Posts tagged Mad Men
I’ve been watching Mad Men pretty much since day one.
At its best the AMC drama is truly superlative. The dialogue is like great theater. The acting stunning. The mood of the show evocative. Mad Men is one of those shows that makes you feel smarter for having watched it. It’s a class act.
But is it just me or has Mad Men Season 6 done very little but tread water this season? Has complacency, and dare I say it, arrogance, replaced the show’s energy?
Take Don Draper for example, Mad Men’s womanizer in chief. We know Don cheats, it’s at the core of his DNA, and has been a key aspect of Mad Men since the very first episode. But this season Don’s adultery just seems unnecessary and actually kind of boring. Am I the only person who started fast-forwarding through the scenes of Don sleeping with his neighbor Sylvia? At this point Don’s cheating has gone beyond caddish behavior and into the realm of pure unpleasantness. It’s also really repetitive.
Well they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – so Mad Men, consider yourself suitably complimented.
Yep, since Don Draper and co pretty much single handedly launched a network here in the US, several other channels are trying to get in on the serialized 50′s / 60′s drama game! In the Fall we’ll be seeing Pan Am on ABC and The Playboy Club on NBC – but over in Britain they’ve already launched their ‘copycat’ show – The Hour, on BBC Two.
The Hour is set behind the scenes of a current affairs show in 1956, using television as the vehicle to chart the changing times and attitudes of the time. There’s a whole lot of smoking and sexism – of course - but the show has also grafted on a thriller element with a trail of murders and clues linked to the unfolding behind the scenes drama.
On board for the ride are Dominic West (Chicago and Mona Lisa Smile), Ben Whishaw (Perfume, A Love Story) and Juliet Stevenson (who’s been in a whole heap of Brit TV and movies). Early response has been mixed to positive – but you can bet that BBC America already have their sights set on this More >
Summer is almost over so it’s time to put away those BBQ sets and beach towels for another year. But before we settle down for the Fall TV Season – here’s 15 Lessons We Learned From Summer 2010…
Networks Execs take note!
1) Scripted Network Dramas Are Dead: Witness NBC’s Persons Unknown (aka Persons Unwatched), ABC’s Happy Town and the Sunday night snoozers The Gates and Scoundrels. All four struggled to attract more than 3 million viewers a week and barely made it through their runs. And the only real scripted ‘hit’ of the summer, ABC’s Rookie Blue, was a middling 5 million rated cop show.
2) …But Scripted Cable Shows Are Hot: Where to begin – Rizzoli and Isles, Covert Affairs, The Closer, Haven, Melissa and Joey, Hot In Cleveland… this summer audiences switched over to cable big time, a cultural shift that will only continue in years to come… fact is viewers are loyal to shows NOT networks. If you want an audience now you have to work for it!
3) Weight Loss Shows Are On The Way Out: The Biggest Loser is still a hefty hit but too many copycat formats failed this summer… Dance Your Ass Off was down year to year, Vh1’s Money Hungry was an outright bomb More >
Check out Mad Men’s voluptuous office manager Joan Harris as you’ve never seen here before…
Here’s actress Christina Hendricks back in 1999, playing Rhiannon on MTV soap opera Undressed… wow, Christina looks so different with short hair and a far less curvy figure! Interesting to see how much sexier Hendricks is now with a more years and pounds on her…
Funnily enough, Undressed, which ran from 1999-2002 also featured several other soon to be big names among its cast over the years- including a pre-Superman Brandon Routh, geek favorite Katee Sackhoff, OC star Adam Brody and One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray. Not bad for a show that hasn’t exactly stood the test of time!
Here’s a great little video making the rounds at the moment – a remix of every cigarette smoked over Mad Men‘s first three seasons!
Like everyone else, I remember the first time I saw Mad Men and was stunned by all the huffing and puffing – at work, on planes, at the doctor’s surgery – and in front of the kids. With what we now know about the effects of cigarettes and second hand smoke it was frightening stuff!
Well now you get to relive every single puff along the way. The video is cleverly put together by the guys at Whirled Creative – and I love the end shot of Betty hacking up! Yuck!
The wait is almost over. Mad Men season 4 is just days away and I for one can’t wait.
I am a huge, huge Mad Men fan and thought the final episode of Season 3 – with Don Draper and co starting up their own breakaway agency – was the best episode of the show to date. So saying my expectations are high for the coming season would be putting it mildly…
For me, at its best, Mad Men is the closest TV comes to pure theater. The writing, performances, direction can be so sharp – and so subtle – it’s just a joy to watch. Few shows on TV amaze you because they’re so smart (The West Wing used to, Damages did and 24 often hit the mark – in a totally kinetic way). But Mad Men is smart all the way – and after a diet of junk TV that can be mighty refreshing.
So I’m certainly stoked for Season 4 – but you know me – this is Remote Patrolled. I always have an opinion and no show is perfect. So as we all eagerly await the continued adventures of Don, Roger, Pete and Betty, here’s my 7 tips to More >
Just one week to go until the return of Mad Men – and I can’t wait…
Yep, having a double bill of True Blood and Mad Men on Sunday nights is what summer is all about – two terrific, smart, entertaining and above all original series that tower above most of the network offerings… who wants to sit through formulaic stodge like NCIS and Law and Order when you’ve got shows like these…
I’m currently working on a Mad Men posting (watch for that one soon!) – but in the meantime – here’s a great (and quite long) look ahead to Season 4, as creator Matthew Weiner and the Mad Men cast weigh in on their characters and the show’s storylines and style…
It’s a great little refresher of all that makes the show so fantastic from Betty’s dubious parenting skills and Peggy and Joan’s spiky relationship to Roger Sterling’s glorious un-PC one liners and Don’s cool and crisp persona…
So sit back, pour yourself a drink of your choice, and enjoy… the Rules of Mad Men…