02 November 2008

Crazy for Mad Men

I'm only two episodes in and I've already fallen hard for Mad Men, the series about Madison Avenue advertising people set in 1960.

The visual style is exquisite, down to finest detail. The storytelling itself is brilliant because the range of values seems like it's from another planet, yet we recognise it as being modern.

The men are all jocular buddies, constantly drinking and smoking. The women are fascinating. Secretaries, wives, mistresses and call girls, chirpy on the surface and conflicted, libidinous and, well, real people underneath it.

In the first episode, the new secretary turns up and her supervisor, taking the cover off a huge IBM Selectric typewriter, says, "Try not to be overwhelmed by all this technology. It looks complicated but the men who designed it made it simple enough for a woman to use."

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