Mad About Mad Men

Is that a detailed brief or are you just pleased to see me?

Mad Men. Ah yes. Having caught glimpses of it over the last couple of years, I steadfastly ignored it as a series and marked it down as a likely candidate for the boxed set treatment in due course.

In our house instead of watching anything else on television, when a box set appears, we enter a cocoon like state, watching the series night after night until the entire selection of DVDs are viewed.  Earthquakes have happened, tsunami, economic collapses, governments overthrown – we’ve missed them all because of box sets. Fiction is much better than real life.

There are basic groundrules to ensure that if either of us misses an episode. The other isn’t allowed to plough a lone furrow and press on into the series. Other viewing hazards are falling asleep mid episode, children refusing to go to bed, or unexpected visitors. The latter can be quite frustrating for us and puzzling for them. Nice to see you but hurry up and leave!

Anyhow, Mad Men. . . after watching the first few episodes I felt like firing up a fag and mixing myself a quick Tom Collins or whatever it is they drink. The fact that I no longer smoke and rarely drink beside the point. Spirits neat seem the answer to every advertising conundrum.

The series is no doubt faithful to the early sixties in its soundtrack, cultural influences and dress. In its depictions of the Mad Men, they have captured the nuances that many of us will recognise in agency apparacthiks we have dealt with. It is quaint to look at what was considered fashionable then appears like pure tack now, at best the leftovers from a set of Only Fools and Horses.

It is amazing that any work actually appears to get done in what was a golden age for advertising. Consumer spending began to grow and businesses began to appreciate the value of advertising.

Between shagging everything that crosses his path Don Draper manages to fit into his executive life his stunning wife Bets and his children. For her part Bets does nothing but make the dinner and look immaculate. Her discovery on the washing machine was nearly as big a shock for us as it was for her.  Between smoking, drinking and shagging, it was some life.

I was enjoying the programme greatly until the Joan Holloway character appeared and blew the whole thing into another dimension with her sensational pneumatic comic book figure.

The hips, that hair, the chest. And those put downs! Holy Moly, why did I never get to work with a girl like that! Getting up in the morning would never be  a problem again. Like a cross between Jessica Rabbit in looks and Roz from Monsters Inc in her encyclopaedic knowledge of everything that’s going on in the office, Joan is some dame.

Up to series 4 now, it dipped a bit in quality towards the end of series 3 but it’s seriously back on form. Sky+ was made for Mad Men like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *