Monday, July 26

So... you wanna start watching MAD MEN...

So... you wanna learn more about Mad Men?  Good place to start... your entry-level Sesame Street version!

So you keep hearing about this show along with words like "Critics love..." or "Emmy-award winner..." and "OMG, are you watching this show?!"

And you start to think to yourself... should I start watching Mad Men?

Good question. It's one of those shows you hear about, that seems like it might be a cool show you'd like. And then another season goes by, and you have even more people telling you to watch it on DVD, and pretty soon, you start weighing out the satisfaction of finally getting in on everyone's conversations about Don Draper versus how many seasons you'll now have to catch up with because you put it off for too long.

Oh, believe me, I know the feeling. I started Lost a season and a half too late (a week-long bout of bronchitis made it possible for me to catch the black-smoke fever). I also started watching 24 in its fifth season (The entire summer of 2005 is a blur. Just me, the DVD player, and the sounds of that damned ticking and Jack Bauer saying, "With all due respect, Mr. President...")

Tom Collins & a Shish-ka-bob, anyone?Luckily, I got into Mad Men relatively early on, and... I like it. A lot. But I just don't know... in my good conscience, this isn't the kind of show I try pushing on my friends just so I'll have someone to kvetch with about what a dip-blank Betty Draper is.

I mean, well... it's kind of hard to explain. See, it is a really good show. The writing's good. The acting's really good. The look of the show is stunning, too. It's really a cool show if you love the retro look of that era.

This look is SO not Draper-approvedIn fact, I've gotten to the point that sometimes I really believe that this show was genuinely shot in the 60's, but they happened to have HD quality film. When I see Jon Hamm or January Jones get interviewed, I sorta get really confused at their "normal-person" modern-day speak. Like, huh? Who is this disheveled schmoe that looks an awful lot like Don Draper?

And the stories are pretty interesting. I guess.

I guess?

That's the thing. It's hard to sell Mad Men. I can only describe it as a "slow burn". 'Cause there's definitely heat -- oh boy, is there lots -- but the stories kinda unravel rather slowly. And don't get me wrong, the stories are pretty interesting. A lot of surprises, complicated characters, and some witty and occasionally sarcastic humor.

But ... it's just ... slow.

So, there it is. Sure, watch Mad Men 'coz it's good.

And if you like, then great.

But if you don't, then don't go around telling people I made you watch it.


Easiest way to get "caught up" on Mad Men? This is from The Archives....

Toni Ryan Says: Sesame Men

The part of slimy Peter Campbell will be played by the loveable GroverSo not to be outdone, that cutting edge show Sesame Street has tackled the riveting, Emmy-award winning Mad Men.

Yes, Sesame Street has a Mad Men parody. If you know anything at all of the show, you are probably scratching your head at how this works.


OK, so those of you who don't know what Mad Men is about, I'll look for a clip for you so you can get a sense of it, but basically, it's a show about that whiskey-swilling, chauvinistic, cigarette-smoking era where the drama is propelled by corporate backstabbing, rampant infidelity, and thinly veiled racism.

Great idea, Sesame Street.

Now when Mommy & Daddy are sitting down to see who Don Draper is banging today, the kids will want to watch too because they've seen the version with Guy Smiley playing the tortured and conflicted protagonist. Nice going.

Well, I didn't do so good in finding a quickie Mad Men recap to share, but I did find this PG-13 parody, that actually kinda explains it best.

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