Two days ago, Patrick and I finished up the first season of Mad Men, and I must say, I am deeply enjoying it! I will admit, that with the amount of affairs and lying that goes on, the show makes me lose a little faith in humanity, but, nevertheless, the show is addicting. I am compelled to say, if the show were contemporary, I would not care for it. Like many other shows that take place in the 60s (e.g. The Wonder Years, State of Grace, American Dreams) Mad Men is tackling the issues of the turbulent decade head on. Just in season one, birth control, unplanned pregnancy, Nixon and Kennedy, smoking, divorced women, pot, and Jews were covered. Race has not been touched on directly, yet the film does go for period accuracy instead of political correctness, all of the janitors, lunch workers, and elevator operators are black, and, despite how much we may like to ignore that today, that is how it was then. But unlike the above mentioned TV shows about the 1960s, which were about coming of age in a time of dramatic change, Mad Men is about what adults were doing, and how they changed, willingly or not.
I originally did not watch the series because all of the ads made the show come off sexist with arrogant male leads and gave zero time to women and the changes they went through during this time, however, quite the opposite goes on. The show is really about the choices and privileges of men, and how they effect women, and what some women do about it, thus the show provides strong female characters, while also showing how some of the bondage of the 1960s still bleeds through in today’s women.
Available in the DVD is a behind the scenes documentary, which gives viewers an in-depth look at the beginnings of Mad Men and the steps it has taken to aim for period accuracy.Many who work on the project have looked to primary sources such as magazines and even their relatives to find out what it was like in 1960. The prop master said that a script, taking place in spring, call for an Etch-A-Sketch, however, when the research was done, it was revealed that the Etch-A-Sketch was not released until the summer of 1960. The costumer said that all of the actresses wear stockings and garters, despite protest by the actresses.Period correctness is given in almost every detail. However, there is a garish error in the opening titles, where the font Lucida Handwriting is show, which did not hit font selection bars until 1992. I have also noticed one modular telephone, which, as I have noted before, were not available until 1970.
The costuming is to die for, and leaves me drooling after every episode, while also begging for more. Which is why yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase the second season (thankfully it was 40%, then and additionally 10% was taken off since I have a membership card, so instead of paying $49.99, I paid only $26.99). The show is of course available on Netflix, but season one only costs, $18.49 on Amazon, which is where I got it.
Last night we started season two! Race was finally touched on directly. I hope to blaze through this season and try to catch up with what’s going on in current episodes! Hope you’re all having a lovely Labor Day weekend!