6 Things I Love About Mad Men, and 1 That I Don’t

by Ginger on October 18, 2010

in Entertain Me

  1. The clothes porn. I mean, seriously, watching the fashion on Mad Men is one of the best parts. It’s so much fun to drool over the amazing clothes, the fantastic accessories, and the hardworking undergarments. (If you like the clothes, you really should make sure to check out Tom & Lorenzo’s Mad Style recaps. They’re amazingly in depth and really show how great costume design can add or detract from a storyline).
  2. The subtle history lessons. For a period piece, Mad Men rarely beats you about the head with historical events like many shows. The reality is that we don’t always know that we’re living through a “generation defining event”, so it’s interesting to watch a show that treats historical moments somewhat more realistically than many other shows & movies.
  3. The quietness. It was interesting to watch Mad Men the first season–I would often remark that it was “quiet.” That has remained true, but I’ve come to love the stillness of it. It doesn’t always seem like a lot happens in every episode. In many ways, it’s the antithesis of modern TV, seeing as it lacks quick editing cuts, high drama around every bend and a willingness to make it easy on the viewer. That’s not to say it’s not a soap opera–but it’s a quieter one than we’re used to. I love the way it makes you really pay attention, and listen. It may be that quality that allows me to get so immersed in the show.
  4. The pretty people. There are a lot of pretty people on that show. Come on, an hour with Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, and January Jones means you’re getting your fill of pretty.
  5. The interesting people. Beyond all the pretty, they’ve done an amazing job of making most of the characters REALLY interesting. With maybe the exception of Betty (who I just have never cared about), I find almost all of the main characters to be really interesting in multiple ways–even when they’re flawed. My absolute favorite character is Peggy because I love how dimensional she is, and how ahead of her time she is!
  6. The attention to detail. Matthew Weiner is apparently obsessive about the details on the show–and it’s obvious. You can tell in the clothes, but you can also tell in everything else. From the set decorations to the drink choices down to little details like different art styles for the different art directors on the show, they’ve looked at every nuance to make it time and place appropriate.

of course, nothing’s perfect….

  1. Just Do Something Already. I love the show, I really do. But I swear, sometimes the pacing is so glacial that I wonder if we’re standing still. I mean, if it’s going slow and we’re staring at Don Draper in his dapper clothes…I can handle it. But otherwise, sometimes, just sometimes, I wish they’d pick up the damn pace. Not a ton, just maybe from glacial crawl to turtle like meandering.

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the new site, I’d love it if you stopped by and gave me your thoughts! We’ve got a new comic up today too! Noodleknobs.com

As always, more lists can be found over at Anna’s at abdpbt!

Perpetua October 18, 2010 at 5:26 am

Agreed on everything except: I love Betty! Okay, not love, but love to watch. I think the whole “Bad Mothers: A Study” thing is an interesting angle, and I wish we got more of it. I would totally watch a Betty Francis spin-off. Her husband I can do without, though. I really can’t stand hairless chests, so every time they show him in bed with her I end up shouting “button up!” at the screen. 🙂

Ginger October 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

I *want* to like Betty, I really do. I love the idea of her storyline (the whole Bad Mother thing & also the child in an adult’s body thing, and the woman of a certain class thing), but it just rarely works for me. Maybe that means I more have a problem with January Jones than with Betty?

kate October 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Okay – you pushed me over the edge. I have been meaning to watch this show, but keep forgetting, well it’s been added to the TIVO to do list and the first season is in my netflix queue. 🙂

Ginger October 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’ll just give you warning–the first few episodes of the first season, it’s really kind of bizarre how slow and quiet it is…it definitely took a little warming up for me. But now? I’m hooked.

ABDPBT October 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

They have really put Betty over the edge on the bad mothers this season. She was never particularly good, but this year she is WHACK.

Ginger October 19, 2010 at 10:00 pm

You’re right–prior to this year there was some hint of something more than just extreme villain. Now she’s just a pure icy bitch.

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