Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mad it!

If you've been following this blog, then you already know the love I have for Mad Men. I'm the first to admit that at least half of the shows I watch on tv, if not moreso, are all about the entertainment factor, about removing myself from reality and just having a laugh...most of my shows are comedies, for the reason that there's too much reality in my life and I need an escape. Even the dramas I love, like Buffy and Angel, are also excellent at bringing the humor.

So, how does a self described comedy whore like myself fall for a show like Mad Men?

Mad Men is not a comedy. Sometimes characters say funny things, but situations are not played for laughs. Characters don't normally crack jokes.

And those shows that I enjoy that don't make me laugh tend toward being action-packed and fast-paced. Mad Men is not one of these shows either.

Mad Men is about the words. It is about the silent moments in between those well chosen words. Mad Men is slow and deliberate and the carefully crafted mise en scene, that is, everything within the frame of every shot. It's about the feelings evoked and the nostalgia and the universal themes being acted out before us.

I've written about this before, so excuse me for the repetition, but in college, I wrote my senior thesis on how television can be considered a modern art form, using an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as an example. I almost consider myself lucky that Mad Men was not on the air back then, as I would have been overwhelmed by the material available to me for my thesis. Because that's what Mad Men is - it's art. There are shows you watch to be scared or to feel good about your own life by making or just to laugh, but Mad Men is a show you watch and then think about and then talk about and then watch again and then analyze. Mad Men is the kind of show you want to dissect and try to understand and that you want to write a thesis paper about.

Yeah, it's sickening. And so very exciting. Shows like Mad Men are what make me fall in love all over again with both writing and television.

Mad Men, tonight, AMC, 10 pm...ya dig? :)

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