Anybody want to talk Mad Men?

I called AT&T (and be sure to check out the ad at right) on Saturday to upgrade my TV options so that I could see the season premiere of “Mad Men” Sunday night. In HD.

I even went to see Dreher High School’s production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” — twice — over the weekend to help get me in the mood. (Quick, what is the most direct connection between that play — and I’m thinking the original Broadway production — and “Mad Men”? There’s a hint in the photo above.)

And it was all that I had expected it to be.

So I come in to work at my own ad agency Monday morning, and we usually spend a few minutes batting the breeze at the start of the traffic meeting, but… no one but me watches “Mad Men”! So there was no one to discuss it with.

Anybody want to talk about it? Here, I’ll start…

My favorite story line wasn’t Don’s relationship with his hot new wife, or Lane’s dilemma over the picture he found in a wallet. It was the one that went (SPOILER ALERT):

  • Young white twerps at competing agency, tired of hearing civil rights marchers outside their window, start dropping water bombs on them — which makes news.
  • Our protagonists at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce decide (in their own white-twerpy fashion) to add to the competitors’ discomfiture by running a help-wanted display ad declaring that they are “an equal opportunity employer.”
  • Joan (my very favorite Mad Man, even though “Man” fits her less well than it does anyone else on television), who is on maternity leave, thinks the agency is hiring someone to replace her, and charges into the office with her baby to demand explanations.
  • A reception-room full of earnest young black applicants, quite naturally taking the ad at face value, show up to apply for the job. NOW what are our wiseguys going to do — say there IS no job, and risk getting as big a black eye as the rival agency did?

Suddenly, our “heroes” are entangled in the mid-60s, and they have to figure out how to cope with it. And it’s deftly and realistically handled, if a bit larger than life.

14 thoughts on “Anybody want to talk Mad Men?

  1. Brad

    And Bryan, madras isn’t my style. My style, of course, is a cross between Don Draper and Bert Cooper.

    Of course, it isn’t hard to be the only Don Draper in town now. At my agency, I’m the only guy wearing a tie most days.

    The main problem with Pete’s madras jacket (which you can see here) was that it had Pete in it. Supertwerp.

    You know what the really awful news is, though? My job at ADCO is a sort of cross between Pete’s and Roger’s. Not exactly what I’d call role models.

  2. Brad

    My wife also said, “What an awful song!”

    Not everyone agrees. Jessica Pare’s version is being released on iTunes, and a vinyl release is being marketed at the Mad Men website.

    The point wasn’t the song, ladies. It was about Megan being all sexy and stuff, 1965 style. The scene evoked for me the scene in “The Pink Panther” (1963) in which a foxy Euro brunette (Fran Jeffries) in a black catsuit sings “It Had Better Be Tonight” in Italian. The point was the chick writhing around provocatively in a way that the older generation thought was particularly cool and sophisticated at that point in the development of popular culture. This is just before a ton of bricks fell on them and they all realized that they were too old to be cool.

    I mean, these people were like 30 or something.

  3. `Kathryn Fenner

    Brad, Lots happens that I understand but find unpleasant. I “got” it–like, duh.

    I can’t think of anything that has happened on MM that seemed off or inappropriate. Lots happens that is icky, though.

    Agreed on the Madras jacket.The hot pink florals were also spot on. The harvest gold flocked bedspread in the Draper pad was too reminiscent of cheap motels for me, but the decor certainly was spot on.

  4. Brad

    So Burl — y’all are able to watch in real time now, huh? Will Space Age wonders never cease?

    When I lived in Honolulu, 1970-71, we got new network TV shows a week later…

  5. Bob Amundson

    My wife and I started watching because you, and others on the blog, enjoy it. We watched the previous three shows (AMC had them on Sunday morning) and have this season’s premiere recorded. But “Zous Bisou Bisou” is EVERYWHERE, and I can’t seem to rid my brain of it!

  6. Brad

    Funny thing — even though I spent the time to put this other post together, with TWO videos of “Zous Bisou Bisou,” I can’t remember it at all. I call up one of the videos, and I go, “Yeah, I remember that now!” But a minute later, I can’t remember how it goes. Meanwhile, it’s easy to remember the tune of “It Had Better Be Tonight,” from “The Pink Panther.”


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