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Mad Men is Just not Very Good

Since I’ve spent the past two Sundays with Oprah I’ve been a little delayed with Mad Men. Mad Men is on Sunday nights right… or maybe Monday? I’ve also had Mondays with Oprah, which should never be confused with Tuesdays with Morrie.

In any event I finally watched the first two shows (which is three hours) of Mad Men and I was sort of like is that all? I felt really weird about not enjoying it and then reassured. I’m a realist, I know I don’t have the best taste in the world I didn’t give up on Castle easily and everyone knows that it’s a horrendous show.

Mad Men was sort of iconic. It was an amazing and jarring show set in the early 60’s with characters that were larger than life because we scarcely knew anyone who had worked in the late 50’s and early 60’s. It’s somewhat modern but also part of history that we are about to write however we want it. The clothes, the furniture and the lack of technology are all interesting, some of it is beautiful but most of it makes me want to scratch just looking at it.

That first season was also full of tension, will the world find out that Don Draper is a fraud? Will his wife leave him? Will Joanie ever have a real relationship? There were plots and subplots and characters that were interesting. Women were treated in ways that made us gasp, not because they were dismissed, but because they allowed it.

What the first seasons also had was amazing cinematography. It was slow, languid even with the camera not being part of the show. You weren’t feeling like you were watching TV so much as maybe a film or maybe even a TV show that was shot in the 50’s. One of the things that I enjoyed was that you could see ceilings. Watch network TV a little and see how many ceilings there are, and please, we don’t all live in lofts.

This year I noticed on the credits that Jon Hamm produced both episodes and directed Tea Leaves (the second episode). Mr. G says that sending your star in as a director is like having your pitcher bat 5th. I don’t really know what that means but I suspect that it’s an indication that Jon Hamm is just as bored with that show as I am.