Friday, July 20, 2007



The genius of
Mad Men (AMC - Thursdays at 10) is that they have imagined a time and place where everything now considered terrible is commonplace, allowing everybody to be evil, while keeping the show on the right side of heaven because that was then, this is now.

The show takes place in the late fifties in and around a Madison Avenue advertising agency.

For example:

-- Smoking is known to be a health hazard, but selling cigarettes is good.
-- A brash guy (ABG) insulting the slightly dumpy looks of "the new girl" (TNG) is criticized but tolerated; then TNG lets him steal a file from the ad man (AM) she works for; and later, when ABG shows up at her apartment after his bachelor party (he's getting married in a few days) she sleeps with him.
-- The pretty secretary (PS) shows TNG how to get along in the office by ... (we'll skip the details).
-- The gynecologist (G) warns his patient not to be a slut when he prescribes birth control pills.
-- G sleeps with his patient(s); PS, a patient of his, brags about G's beautiful house.
-- The ad man (AM) has a girl friend in NY and a lovely blond wife and kids at home on the island. The wife is sanguine about his not coming home at night; and happy to wake up and then get together when he does come home late.
-- The ad agency has no Jewish employees in any significant position; when a Jewish client visits they draft a Jewish mailroom employee to impersonate a designer/stylist.
-- The Jewish client after being insulted and brushed off by AM, has a drink with him later, and then comes back for another meeting.

and so on.

Well acted. Interesting. Revolting. But that was then. This is now.


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