Monday, March 03, 2008

Review of Mad Men



"You'll find account executives and creative executives all mixed in together. Please don't ask me the difference."

Mad Men finally aired at 10pm on BBC4 last night. I knew I'd enjoy it because it's set in an ad agency and I'm a sucker for any films or books about advertising. But I was surprised just how much I did. The creator apparently is a former Sopranos writer; the quality really shows. Great writing and performances - the lead guy is particularly good.

And so many memorable moments. Like digging out the agency's sole Jewish employee (from the mailroom) to front up to a Jewish client; Don Draper having a quiet think a.k.a nap in his office, or tossing the findings of the research lady right where they belong - in the bin.

Did you see it?

17 comments:

Cleaver said...

Not brilliant, I thought.

Too many too-obvious gags about the era. I wonder how long casual sexism can remain funny?

It looks beautiful though.

Anonymous said...

My old man was an account man in the 60's and 70's. He always said it was fucking great. Now I know why. The lucky, lucky bastard.
Read "Fast and Louche" for another brilliant insight into those happy, research-free, planner-free days when a client was often an Oxbridge graduate and they tended to be more intelligent and have better judgement and they weren't afraid of anything. And everyone was pissed. All the time.

Anonymous said...

Casual sexism can remain funny as long as birds are thick with nice juicy tits.

rdsrae said...

Also being a sucker for anything advertising - in particular the madison avenue heydeys - I was looking forward to this too.

But I'm just going to wait until the DVD is out so I can watch it at my leisure.

I fear it will depress me in the same way that 1969 rock music depresses me. Why wasn't I there?!

Steve H said...

I thought it was brilliant.

But it depressed me too. I got into this business in the wrong era. Fuck.

Carson Daly said...

The disgusting sexism and racism along with cigarette smoking and drinking in office hours made me glad to be working in this era.

Rachel said...

I watched most of this series in the US, but still enjoyed last night. I think the second viewing allowed me to get over the sexism (it gets worse!) and watch more as a drama. Keep watching - overall it's a great series.

Rob Mortimer said...

On Sky+ for viewing tomorrow :)

mm said...

i also refuse to watch it on the basis that it will depress the shit out of me.

I've always been lucky enough to work for proper old boys whose endless stories are a constant reminder of how sterile agency life has become...

Anonymous said...

sky+
good to hear that it's already upset some of the perfumed ponces on this site

Lunar BBDO said...

I thought that if you stripped away the surface of period 'touches' (racism, sexism, drinking smoking), then it played quite true to now.

Who hasn't butted up against the deadline to finish a brief, or done something a bit soul-destroying to ingratiate themselves to a recalcitrant client? I'd imagine the number of execs who claim to work late while hamfistedly trying to gain ingress with members of the opposite sex is also depressingly high.

Toad said...

MadMen ran in the US in Summer 07. It took a while to grow on me-- once you get past the period gimmicks there's some Dynasty-style plot lines that took a while to develop in a less ham-fisted manner. But stick with it because they eventually do.

Cleaver's point to the beauty of the film is well taken - if you can watch it in HD, it's well worth the effort- the lighting, propping, angles, etc. is just beautiful. And the authentic period details have been the subject of much buzz in the design industry - they've really done an incredible job on that front.

Jon said...

All in all, pretty good. I've always had a bit of a fascination with the era, although I was slightly taken aback by the sexism.

One thing annoyed me though, Pete, the Account Executive, looked about 14 not 26. I hope he gets killed off.

Anonymous said...

The suits are so great it makes me want to start wearing suits again.
In those days, apparently even the creatives were/wore suits. Of course, my role model always was Darren out of Bewitched.

Rob Mortimer said...

Apparently series 2 will be set in 1962, so we might actually see changes develop in the acceptable sexism etc.

Anonymous said...

there's an hilarious scene in the second series where they all discuss the famous VW "Lemon" ad.

i kind of wished it had been set in one of the cooler 60s ad shops. but then i would.

Make the logo bigger said...

It was like a Smithsonian exhibit. Accurate in detail, too depressing and boring for me otherwise.