Monday, September 03, 2007

Mad Men - Best Show of the Summer

Well, this summer has brought us some good viewing.
I was surprised to see that almost every night of the week my DVR was busy capturing episodes of programs that I was too busy to watch live.

On HBO there was the hilarious Flight of the Concords.
It's another funny duo of comedic musicians in silly scenarios.
I enjoyed it, but I also liked it the first time, when it was called Tenacious D.

HBO also provided great summer entertainment with Big Love coming back strong.
This season tackled a lot of great issues, and was really well written, shot, and let me just give it up for David Byrne who is a musical scoring genius. Read about his thoughts on scoring the second season here. Honestly the choices in music this season were absolutely riveting and perfect. At one point he even went so bold as to use Hardcore punk music - in a show about Mormon polygamy to evoke emotion. I personally think that statement speaks volumes about the boldness of this show.

But the biggest surprise of the summer has to be Mad Men.
Someone, please tell me you are watching this show. It's brought to us by the producers of The Sopranos, and is shot just as beautifully. Alan Taylor, the director from the great Sopranos episode "The Ride" has directed a couple of episodes, and man were they beautiful. The entire appeal of Mad Men is that it's set in the 1950's at an advertising agency. It's thrilling to see the sets, the costumes, and also the dirty little secrets behind successful men.

The use of gender roles in story lines is also really fun. The secretaries that have to know their place, the housewives that must keep the kids clean and dinner on the table, and the one divorced woman that strikes fear into the heart of the entire community for allowing such a tabooed life.

The great thing about Mad Men though, is that it doesn't just use it's setting to drive stories. Each character has their own flesh and tale. And the actors are some of the best around. I'm very happy to see the daughter from the West Wing doing more than commercials. Her talents for being naive and sweet show just the tip of the great casting done on this series.

I can't write this without mentioning the main character, Don Draper. First of all, great character name. Second, awesome character history - you have to watch the show to see how each week you find out a little more about this mysterious serious man. Third, Jon Ham is just a great actor who was born for this role as the quick on his feet, slick yet smooth advertising genius.

If you get AMC, start watching Mad Men ASAP. If not go here and get the episodes off of iTunes. You won't be sorry you did.

Also, you'll now have something to talk to me about, because I've been dying to discuss this show with someone and it seems all you crazy people haven't even heard of the summer's best show.

For shame.

Go watch Mad Men!

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