July 28, 2008

Season Two

Having taken it on the chin a bit from Plett in the comments of my last post, I have to admit that I, too, detest AMC for claiming to be the 'Future of Classic' while it edits the guts out of said beloved 'classic' films.

To wit, I happened to land on The Usual Suspects on AMC late last week. It was the line up scene where each of the suspects has to recite a certain line that I won't reprint here. Suffice it to say, the line was not: 'Hand me the keys you fairy godmother!'

If that's the future of classic, I'll stick with the past of classic. Or whatever.

However, AMC did have the cajones, and the foresight to pick up Mad Men when HBO refused even to get back to Sopranos producer Matthew Weiner when he handed in the pilot script. What sweet justice.

The second season premiered last night, and it was brilliant. Of course the New York times says it best.

The very first time the hero of “Mad Men” appeared on the screen, this ad executive was in a swanky New York bar, smoking and drinking manhattans before heading downtown to look in on his sexy, free-thinking girlfriend — before going home to his wife.

Season 2 puts Don Draper (Jon Hamm) in his undershirt in a doctor’s office, where he is chided for his blood pressure, two-pack-a-day habit, five-drinks-a-day lifestyle and other forms of dissipation.

And a little further down, the distillation of the second season.

“Mad Men,” which returns to AMC on Sunday, distills the moment in the American century when the buoyant certainty that came with winning a war and running the world was beginning to crack.

And just a couple more reasons to love it, and watch it.

“Mad Men” beguiles like a Christmas catalog of all the forbidden vices, especially smoking, drinking and social inequity. Yet the series is more than a period piece. It’s a sleek, hard-boiled drama with a soft, satirical core.

Okay, enough gushing. It's just a tv show.