Mad Men on AMC: Fantastic

I suggest adding it to your DVR / TiVO right now. It was fantastic.

I really wasn’t expecting the type of humor that they mined relentlessly about how different times were back then - the rampant sexism, racism, smoking, drinking, etc. But they didn’t over do it IMO - a quick joke and then they moved on. Sure, there was some broad humor, but at the same time I believed that’s the way it was. Some highlights (stop now if you plan on seeing a repeat of the first episode):
“It’s not like there’s some magical machine that can make an identical copy.”

Mel from Flight of the Conchords as one of the switchboard operators.

The gyno that smoked the entire time and told her he’d take the contraception away if she turned into a “strumpet.”

I loved how the guy said “I won’t have a woman talk to me this way” and walked out. And he was pitching to his client who happened to be the daughter of the owner of the company.

The pitcher of bloody marys, shrimp cocktails and constant smoking during the meetings.

The guy putting Alka Seltzer into his bourbon at 10 in the morning.

The comment about “Don’t be afraid of all this technology” - and it was a typewriter.

The constant pressure to find a husband as the number one goal of every woman in sight.

I didn’t like it. If you saw Tthank you for Smoking" you have seen this, and without the heavy gratitous smoking, undoubtedly paid for by one of the Big Tobacco companies. You are watching a hour long propaganda film for smoking.

Of course, you might not beleive this, you might think it is anti-smoking. :rolleyes:

Note that “Thank You for Smoking” managed to have the entire film without anyone smoking a cig (one brief cigar). And it was about 1000% better. :smiley:

Mad Men wasn’t well done, or very authentic for the period.

I did watch the entire thing, just to give it a chance.

Well, no matter what certain corporate sponsors may have thought they were paying for, the message depends on what the audience thinks the message is. I don’t see how a show can mention the proven dangers of smoking that often and work as effective pro-smoking propaganda.

I liked the show a lot. It was well-written and inventive. The acting was good and the characters were gratifyingly complex. On the other hand, some scenes were rather cartoonish.

I haven’t seen Thank You For Smoking, though, so for all I know this show could be totally derivative.

I liked it, but I think the dialog was far too modern. Nobody in 1960 would’ve said “if tommorrow every Old Gold on the planet disappeared” (paraphrased). There were quite a few phrases used that were modern. The best look of all was the redheaded secretary - her body is perfect for that era. I’ll keep watching (the background art and illustrations are enough to keep me coming back!), but it’ll probably bug me a bit.

By the way, Morbo], since you liked it so much, I’m curious - were you around in 1960? I was only 7, but my parents were pretty frank and frazzled, so I was exposed to very adult behavior at a young age (being the first of 5 kids, I got their more “unfilltered” personalities than my younger siblings). I’d like to get an idea of what age reacts in what way to this show.

Only so-so. The characters were uniformly unpleasant and had no depth at all. All the irony was laid in with a trowel and a smirk of superiority. Hopefully, some of that will be toned down (often the characteristics of a series are overdone in the opening episode).

The writing was sloppy, too. There were too many cheap jokes that assume the viewer was ignorant of the time period (copiers, for instance, were marketed in 1959, and one would assume an ad agency in 1960 would be one of the first customers, so the joke was just an assumption that the audience didn’t know the facts). They conflated the 1960s Readers’ Digest articles on smoking with the 1964 Surgeon General’s report. And it was very jarring to have him come up with a Lucky Strike slogan from the 1940s as new in 1960. The Nixon reference was cute, but, really, who would have referred to the vice president of the US without mentioning he’s VP?

If you’re setting something in a particular time period, they you need to play by the rules. I don’t mind an occasional anachronism for dramatic effect; any one of these would have been OK, but it’s clear the writers are not doing their homework.

And it would have been much more interesting if they used an actual Lucky Strike slogan from 1960, or even mentioned how the ad agencies actually dealt with the issue: by showing people doing active and healthy things and smoking at the same time. Dragging in “It’s toasted” is just lazy writing.

She also played a character (Saffron) on Firefly. Smoking hot.

As for the show I found all the characters thoroughly unlikeable. I am not sure if that means I liked it or not. I may watch again if I happen to catch it.

This is what’s commonly known in Hollywood as “a loving recreation of another era” (although loving is something of a euphemism :dubious: ).

Ten years before I was around. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it - b/c I wasn’t around to know better?

Talking to my parents today, and they really didn’t like it. Oh well - I liked it.

