Written by / 4/12/2015 / No comments / , , ,

A BRIEF GLIMPSE INTO A MAD MEN BINGE IN PROGRESS

January Jones as Betty
What’s a better way to punch Political-Correctness square in the nose than to base a show before the PC climate even existed: welcome to the early 1960's. 

In that, the female characters, trapped in a man’s world... especially belonging to Jon Hamm’s ad man extraordinaire Don Draper... are stronger and more capable than most modern female roles in the last twenty years...

Up against, looked down upon and lusted after by an office full of young and middle-aged men clamoring for attention and their piece of the pie, these "gals" on board, including red-haired bombshell Christina Hendricks as super secretary Joan and secretary turned copywriter Peggy Olson, played by Elizabeth Moss, have more power than one would realize... Or maybe control is a better word. To paraphrase that German fella; it only makes 'em stronger.

Pacino in G2
In the midst of a very belated MAD MEN binge, not too much should be revealed here… Only to say that Jon Hamm won't be an Al Pacino of the big screen but, based on the first two seasons, his television Don Draper has the kind of formidable silence Pacino wielded in the first two GODFATHER films: With an expression like he knows what everyone’s thinking, and beyond. 

Jon Hamm as Don Draper
While keeping a poker face around his ambitious, sometimes pretentious, amusing and always entertaining employees, trying to land the next product ranging from coffee to soda pop to clothing to major airlines, Don gets involved in more sideline monkey business than anyone else: taking extended breaks and prolonged lunches equaling the number of cigarettes he smokes in the office (well, not really). Cutting back and forth from the central New York ad agency location to upper class suburbia with a childlike but ultimately resilient housewife Betty, played by January Jones, and then on his surreptitious excursions and escapades as the steely Eisenhower 50's marches into the colorful Kennedy era.

And now, having ventured a quarter into Season 3, the tightly wound mini-series vibe of the first two is somewhat lacking. Feels like watching an actual TV show: the epic scope has narrowed into a much less focused, domesticated aura while the characters are more breezy; their problems far less urgent – a decent sequel to the original incredible 26-hour film. Although, that big party with the John Deere Killdozer did bring things back in gear. So, for what it's worth, MAD MEN is all topnotch fare. And there's a long way to go, "Sweetie... Close the door behind you."  
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