The best thing you’re probably not watching

I may be assuming too much here, but I don’t imagine a whole lot of you, my imaginary readers, are watching AMC’s amazing Mad Men.

You should be.

Set in the misogynist and booze-soaked world of advertising in New York, 1960, it started last summer and ran its first season, and came pretty much out of nowhere. It was one of those shows that you’re not even sure you want to watch in the five minutes before it starts, because you’re worried it might be a little heavy for summer viewing, but not more than 10 minutes in, you’re hooked all over again.

Created by one of the guys responsible for a decent chunk of the Sopranos, I have to say I much prefer this to the Jersey mobsters. Blasphemer, I know, but it’s the truth. Could be something to do with the fact that I work in advertising, and have picked up a love of the era of the show (late 50s-early 60s) by osmosis through Beth, but the show itself shares a great deal of the credit. It’s rich, textured, funny, powerful, and so, so smart. Hell, it opened the era for me to the point that How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is now one of my favourite movies.

The first season built up so well, so gradually, that while the finale was playing, you finally realized how many balls were up in the air, and how masterfully they were being juggled. The clip below, I sent to my boss one time when I was arguing a point about how we needed to focus on a new viewpoint for one of our, shall we say more staid, clients. It may not make much sense to you out of context, except to know that Don, the dude making the speech, is in the midst of a family crisis (to put it mildly without spoiling), and that it is some of the finest writing you’ll see on TV in the past few years.

Season 2 starts at the end of the month, on AMC, while reruns have been on CTV for the past few weeks, and the CTV site has episodes streaming for everyone else to catch up. Or just go buy the DVD. It’s in a wicked cool Zippo case.

Either way, the only person I know besides us who is watching it is Dart, and everyone needs to be. So g’wan son, check it.

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