Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Like watching a dog play piano.
For as big a pop culture/music/movie nerd as I am, I'm realllly bad about TV shows. For instance, I've NEVER seen an episode of THE SOPRANOS or ever THE WIRE. I've never seen ANY popular sitcom on ABC or CBS (the only current sitcom I like is THE OFFICE) and I simply do not like 30 ROCK. Overall, I'm just not that into TV. However, last spring I did dive heavily into DEADWOOD and it's awesome and now that we have on-demand, the wife and I have been headlong into MAD MEN on AMC and it's freeking awesome.
We're trying to do the whole first season before Sunday nights season 2 premiere and it's been a real pleasure watching 2-3 episodes a night. For those who have no clue what the show is about, dig...
MAD MEN is about ad execs in Manhattan in 1960. There's a whole slew of them: misogynistic, arrogant, slick pricks who think their shit doesn't stink and that they can do anything they want. And, they do. The show is centered on Don Draper who's played by Jon Hamm and his character is incredible. He's the shining star of his ad agency, yet he's hiding so much, you're never sure what's going on in his mind. I don't want to give too much away as you all need to see the show, but his past is hazy and vague (to say the least). While he's almost always calm, cool and put together on the outside, the machinations in his mind play out with some of the best camera work, directing, writing and acting you're ever gonna see on TV.
In fact every character is extremely well rounded and developed and you're never quite sure what's going to happen next. But the star is Hamm. He's the kind of actor in this character where you just go, "dude...who IS this guy? He's charismatic and witty and handsome. Then dark, brooding, conniving and sad. Then, you look at his IMDB page and he's like, a nobody so far. He's done some bit parts and some roles in comedy shows...but overall, not much. If you want to catch a guy breaking big, watch Jon Hamm now. Also-mark my words- he'll be like David Caruso and make some shitty choices in movies and never be any bigger then MAD MEN. Hate to be a dick, but it's gonna happen. But dude, look at this guy...he's got it dialed for this show:
Also outstanding on the show is Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell-the quintessential youngster who will stop at nothing to move up the ranks, january Jones as Draper's wife Betsy (hint: smoking hott) and John Slattery as Drapers drunk ass boss Roger. Oh! There's also a smoking hot redhead on the show named Christina Hendricks who is not only really good, she's really sexy. But the thing I like best is how careful the directors and producers are to make things look *right*. Be it the 1960's set design and lingo and language, it always seems spot-on. There's also some amazing nods to Hitchcock, Wilder and other favorite directors that make me smile everytime.
So to summarize: hot chicks, arrogant guys who booze and smoke incessantly and plot lines that are never, ever going where you think they are. It's just an awesome show.