MAD MEN: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Link to AMC – MAD MEN

Thanks to DVR and the concept of time-shifting, I caught the first episode in the hottest new summer series. The guy who brought us The Sopranos is the creator of Mad Men.

Everything about this series intrigues me — advertising, recreating 1960, groundbreaking new — and entertaining — television. All of it fascinates me.

I downloaded The Making of Mad Men off itunes. “For a limited time,” the segment is free. Interviews with the cast and crew were really interesting. They talked principally about the “experience” on the set.

Every single little detail is accurate, including the women wearing girdles and the kids not being allowed to have Etch-a-sketches until the product was actually introduced to America — several months into 1960.

The executive producer envisioned an atmosphere that provided the actors with an experience of being transported back in time. Ash trays full of butts. Furniture exactly the way it would have been in 1960. The idea is many-fold. Give the actors and the writers, wardrobe people, etc. the authenticity of an altered state of reality, immerse them into the period, and their work will reflect depth and perspective. Ultimately, film captures the experience and viewers experience television in a new way.

I’m watching on laptop screens and old-style tube televisions. I can’t imagine what it might be like to watch this show on HDTV with surround sound. I suspect some people with way too much money will redecorate their entertainment rooms to reflect the look of this show. Retro technology?

So, when was the last time you spent an hour watching television and actually were intellectually inspired?

If you’re into the notion of thinking television, find this episode on AMC this week. And set your DVR to catch every installment. The characters will keep you coming back for more.

Also, check out the streaming video on the show’s home page. Lots of On demand sampling available.

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