PermaLink I am so impressionable08/16/2007 11:45 PM
I've made a habit of watching the new series on American Movie Classics, Mad Men.  It isn't helping my bad habits.

If you haven't seen Mad Men, now in its fifth week on AMC (American Movie Classics, though if you really want classic movies, switch to Turner Classic), you probably should. It resonates rather well with me because it evokes a time I have a lot of affection for, basically the urban, urbane New York from 1960, around the time I was born.

However, it does feed several of my bad habits.

First, since everyone in the show smokes -- as a lot of people did back in those days, and I can remember this well through the 1960s when I was growing up -- and every time anyone makes a point of lighting up I feel like going out onto the porch and having a cigarette. Since I'm interested in giving it up, now that Nora has (it's been two and a half months and she hasn't touched one, fact of which I am quite proud) I do feel a little guilty.

Second, everyone drinks. I am almost tempted to go make myself an Old Fashioned just seeing all the alcohol flowing on the screen.

Third, the women are gorgeous, even the ones -- like Don Draper's secretary, Peggy -- who are supposedly a bit conservative and homely. And it's "gorgeous" in a classical Fifties sort of way, before the Sixties, before miniskirts, before pantyhose, before let-it-all-hang out. It's an understated sexiness enhanced by the fact that apparently the show's producers (who also did The Sopranos) insisted that everyone wear period clothes. For guys, stiff wool suits and starched cotton shirts even in the summer, and for women, the whole tight dress/girdle/garters/stockings/stiletto heels/makeup thing.

The whole show looks like a postcard from the Eisenhower Administration, which in effect it is.

They don't fall into the cheap trap of trying to address "modern" issues in period costume. The tone of the show is just right, catching the whole married-life-in-the-suburbs thing... the mistresses or lovers on the side, the kids largely out of the picture, the conformism, the closed-mouth acceptance of pretty blatant racism, sexual harassment and xenophobia.

They got it right.

I just wish it didn't encourage my vices so much.

I EyeTV every episode and it goes straight to the AppleTV.

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