Wednesday, July 16, 2008

'Mad Men' saves the day

Update: "Mad Men" has been nominated for several Emmy Awards, including Best Drama Series, a first for a basic cable TV series.

So, I don't have much to say tonight. Been sick the last couple of days. Somebody shoot me. This sucks.

But, I needed to duck in here for a few minutes. I miss writing. It's like breathing, or eating, something you do to survive. Such is my life.

The best part of the last two days -- other than spending an hour with the gentle soul that is Roy Mullins for an interview -- has been getting to watch an episode or two of the finest program currently on television, Matthew Weiner's "Mad Men." If you haven't seen this A-No.1 piece of entertainment yet, put it at the top of your Netflix queue, run don't walk to your local DVD retailer or be in front of a TV when the show rolls out its second season later this month on AMC. This is good stuff -- no really.

I feel too poorly to look up the show's details, but "Mad Men" focuses on a group of hot-shot advertising executives at a Madison Avenue firm (hence "Mad Men") in the early 1960s. In many ways the show is a male fantasy. It's set in the politically incorrect, sexist Manhattan of 1960 -- pre-women's lib -- when secretaries were objects of lust, philandering was almost required, and everybody drank like fishes and smoked like a sieve.

But, it's more than that. At its best, "Mad Men" shows the stifling frustration of such a life for its female characters. It shows the duplicity, and unhappiness, of many of its leads. And, frankly, it's just a well-acted, well-written show, a novel trait itself in this vast wasteland of reality series and game shows.

OK, that's enough for now. I think I'm going to turn in early. Thanks for listening. I've missed talking to you.

God, I need something for this headache. Oh, well. Goodnight.

Season 2 of "Mad Men" begins Sunday, July 27, on AMC.

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