Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas Don, I Miss You

Don Draper of Mad Men that is, to those of you who haven't had the pleasure of watching this AMC 1960s era soap opera.

Okay, I miss Betty, his wife, a little bit too, but not as much.  She's just a little too cold for me.

Don and Betty are two of the best looking people you would ever expect to see.  They are living Barbie and Ken dolls.  And that is what the writers are trying to convey, I suppose.  Beautiful on the outside, but very flawed underneath the surface. The 1960s was a decade of awakening for many who lived through them.  Mad Men effectively explores the stereotypes, the racism and sexism, the emergence from the naivete of the 1950s. It was a time of very defined roles, yet roles that were questioned. This show gives a snapshot, melodramatic, I grant you,  at times, of this very special, innocent/yet not so innocent era.

I was introduced to this show by The Writer and Sammy when we were in California when I watched the first episode of season three with them.  I was hooked immediately.

When I got back to Orlando I found season one of Mad Men on sale at Best Buy for $7 and I figured that was about 50 cents per episode and totally worth it.  Now would Mr. Tennis like it?  He was iffy the first episode, but by the second installment he was as enthralled as me.  After all, he grew up in that era as well, or was it Joan......

We were like addicts watching 2-3 episodes a night for a week.  Then. It was over. Until....  we found that we could get season 2 via Netflix.  So, we joined. We cut our cable bill practically in half and joined Netflix for $8.99 a month (first two weeks free!) and Don and Betty were delivered to our door, three episodes at a time!  Meanwhile I was furiously recording the third season which was showing this fall on AMC!  It was such a confusing, yet wonderful time.

Needless to say, we finished season 2 as quickly as Netflix could send them to us, we could send them back and then get the next disc from Netflix. I think we did it in two weeks. 

During those first two seasons the women of Mad Men really shone.  The main female characters being Betty, Joan and Peggy-the most fascinating female character in my opinion.  Between the three of them they represented the typical 60s housewife (ok, not so typical), the loyal, taken advantage-of, she's-smarter-than-the-men-she-works-for secretary, AND the young, upstart secretary-who-knows-the-business-better-than-her-male-bosses-and-gets-to-play-ball-with-the-boys-and-wins. 

Anybody who grew up or was a viable adult during the 1960s will get a kick out of this show.  The sets are so authentic as are the wardrobes and character attitudes.  The men are all clad in dark suits and wear hats to the office everyday.
 The women wear their foundation garments with pride.  It is amazing to realize that we, or our mothers dressed that way all day, every day. 
I even have my own Mad Men Artifacts. Although I refer to them as my "Don Draper" items.  One, a chair, (there's a twin in the attic with cardboard Shaq) that graced my father's den.  I refer to it as the 'Don Draper Chair" because he has a similar one in his office on the show.  I'm trying to talk my good friend, CG, who helped me with THE chair into recovering the cushions.  The last time these babies were recovered was the 1970s and they need some help.

I also discovered that I have a "Don Draper" cocktail glass.  It was my parent's and I have used it as a holder for votive candles.  When I saw the show I realized that I, little ole me, had a Don Draper cocktail glass and I was excited as I tend to be.  Although I won't be mixing cocktails before noon, at the office, the way "the boys" on Mad Men do.

So, sometime, if you have a spare hour or two, or a week, check out Mad Men for a really entertaining look at life in the USA in the 1960s.

And Don and Betty, please don't make the kids mix your drinks at this year's Christmas party.


KarenSue said...

Ohh we had that chair and the sofa to match! Not very comfortable as I remember. You have me intrigued. I'm watching this for sure. Can't wait to see the chair done.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We heart Don at Decor to Adore manor! I have watched since season 1. The Fashionista is asking for all the seasons on DVD for the awesome fashions of course. Mr. Decor finally came around this past season and will sheepishly admit he's hooked. :)
I love looking at the fantastic set and being reminded of my grandparents house. Oh and looking at Don. sigh.