Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mad Men & Breaking Bad

I normally don't write much about movies or TV shows - and the last time this happened to me was in 2006, when I watched two complete seasons' worth of Battlestar Galactica in a matter of days - but today, PJ and I succeeded in watching the entire first season of the amazing AMC series Mad Men.

To quote from WP, "Set in New York City, Mad Men takes place in the 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City's Madison Avenue. The show centers on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a high-level advertising executive, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.

[Themes covered in Mad Men include] ...cigarette smoking, drinking, sexism, adultery, homophobia, antisemitism, and ethnic and racial bias as examples of how that era [1960s America] was so much different than the present...The main character, Don Draper, observes at one point about Sterling-Cooper, 'This place has more failed artists and intellectuals than the Third Reich.'"

TV is TV, I know, and none of you have time to watch it - do any of us? Well, yeah, I'm guessing yes - that you have some time that you can dedicate to tossing yourself onto a leather couch and, while not shutting off the BlackBerry (gotta keep checking those FaceBook updates), shutting off your mind enough to enjoy an f'ing hilarious program. Some classic Quotes:

Roger Sterling: "Remember, Don...when God closes a door, he opens a dress."

Mr. Menken: "This place reminds me of a czarist ministry. No matter what the decision, you don't feel it was yours."

Don Draper: "Let me ask you something, what do woman want?"
Roger Sterling: "Who cares?"

Continuing with the theme of TV shows, another favorite of mine is Breaking Bad, which returns to AMC for a second season on March 8.

"Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade."

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