Mad Men

My Latest Binge Watching: Mad Men

Mad MenIn the last few of years I’ve been watching more TV than I’ve ever watched in my adult life. Since I loath advertising, I rarely ever watch live TV. Instead, I’ve been watching Netflix or programs I’ve recorded on the TiVo, where I can skip the ads.

My latest binge watching obsession has been Mad Man. I’ve heard about the show for years, but I had no interest in it as a live broadcast. Besides, I had missed the first 400 episodes. But on Netflix, I could start with season 1, and I did.

Mad Men Print 01
Print 1 in Roger Sterling‘s Office

The problem with binge watching is that TV programs are not written for that type of viewing—yet. So, with 3 – 4 sex scenes in almost every episode, when you’re watching 3 episodes back-to-back, it’s like: enough already, people! Drinking in the program is the same way. Damn! Lushes extraordinaire! And the ceaseless smoking. Gag!

Mad Men Print 02
Print 2 in Roger Sterling’s Office

But the main reasons I got into the program were stylistic. I grew up in the 60s. I love the styles of that time: the clothes, the furniture, the dishes, the nicknacks, the women’s hair (not the men’s!), the toys… It’s just all so groovy cool, man. I grew up with this stuff. The set and costume design is spot on authentic! And the color depth  is rich, saturated, and with sufficient contrast and camera position to really allow period textures to show. Bravo! In fact, I think the visuals of the period are actually more dramatic and beautiful than they really were during the period.

Two of the period pieces I really like were apparently designed by the Mad Men art director specifically for the show: the dot graphics hanging in Roger Sterling’s office. I love them!

Mad Men Retro Knoll Graphic
Roger Sterling’s Office Set: the furniture, phone, and desk lamp!

The storyline is pretty boring. The characters are mostly unlikable—way beyond merely “flawed.” It’s not that they are bad people per se, they are just much too self-destructive. (And I’ve never wanted to be around people under the influence of alcohol or when they smoke. That’s all they do in this show. Oh, and have sex.) But the issues the program brings to the story are significant.

So, I’m now up to date with season 7 and will sit patiently waiting for the new and final episodes to be released on iTunes. (Again, no live TV for Tim!)