Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ad Men

Maybe I was an ad man in a previous life.

As a small-town kid in this life, I loved the 1960s TV series, Bewitched, with its peek into a Manhattan advertising office and the spillover of work into home life. Two decades later, I liked thirtysomething’s ad-agency scenes, especially with the evil boss Miles Drentell (and despite their mocking of Bewitched). Today, my to-be-read bookshelves include Joshua Ferris’s Chicago-agency novel, Then We Came to the End and Peter Mayle’s nonfiction, Up the Agency.

And four weeks ago, I added a fifth: AMC-TV’s original series, Mad Men. I missed its premiere last summer; I missed its two Golden Globe awards at this year’s strike-abbreviated telecast. But I finally stumbled onto the series late in the replay of Season 1; I watched four episodes and I’m hooked. What’s not to be intrigued about: 1960 with its pervasive sexism, racism, alcohol and cigarettes. The behaviors are so, so wrong, yet they’re our history. Unfortunately, in some places they're still very much our present.

Season 2 begins in primetime in July, but another replay of Season 1 begins with Episode 1 tonight. Check it out and set your recorder for midnight (Eastern time) on Sunday nights on AMC-TV.

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