Agreed. If you want to do an era, even if you want it to be a reflection on modern times, get the facts right. I don’t mind an occasional anachronism in tthe servie of a good story, but I got the impression the writer didn’t bother to do any research and stuck with the most obvious stereotypes.

Also the “It’s toasted” is bad not just because of the anachronism, but because the slogan dates from 1917 and shows nothing about 60s advertising. It’s sloppy writing – it would have been perfectly easy to use a 60s ad slogan for Luckies and use that as the plot point.

I liked it. It was kind of obvious the Main Character Guy was going to be attracted to Jewish Department Store Girl, though as soon as they had their little blow-up. It’s a little staged, but not bad at all for TV.

I’m forced to love this show, Aaron Staton married my mother’s best friend’s daughter. Aaron plays “Ken” on the show. I’m going to watch it later today and I’ll know whether I truly enjoy it or end up liking it out of requirement :wink:

– IG

I was a little confused at the ending. Is Main Character Guy married, and are those his kids? I thought they implied that everyone thought he was single, or was that just the way he presented himself to his girlfriend?

I also assume that one of the Ad Guys is going to be gay. Maybe the Italian guy, although the writers seemed to be leading us on there. So, who will it be?

It’ll be the Italian guy, unless the writers are way more sophisticated than I’m willing to give them credit for.

I’m solidly middle of the road on it. I didn’t hate it but I wasn’t particularly engaged by it either. If I happen to be around when the next episode is on I’ll give it another chance but if I never see another episode I won’t miss it.

I was very confused about the way one thread ended. The obnoxious young guy - who’s getting married in a few days - ends up drunk at the apartment door of the new secretary. And she lets him in!! Maybe she is a strumpet after all!

Was there some prior relationship that I missed?

I’m thinking she was horny and stupid. And I’m thinking that she’s gonna end up knocked up because I don’t think birth control pills are instantly effective.

It seemed pretty clear based on his response to one of the girl’s saying “I love this place. It’s crammed full of men.” being “I know how you feel.”
This is a show where the hero is meant to be shown as conflicted and troubled by the number of women he fucks.

Exactly to what I was referring in noting the writers’ lack of subtlety. Plus the actor (Bryan Batt, probably best known as the HIV+ chorus boy from the film Jeffrey) was playing his other scenes very overcompensate-y.

For example, this took me aprox 30 seconds to find with a google search.

Both good slogans.

My wife said she found the show disturbing. I responded, I think it’s supposed to be.

That’s what will make the show succeed, I believe. Even with the annoying little points about getting the history wrong. The vivid in-your-face this is what is was like for anyone who was even slightly “different” to have to live in what we now romanticize as a golden age. And that it had its problems even for the straight christian white men.

It certainly crammed reams of social commentary into one episode, but it was the pilot and those have to be especially dense to make the numerous points. With luck it will start focusing on individuals and be a bit more subtle in the future.

The annoying history was annoying, to be sure. There was a real Reader’s Digest article on the hazards of smoking that spooked everyone. Problem was, that article appeared in 1952.

The “I’m toasted” was a horrible example because it’s not what 1960s advertising was about. It was a relic from the past. The thought process behind it was very real, though. Coming up with a claim that differentiated the advertising even when the product was no different is a classic technique.

I did a newspaper search to see what slogans Lucky Strike was actually using at the time.

Get the genuine article.
Get the honest taste of a Lucky Strike
[in an ad with lots of jazz hipster talk, though]

[and I guess I’m going to stop there because the search engine is being slow and balky. not just us, folks]

With a slogan like that, the Lucky Strike people needed a new one, no matter what the legal situation was. :smack:

Of course, their slogan used to be “Luckies are kind to your throat” using endorcements by opera singers. :smack: :smack:

I liked it. Parts of it were over the top, but if the writers assume viewers weren’t born in 1960, I’ll cut them some slack, first episode and all. I like a period show that’s set in a time I remember.

I was 15 in 1960, but I lived in a small town. My experience isn’t going to be the same as NYC. Is it anachronistic for the office slut to be so open about being the office slut? Were big city women that much different from small town girls?

I wasn’t surprised that Peggy let Connor, er, Pete in, but I don’t think it was because she was horny. I think she thought it was expected. Her “orientation” prepared her for it, and this was also a time when women didn’t say “that’s not in my job description”.

Also surprised about the Lucky Strike slogan, because I’d never heard it before. I didn’t realize “It’s toasted!” was a real slogan. How about L.S.M.F.T.? Was that earlier or later?

I think they totally nailed the office sexism. I was “the girl” in my first office job, in 1963, back when Help Wanted ads were divided into Men and Women sections.