Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Glory of the 60s

I am a NetFlix fiend. I manage my DVD queue with a stunning level of attention. The key to a good queue, I find, is to balance between long form and short form programming. Currently on deck in the latter category is the acclaimed series from AMC, Mad Men. After winning two Golden Globes for Best TV Drama and Actor (HBO, aren't you sad that you turned down the script?!?), the series returns to AMC for its second season on July 27.
Jon Hamm (Don Draper) and January Jones (Betty Draper) Photo courtesy of AMC

Set in 1960 when JFK was a presidential candidate, the series spins a well-scripted tale of the men who ruled Madison Avenue and created the "ad age". Although I thought that the title was a bit cheesy at first, "mad men" was the actual term used to describe people who worked at agencies in the 1960s. The story centers around Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, who is the creative director at Sterling Cooper, a big player on Madison Avenue. Draper is a talented ad man but as the story unfolds, a man with a very troubled past. His wife, Betty, played by January Jones is the quintessential suburban wife who takes care of two kids, gossips with the neighbors, and makes homecooked meals for the evenings that her husband comes home. The other cast members are all so good --- and each of their characters (owing to a great script) become well-developed in their own right.
Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway) Photo courtesy of AMC

l to r: January Jones (Betty Draper), Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway), Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson)
Photo courtesy of AMC

I am not only in love with the fact that this show provides me with a view into an important decade for this country --- seems like it was the first time people began to live individualistically and with almost a blithe disregard for "rules" --- but also am enamored with the styling. I love the evening gowns with gloves, poof skirts for sipping cocktails, the fitting wool secretary dresses (check out actress Christina Hendricks who plays Joan Holloway in her red dress), and just the general fact that people cared how they looked when they went out and had a sense of formality that is missing from current times. Sexy, intelligent, and chic, this series is a must-see!
Bryan Batt (Salvatore Romano) --- on my favorite side characters!
Photo courtesy of AMC

Main Cast
Photo courtesy of AMC

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