Drinking, Lying, Cheating, Smoking and Making Dreams Come True (Mad Men, the Show)
Did anyone catch last night's premiere of "Mad Men," the new show on AMC about the adveristing industry's evils and excesses in the early 60s? I'm curious as to what people thought of it...and if there are any good discussions on it, please point me to them.
In a nutshell, I thought some was well done and some was waaay overdone. Insofar as characters, I like the lead, the lead's mistress and, most especially, the head secretary--I'm not being politically incorrect, this was 1960 and women in administrative roles were given the title of secretary (and smoking and drinking at work, in the ad industry, is portrayed as not only permitted but very much encouraged...well, at least for the men).
But I can't quite transition the youngest ad man's character, Pete, played by Vincent Kartheiser, from his days being Angel's son Connor (while not a huge fan of Angel, the series served as a quick fix when Buffy left the airwaves).
Overall I give the premiere a 7.5-8 out of 10. Here's the NYT Review.
The press and ad campaigns? Quite good. In fact, it's due to the great signage treatments done at Grand Central (specifically at the GCT/Times Square Subway Shuttle location) that prompted me to watch the show. An interesting comment from the Mad Men blog--which is far from riveting--was that the between-commercial advertising factoids kept one viewer from TiVo-ing over the commercials. And I understand each factoid tied into the commercial that followed it. So they seemed effective for this episode. I personally found the factoids annoying because while trying to fast-forward through the breaks I kept thinking I was missing the show and ended up watching a lot of commercials from pharma companies which claimed "these are not actors" (which just made me say "Am I really supposed to believe that?").
But here's a very interesting factoid: all episodes are available via iTunes the day after they air. So AMC is due a BIG thank you for letting viewers have what they want, how they want it, and, more to the point, not making them wait to have what they want when they want it. While that seems common sense, it's a big move by this network to move this show and AMC's new "original drama series" programming format forward (and at $1.99/episode, gives the cable network a new, near real-time revenue stream). Watch for more to follow.
According to AMC: "Offering our content on iTunes gives consumers the unique ability to view Mad Men episodes when and where they want, providing the show with the ability to have a stronger voice to reach a wider audience," said Charlie Collier, EVP and General Manager of AMC. "We couldn't be more excited about Mad Men. This is an important series for AMC as it marks the first time the network is delving into the original drama series arena. Leading up to the premiere, Mad Men has already received industry wide critical acclaim. We are thrilled by the critics' response and are eagerly awaiting the premiere."
Anyhow, for those that watched it let me know what you thought of the show and the campaigns--and where people are chattin' it up. Thanks ;-).