20 July 2007

Mad Men

Last night saw Mad Men's premiere on AMC. In tone, cinematic style, and even editing choices - long cuts, long scenes - it feels a bit like a drama of its time, the cusp of the '60s. The story of Madison Ave. ad men - the Mad Men of the title - is deliciously sexist, racist, and true to its time.

Matthew Weiner's writing is crisp and elegant and the cast - led by the excellent Jon Hamm* - shines, though I wish Bryan Batt's character of closeted Salvatore had been written a bit more subtly. Particular standouts for me were Vincent Kartheiser, whom I did not recognize as Connor from his run on Angel, channeling a young Dave Foley (albeit a misogynistic and somewhat sociopathic Dave Foley); Rosemarie DeWitt (whose work in Standoff I called "uninteresting, implausible, and unappealing" proving me a terrible critic) as a free-spirited artist; and the ever-beautiful, ever-effervescent Christina Hendricks playing a vixen composed of equal parts Traci Lords and Tina Louise. My god, that woman's appealing!

All-in-all, a fun hour to fill the summer doldrums. But I guess that's not quite true anymore, is it? There's an awful lot of good summertime tv off the major nets. Maybe as much as during the "regular" season. Anyway, Tivo has a new season pass for Mad Men.

* In a just world, WB would be begging Kevin Smith to dust off his superior script and stalking Jon Hamm's agent to get him to replace that cardboard cutout, Brandon Routh, for the next Superman flick.