Nostalgia, ad pitches, and New York City

Since I have to be in NYC today… and for a marketing project… this felt apropos.

A friend of mine turned me on to Mad Men a couple of years ago. Season Two was already started when he sent me a few clips of the show… including this one (The Carousel) that hooked me into watching it:

Waiting on Season 5 to Start

The advertising pitch is, of course, very good. Nostalgia resonates, and the characters watching, like us, are moved by it. If you watch the show, you know how complex Don has made his homelife… how the longing to return home to a place where we are loved is both his real wish and something he helps make utterly impossible.

Something you could almost miss, is when he turns to the secretary in the room, and calls her “Sweetheart” as he prompts her to turn down the lights and start the projector.

Shortly after seeing this I had to go find the first season online, and have been watching ever since.

This show is a very interesting period piece, reflecting a time when women were only just accepted in the office setting – with very limited roles available and not even the remotest concept of sexual harassment; the varying ways the women respond to this is fascinating (at least for me) to watch. Smoking is not just permitted but almost expected, and everyone but everyone drinks like a fish.

It’s full of characters that a little too smart and funny and shiny in some ways, but are also real and complex enough to be simultaneously unlikeable and sympathetic, so that we’re often rooting for someone even while we want to give them a good hard shake. Or a hard slap across the face.

There are great commentaries on the show out there (I’m totally not doing it justice at all, but it’s been months since I’ve seen a fresh episode, sorry), and my friend and I tend to rehash episodes together after they air. The seasons so far have ranged from a few  years before to a couple years after I was born. But my friend remembers the surrounding events as seen through the lens of a young boy, so it’s always an interesting sharing of views.

And you know what? It is absolutely freaking ridiculous how long the off-season for this show is.

Anyway, watch Mad Men if you get a chance. The first 4 seasons are online, on AMC or elsewhere. And keep an eye out for it in July. (Omigosh.)

PS: Happy birthday to someone very special who’s 10-years-old today. 😀


About aka gringita
Flotsam generator. Amateur photographer. Avid traveler. Christ follower.

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