July 27, 2008

Mad Men Season Premiere Tonight!

When Mad Men aired last summer I wanted nothing to do with it. Why would I waste my time watching a show about guys treating women like objects, and women stuck in conventional pre-feminist roles. Yuck. Boring.

But then people started talking, buzz started building, critics started writing, Golden Globes were won, and me, not wanting to miss out on something cool, decided to check it out. I was addicted within five minutes. I loved every episode. It is so well written, so well acted, and so extremely scary to see a time really not that long ago, yet seems like another century. It is surreal and at moments feels like science fiction.

What is so interesting about the show is that it reveals how uncomfortable everyone is. The men act happy and hide behind their drinking and role playing, but their misery shines through. Elizabeth Moss (who played Zoe in The West Wing) is the female center of the show as Peggy Olson. She spent last season as secretary to Jon Hamm's character, Don Draper, but was a talented writer and worked her way to junior copywriter, and gave birth to slimy Pete's kid without realizing she was pregnant. (Far fetched even for the early 60s. And her fat suit was really bad.)

I am excited to see where they take Peggy this season and even more excited that lots of the press has been focused on the amazing women of Mad Men.
From today's NY Daily News:

"The women are the broken mirror the men look through," says the show's creator, Matthew Weiner. "They have levels to them, but less of a mask on. They know when to whisper, and when not to."

The return of "Mad Men," which was recently nominated for 16 Emmy Awards (it previously won Golden Globes for Best Drama and Best Actor for Hamm), provides an opportunity for its three pivotal females to address the slowly changing mores of the time.
From the LA Times
But while they are marginalized, the women of "Mad Men" are no mere archetypes. They are complicated, glamorous, ambitious and stifled in a way that women in 1960s television never were. With 48 years of hindsight behind their creation, they are marginalized in a particularly subtle way, so that viewers might not even realize they are riveted by their struggles.
Best comment that shows how far we still have to go:
On the other hand, they said people still say shockingly sexist and politically incorrect things in public. Jones, for instance, recently found life imitating a "Mad Men" scene. She said she was in an elevator with some men exactly as some characters were in a Season 2 scene, and the men were making the same sort of sexist remarks about women, as if there was no woman in the elevator.
Check it out tonight at 10pm on AMC. You will not be disappointed.
photo credit: Genaro Molina- LA Times