A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that she watched an episode of this new show about ad execs, set in 1960s New York. It was funny because it was true to life back then, but so wrong – moms smoking in the kitchen while kids ran around with dry cleaner bags on their heads? Crazy! Dads driving around town with kids crawling over the seats? Insane! And it was about being swanky in New York in the 1960s. I was mildly intrigued. At the time I was waiting for Weeds to start its new season, and I needed to fill the expanding holes in my mind with something other than whatever I was doing before I started blogging. In any case, I started watching, and then I couldn’t stop. It was not meant to be a funny show. I didn’t care. I was hooked.
I love Mad Men. And, like all good things, it is coming to an end. Let’s not talk about that, though. Let’s not even think it, and my goodness especially let’s not think about the fact that I only own seasons one through four on DVD and we’re already on season seven for pity’s sake. And let’s definitely not think about how many awesome (and not-so-awesome) shows air for years and years (Hello again, The Simpsons and Law & Order! That’s enough, Two and a Half Men.) What up, Mad Men? You’ve still got a decade or two left in you, certainly.
Let’s not think about how my list of favorite shows will go from four to three when Mad Men ends. Let’s not think about the pouting or the sobbing or the wailing or the despondent cookie eating when that happens. Let’s think about all the things I love about my favorite show.
1. Jon Hamm. Sure, he’s Don Draper, the jerky jerkerson cheater cheater pants on fire liar on the show, but he’s soooooo handsome. Does that make me shallow or stupid? I don’t know. Look how handsome.
2. 1960s swank. When I got a load of Don and Megan’s crash pad, I almost had a conniption. All the mid century mod! Everything’s low to the ground, all white carpet and sleek lines that I only see in the home of my dreams. The scenes where Megan is playing house, cooking in the tiny kitchen, made me cry. “Girl, turn off that hot pad! What’re you doing, heating a ham slice and a can of corn? Put on your micromini and make that man take you to Lutèce!” Do people say conniption nowadays?
3. The business. It’s so… business-y. I am terrible at business, but I love that the characters on the show seem to work hard while appearing like they’re not doing anything but sitting around looking crisp and fresh. Closing deals and mergers and making millions never looked so effortless.
4. People are dressed. Mad Men’s wardrobe is eye candy. Even Betty the housewife has gorgeous bathrobes and matching pajama ensembles. I love the fashion on the show, even though it makes me question my own choices. Today I went out in my yoga pants and a white sweatshirt I wore every morning this week AND last, and I wondered where life went wrong. I want mod minis and sweater sets, pencil skirts and pretty dresses every day! And get my nails painted red and my hair set and look pulled together instead of like I found my clothes on the floor of a frat house.
5. John Slattery. His Roger Sterling is the comedic element on this show. This silver fox has nine lives, and he’s always smiling. He is ageless – he looks 50 but acts 15, is drunk and/or high always, and is an insufferable cad, but I look forward to his one-liners each week. Plus he's always, always in a suit.
6. The way they talk. People were still polite in the 1960s, and they are polite to each other on the show, even when they're back-stabbing each other. There’s little name-calling or lashing out. The pursed lips and side-eyes on this show are much more interesting than hearing a litany of curse words any day.
7. The drinking and smoking. So I live in a world that still operates under the illusion that strong drinks and cigarettes are glamorous. Bar carts in offices and an ashtray by the bed are de rigueur on the show and never frowned upon by the characters. Kids are taught to mix drinks and use a Zippo at an early age. Okay, so they had heart attacks in their 30s. Still, try to tell me you didn't want to be them before they hit the floor.
8. The art! These people have money, and they show's all about an ad agency! So the offices and homes are filled with art. I’m too much of a hick to know what they’ve got hanging on the walls, but darn if I don't notice something pretty over there in the corner in every episode.
9. Christina Hendricks. Her corporate ladder-climbing office manager-turned partner Joan Harris is a woman who is out for herself, amibitious and selectively kind. Be sure to stay on her good side or you’ll find yourself sharing an office with the Xerox machine.
10. It’s on Sunday nights. Ah, you think I’m stretching with this one, don’t you? Nope. Sunday nights are my favorite nights for watching TV. It’s because Sundays are typically lazy days, and there’s nothing to do those nights - we’re all tucked in, ready for the week. All but one of my favorite four shows are on Sundays.
And when Mad Men is over, there will only be three. I miss it already. *sniff*
This post inspired by:
Prompt #5: List 10 things you love about your favorite show.