Observations on Mad Men "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
I am practically unspoiled regarding Mad Men and so I thought I would blog my random thoughts regarding each episode as we watch them.
The first episode was promising though I do have a major problem straightaway in that it is going to have to be about more than advertising to maintain my interest past the first few episodes. The problem with Studio 60 was that it was about a sketch show and after three interminable episodes I just could not bring myself to care about the characters agonising over its weekly production (although it was Dave Mason's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" at the end of the third episode that really sealed the deal).
It looked authentic although there perhaps wasn't the right amount of fug that so much smoking would have produced and certainly the stripper looked like her body was all hers.
The closeted gay man was rather laughably overdone: it was so obvious as soon as he produced the drawing of his neighbour. The other executives seemed more realistic and except for a bit of toning down of the overt sexism they could be modern characters.
I hope that Joan (Christina Kendricks) is actually a Saffron like character - subverting from within rather than genuinely believing it all.
I assumed that Peggy was going to be the character we were naturally going to root for. The nice girl who was not going to succumb to the societal norms of the time. Instead she did take creepy Pete into her room after being rejected by Don.
I liked Rachel - mainly because she was the most modern woman in the programme - which brings me to the accusations of misogyny and sexism I do know that Mad Men has been accused of. My first reaction is that I don't think the sexism (misogyny is far too strong a word) and the other isms have been presented in a Life on Mars way which, far too often for me, felt like it relished being as sexist and racist as it could. I think, so far, Mad Men, is trying to show how it was in many workplaces.
Don is intriguing: he already seems well-rounded and I want to know how his relations with the women in his life proceed. I guessed very belatedly that he was married.
Vincent Kartheiser as Pete looks so young and also a bit like Christopher Walken and I hope we are never supposed to like him.
I think Rachel's line about hard it is to be a man may be the most significant line of the series.
I felt a bit uncomfortable watching it because it was so sexist and that made me fiddle with my toes a lot.
As a first episode/pilot, I liked it more than Damages or Heroes or Studio 60 or Ugly Betty or Battlestar Galactica so I am hopeful for the next few programmes. However, I loved the first episode of Pushing Daisies and I eventually gave that up.