many ways was more modern and space age than that of today, for the first time both TVs and airline flight were affordable for the average American and not just affordable, but new and glamorous… it was the 60s, my friends, we were on our way to the Moon and the people of Madison Avenue were there to sell us that American dream, one element of that dream at a time.
1. Don Draper. Do I need to elaborate? If I do, you need to check out the show.
For ten years or longer, I don’t think I saw more than one random episode of any show that was running on TV. It wasn’t that I was some elitist who thought everything on TV was garbage (even if we all know that most of it is) I just never happened to wind up in front of the television at the same time next week. Then, October of last year, I just randomly happened to catch the pilot of American Horror Story and as well crafted as it was and as perfectly suited as it was to my twisted tastes, I was hooked, and for the first time in over a decade, I watched and enjoyed every episode of a new show without fail.
For so many years, I had looked at TV as nothing more than a sports and news box (with a little History and ID channel thrown in) but around the same time we were enjoying American Horror Story, we also decided to try a 30-day trial for Hulu and it was then that a newfound love affair for great television shows really blossomed in our house. That Hulu commercial where Gob from Arrested Development has an alien tentacle reaching into people’s brains, like a TV brain snatcher, it’s brilliant because it is pretty accurate. With Hulu and now Netflix, we’ve been binge watching TV most evenings now, in doses far beyond the doctor recommended amount, but you can always tell yourself hey, a one-hour show only runs 47 minutes when you remove the commercials, so those nights when we watched four or five episodes of Lost weren’t really as overindulgent as it might sound.
Enjoying each series from the first through the latest or last episode, in six months we laughed through all 53 brilliant episodes of Arrested Development, watched an enjoyable season of a show called Happy Town (which unhappily never got itself a second season) became engrossed in the 120 episode saga of Lost, caught whatever season or two were produced of the comedies Wilfred and Louie, and we just finished up 33 episodes of Breaking Bad, which was freaking good, but of all the shows we’ve binged on, if there was one show I would recommend to a stranger or friend more than any, it would be Mad Men.
I’ll save for another post my analysis of why, just four seasons in, this show has already earned it’s place in the TV Hall of Fame, but if you haven’t seen it, believe me when I tell you, this show is not to be missed. I can’t believe how lucky we are because we just finished the first four seasons only to find out . . .
Season 5 starts Sunday, March 25!
Watch it on AMC at 9/8c.
If you want to catch the previous four seasons, it’s exclusively on Netflix.
Just a little to whet your appetite:
If you’ve never seen the show and you watch only one clip, watch this: three and a half minutes of the best ad pitch you’ve ever seen in your life. Read the top comment there from “kleebusch” – brilliant analysis.
A huge Pete Campbell fan has compiled three long videos of collections of Pete Campbell quotes from the first three seasons. Here’s the best of Pete, season one.