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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mad Men

I was catching up with a few episodes of Mad Men on Netflix, when SG remarked,'Why is everyone sleeping with someone else in this show?' I failed to convince him there were other elements too- the narrative, the character sketches. I thought to myself: Maybe people were like that in the 1960s. Promiscuous, borderline alcoholics, who smoked like there was no tomorrow. I am no prude but there were certain instances when the 'act' wasn't justified or even necessary.

The protagonist Don Draper is a self-made man, starting from oblivion and reaching an irreplaceable position as the Creative Director in Sterling Cooper and later as a founding Partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Most of the times, he is a confident man who can think on his feet and make the clients eat out of his hand. But his vulnerability is real when he gets competitive with a talented  and unorthodox copywriter Michael Ginsberg.

He is sort of a phony sometimes when he insists on honesty and loyalty from his subordinates, but has no qualms about crossing the lines too many times. There is always a reason: he is not happy enough with what he has. My advice to Don Draper: Stop sleeping around. If you can't find happiness in what you have, you can never find it by chasing other things. Or else it is like a bucket with a leak- the happiness will just flow through, you won't be able to contain it.

TV doesn't dictate the moral code of the society but it should have some responsibility about how it projects an idea/philosophy. (This is why I never watch Indian saas-bahu sagas) An episode is hardly ever viewed for it out-of-context love-making scenes- they have sites for that. I have watched all the seasons of Mad Men so far, and I think I will remember it mostly for the jingles, taglines and presentations at the office (the advertising aspect of it), songs at the end of each episode, and the taste of the glamorous 60s in Madison Avenue when everybody made an effort to look good- a soigné but confused crowd.

More on my favorite characters from the  show later.

Check out this fake ad in the meantime, which says it better.

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