Mad for Mad Men

Well, after ages of waiting, I have now finally been able to watch the first season of Mad Men, and man oh man, am I in love.  I was sucked in at about three minutes into the first episode, and it consistently kept my rapt attention throughout the thirteen episodes I have watched over the last two days.  (What? It’s my Relaxifying Weekend of Solitude, shut up!) (ALSO, they got nominated for 16 Emmy Awards, so it’s quality sloth time, see.)

The stories are compelling and the characters are fantastic, but I have to admit to being mostly in love with the early 1960s period look of the show. The production design is just off-the-charts fantastic! Instead of revealing much about the plot here, I’m just going to point out a few of my favorite characters, sets, wardrobe items, and objects from the show.  (If you want more, you’re just going to have to rent or download season one yourself, or just start in with season two, currently airing on AMC.)

Below is John Hamm, who plays Don Draper.  This is his office.  His glorious, gorgeous, amazingly enviable office.  Please to witness:

Wonderful whiskey glasses (I think of them as just whiskey glasses, though he specifically drinks rye on the show), a brass cigarette dispenser, and fantastic mid-century modern furniture.  Oh, and Hamm’s general hotness, lest we forget that we could fry an egg on that man’s face.

(Note: I’ve added a better picture of the whiskey glasses here!)

And here, I must regretfully say, is Vincent Kartheiser, who plays the abominable Pete Campbell:

Anyone with whom I’ve discussed Angel at any length already knows that Kartheiser basically ruined the entire fourth season of that show for me.  His character was whiny, cocky, ungrateful, and unattractive, and I HATED HIM.  It will come as no surprise that I feel the exact same way about Pete on Mad Men.  Just look at the way he is smirking smugly as he barges into Don’s office in the above still.  Douchebag.

Moving on, then.  Here’s Don’s wife, Betty, shown in the office of her psychoanalyst, Dr. Wayne:

Can I just tell you how happy it makes me that the show reflects the late 50s-60s craze for psychoanalysis?  VERY HAPPY.  I myself would be more than willing to see a shrink, if only I got to lounge on that amazing leather couch and smoke in the office.  Wouldn’t you?

And now, a few of the other female characters:

That’s Rachel Menken, the fabulously attired ball-buster of the department store world, and below are Peggy Olson, Don’s secretary, and Joan Halloway, another secretary in the office.

All three of these women are great characters, and present an interesting look into women’s various roles in business at this time.  Also, fabulous hair and wardrobe!

And please to humor me now as I point out more interesting items:

A stand-alone steel ashtray!  (I also love the chair Don is sitting in, only slightly visible above.)

The brass cigarette dispenser Don has on his coffee table (wish I could get a better look at it – there’s something written around the lid, but you can never quite read it).

A rotary phone with a matching phone/address book.  The rotary dial on the cover has letters instead of numbers in the finger holes, and can be opened to a specific letter using the dial function– what I wouldn’t give for one of those!

And, of course, so many pairs of horn-rimmed glasses:

And, apparently, lollipops.

There is so much eye candy in this show if only you have any interest at all in fashion, furniture, interior design, graphic design, and so forth.  I find myself pausing a few times an episode to admire one thing or another.  And hey, if you don’t care about all of the period style, there’s always the hotness of Hamm; I’m just saying.

Highly recommended!

(Warning: watching this show will inspire a stong need for whiskey, cigarettes, and flea market shopping.  I hope you can handle it.)

(ANOTHER WARNING: IF YOU DON’T WANT PLOT SPOILERS, DON’T READ THE COMMENTS. JUST POST YOUR OWN WITHOUT LOOKING AT ANYONE ELSE’S.)

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2 thoughts on “Mad for Mad Men

  1. mel August 6, 2008 / 7:47 pm

    man, wasn’t that the best scene though? where pete thinks he’s got draper behind the 8-ball with his knowledge of draper’s secret past and the boss is like “seriously, punk? who gives a fuck?” i thought pete was gonna just chicken out and not tell the boss, but to see him spill it and get his comeuppance was beautiful. also enjoyed the comeuppance his wife gives him over trading the wedding chip and dip for the shotgun. and the secret comeuppance of peggy having his child when he can’t seem to knock up his own wife. love this show so much!

  2. Alfina the Vague August 7, 2008 / 10:21 am

    Oh yeah, that was awesome. I am always waiting for Pete to get some kind of comeuppance. Can’t wait till he finds out about mini-pete.

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