I am toying with the idea of sitting down to watch the show Mad Men on Netflix. I've been curious about the show for awhile and it's been out since I don't know when. Some of my coworkers at ZG are big fans of the show and it occurred to me why that might be when I snuck a quick peek at the synopsis. The setting for the show is in an ad agency, and since where I work is a modern ad agency, it makes more than sense.
So here we go. I'm going to watch the first episode and sort of live-blog it. I'll pause the show at different intervals and give my visceral opinion.
One-minute mark: The opening credits are ominous and foreshadowing. Clearly the faceless office worker dude's life is symbolically falling apart so he jumps out the window and falls past all those pretty advertisements that he likely helped create. But then the credits end with him relaxing in a chair with a cigarette. In case I wasn't already aware, there is some foreshadowing that there is lots of smoking in this show. Credits end with a quick definition or explanation of the "mad men" term. Ahem...
- MAD MEN
- A term coined in the late 1950's to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue.
They coined it.
Two-minute mark: So far, my scientific estimate is that 116% of everyone smokes during the fifties, based solely on observation of this show.
Four-minute mark: The main character is Don Draper and he is in the apartment --in the bedroom-- of a female artist. He is ostensibly here about a problem at work, but more likely this scene will lead to sex.
Five-minute mark: Yep. I called it.
Eight-minute mark: Okay, so now we are in the office meeting some of the other characters and learning why you hate them. The men are all sexist hedonists. They openly talked dirty about a women in an elevator. They are planning a bachelor party for their friend. The women are all secretaries. Right now a veteran secretary, Joan, is showing a fresh-faced new girl around the pool. The new girl is going to be Don's assistant. And here he comes now.
Here's a quick aside. The batteries in the Wii remote are dying and there's a mosquito in the room that keeps buzzing my ear. Additionally, my wife is going to bed and I realize that morning comes early so I may watch only some of this show then stop.
By the twelth-minute we've heard them openly talk about how they don't hire any Jews. They are about to drink in the office. Draper is a copy writer. The medical researcher has a German accent and I'd guess she escaped from Germany during the war.
At 19 minutes we can see there's going to be some inter-office rivalry between Draper and the twerpy little 26-year-old kid who's the star of the impending bachelor party. Don and twerp are about to meet with the Menken account.
Twenty-one minute mark: Okay, wow it really sucks during to be a woman in the 1950's. New girl from the secretarial pool has a lady-doctor visit and that was unpleasant. Everyone keeps telling her she needs a shorter dress.
Twenty-seven minutes: This meeting with executives of a tobacco company is the one scene I'd already caught. Draper is about to pull a rabbit out of a hat, impress his boss, placate the client and show up the twerp all in one (improvised?) move. ...And boom, there it is. "It's toasted."
Tassles! And with that, I'm going to bed.