I confess. I am completely, whole heartedly, unabashedly on the Mad Men bandwagon. In my defense, I have loved it since season one. A friend's roommate introduced me to it one night. She asked if I watched it and when I said no, she tried to explain what it was all about. To be honest, it sounded awful to me at first. I didn't really care much about some advertising agency in the sixties. She insisted it was great, so when I got to my little hovel, I mean room, back at school, I decided to give it a watch.
The first few minutes of the first episode didn't do much for me. I was kind of bored even though the show was visually stunning. But it was basically about privileged white people in the sixties; how could it not be beautiful with a good cast and costumer, right?
What kept me watching, however, was the accuracy and the alien-ness of the little things. I watched in horror as Betty yelled at Sally for wearing a plastic dry cleaning bag over her head--not for the suffocation danger, but because she had just brought it home and didn't want her cleaning ruined. The Draper kids bounced around the car without seat belts. Sexism was completely normal in the office even though everyone seemed so much more proper and put together. It was fantastic to see a show that didn't glorify the era with too much nostalgia--although, I think there is a lot of that associated with watching the show--and worked with the actual details of the time instead of fiddling with facts and/or requiring too much suspension of disbelief.
So, the details caught my attention, but ultimately I fell in love with the story and its characters.
Unfortunately, I was unable to watch season 3. I moved home after grad school and we didn't have AMC or a good enough ISP for me to download episodes. I resigned myself to avoiding online spoilers--which I did until last Friday--and buying the season when it came out on DVD. Then, I decided to search our satellite guide and much to my surprised I found that we had AMC and I would be able to watch season 4! I spent the weekend reading as many recaps as I could so I would know what happened in season 3.
Season 4 premiered last night and while I felt a little lost with some of the new characters, I loved the episode. It's interesting to see where everyone is in their lives.
This is going to be a stream of consciousness of my reactions: Don and Betty's situation is more depressing than ever. I think Don is having a harder time holding his facade together (helloooo masochism). Betty is icier than ever. That cold shrug she gave after Don asked why Gene wasn't at the house was awful. And her new husband is creepy. Get your own house you lazy bum. What kind of '60s man are you? I hope we get enough seasons to see Sally Draper reach her teens. Her dynamic with Betty will be even more strained with women's lib becoming more popular. Peggy is pretty awesome. I've always loved Pete even though he's totally nuts and I would probably want to take a shower if I met him in real life to wash the "ick" off. It's amazing that a show with so many un-likable people (I've read others calling them all antagonists) is so popular. Oh, and thank you Joan Holloway/Christina Hendricks for making me proud of my "childbearing hips." More Joan. And more Roger "Silver Fox" Sterling. Preferably together.
I did miss some of the characters that didn't appear in this episode. I hope they show up later. I know Mad Men is more of a slow burn, which is what is so appealing about it. I like to re-watch episodes for little clues about people/the story. It's nice to have a show I can do that with. Someone described it as a beautifully produced and written soap opera. I'd agree with that for the most part. Now only if it were on daily so I could get my fix of this side of the sixties.
Thanks to my reunion with Mad Men, I've been spending my evening looking at vintage clothing/hairstyles and old movie stars. I even started reading a bit about how to pull off some vintage styles now. I know it's a lot of work, but I'd love to wear some of those incredible clothes from the 40s, 50s, and early 60s. Garter belts? Stockings with seams? Wiggle dresses? Yes, please. I'm considering trying to pin curl my hair tonight. This should be a hilarious disaster. Down the rabbit hole I go? As a lover of history it's my duty to look at beautiful fashions from the past and drool right?
I'll leave you with a photo of the stunning Sophia Loren. How amazing would it be to look like this for a day?
(If you like vintage style, I highly recommend checking out this forum: The Fedora Lounge. I've been reading page upon page for the past little while. It's very interesting to see people so dedicated to vintage style.)