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Monday, July 13, 2009

Going mad for more "Mad Men"

It's kinda silly to think about now. But when Malavika let me borrow Season 1 of "Mad Men" awhile back, I mentioned that the show wasn't quite grabbing me like I expected. This, of course, was after I had raced through the entire season in a span of like, three or four days.

Not grabbing me? Isn't that a little like saying 'Oh, these potato chips aren't really that good' while continuing to wipe crumbs off your face and lick the remaining salt from the bottom of an empty bag?

Anyway, if Season 1 had a misleading quality that, for whatever reason, didn't quite place me in the "Mad Men Fan For Life" club, Season 2 blew that whole notion out of the water.

Ah, Season 2: where, oh where does one begin?

Part of my hesitation with "Mad Men" likely stemmed from the fact that, as a period piece, I didn't find myself particularly drawn to any major plot points in the first season -- at least not until Don Draper's "Carousel" pitch, a scene that should go down as one of the greatest in TV history. That singular moment was the catalyst for Season 2 and officially stripped the show of all its table setting, making me care about the show's principal couple for the first time.

That the abundance of intrigue in Don and Betty's fractured marriage was framed by a backdrop of real life news events and the continued fascination of ad men doing their high-pressure jobs really knocked "Mad Men" out of the park for me.

In particular, I think about how I still tend to side with Don despite his incessant womanizing -- most notably in Season 2 with Jimmy Barrett's wife. I admire Betty for drawing a line in the sand, but still can't empathize fully with someone who acts so child-like.

Also, the development in Joan's storyline (absolutely ghastly, but quite believable) and the continued presence of smarmy Duck Phillips (how could he kick out Chauncey the adorable dog?) always leaves me with plenty of righteous anger. I also admire Peggy's burgeoning maturation, and continue to find myself fascinated, and even downright giddy, by how Pete and Trudy Campbell interact with one another as husband and wife (those two would be hilarious on a reality show).

Just writing a few thoughts off the top of my head has me excited for what promises to be an equally amazing third season. In preparation, I kind of hope I find time to race through the entire series again.

Either way, if you haven't jumped on the "Mad Men" bandwagon, it isn't too late. The Season 2 DVD hits stores tomorrow (Amazon has a generous half-off discount for Seasons 1 and 2) and AMC will also re-run all of Season 2 in marathon form Aug. 10.

The Season 3 premiere of "Mad Men" airs at 9 p.m. Aug. 16 on AMC.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,



Who cares about Chauncey? So what if Duck abandoned him into the streets of Manhattan? Geez!

By Blogger The Rush Blog, At July 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

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