2007, Not Rated
Mad Men: Season One
Quality scripted drama is not dead, it's just getting harder to find.
One place it turns up is AMC via this acclaimed drama that debuted last
Season two starts Sunday, and the first-season DVD arrives in
time for viewers to catch up with the critics. Set in the so-called
"Golden Age" of Madison Avenue advertising (1960 specifically), the
series works on so many levels it's hard to believe that Moment of Truth
pulls in more eyeballs.
Edgy without being over the edge, the mild constraints of free cable
allow the show to flesh out its themes without the distractions that
often muddle its counterparts on HBO or Showtime. Brilliantly cast and
painstakingly crafted as to be faithful to the era, Mad Men
gives us a not often seen view of the '60s. It's America post-Eisenhower, post-Leave it to Beaver
but pre-hippy free-love, and the country is in solidly in transition.
What better setting could there be than an office full of people trying
to usher the nation from post-war prosperity to unabashed consumerism?
Of course, these characters all have issues. Booze, affairs and secret
lifestyles keep it all churning. Borders on the soapy, yes, but these
folks can sell it. Grade: A