Thursday, 15 April 2010
Mad Men - the sequel
A little bit of perfection came to an end last night, and Wednesday nights now have a bit fat hole in them.
The third series of Mad Men, the drama set in a 1960s New York advertising agency was outstanding because it took something that was already excellent and made it even better. Everything was great - the writing, the acting, the sets and the clothes..ah, the clothes. The clothes are so completely wonderful that I often have to freeze frame just to drink in the sheer fabulous detail of Betty’s gloves or Trudy’s frothy skirts.
The character development, three series in, is deep and satisfying and but equally important is the social and political commentary on the vast changes rumbling through Sixties America. So ice queen Betty Draper's growing discontent with her life as a housewife is also a subtle reflection of the nascent feminist movement.
I acquired my very own own character in series three, although I don’t know her name. The wife of the English executive sent from London to run the company spoke for anyone who’s ever been a trailing spouse when she described New York: “It’s not London. It’s not even England.”
She bridled when her husband suggested calling a taxi to take her home, because home meant England. And she lit up with joy when she heard that the company was going to be sold - because it meant going back to blighty. My husband couldn’t believe it. ‘it's you! Did you write this?’ he asked.
Most women I know are enthralled by Don Draper, whose many character flaws are mitigated by his unhappy and complicated background and his gorgeous face (mmm, see above. Played by the very talented Jon Hamm). Most men I know are captivated by the lovely Monroe-esque Joanie and dream of liberating her from her deeply unworthy husband.
Anyway, Mad Men series three is over and Mad Men series four is, for us Brits, just a distant speck on the horizon. So today my agent, a fellow Mad Men fanatic, and I have been dreaming up a follow up series, set in the 1980s centred on lovely lisping Sally (or Thally), daughter of Don and Betty.
My predictions go like this:
Don - has a new young wife and triplets. Still philandering on the side. Exhausted.
Betty - gets into feminism in the 70s. Flirts with lesbianism, but by the 80s is a right -wing columnist. Dynamic and scary.
Joan running the business, brilliantly. Divorced three times. No kids but very rich.
Peggy and Pete finally get together and are reunited with their adopted son. Unhappiness all round.
Sally - adorable basket case. Anorexic.
Bobby - artistic loser.
Gene - serial killer.
Any other Mad Men fans like to join in?