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You're right,the show is over the top. (I was there--born 1943.) If they'd made their points with English understatement they'd have been more effective. There's no need to make a cartoon of the past.

I've watched the show once or twice, and I didn't get that excited by it either. I don't remember the 60's particularly well, but I do know one thing... some married women had jobs back then. How do I know? Cause the day I was born, mom called in sick for work.

PS: If the producers want to shock viewers, there's one scene that was virtually universal on college campuses back then: student part-timers handing out free sample-size cigarette packs to all student-age passersby.

These handouts probably had to be OK'd by some dean, because the handout periods lasted about a week, and there were only a couple of them per semester. I suspect that colleges got paid for granting the privilege. Otherwise it seems to me that there'd have been competitive companies engaged in the practice at the same time.

Roger, that's an interesting tidbit! I'm glad smoking isn't allowed inside buildings on campus anymore. I remember how clean all the common areas seemed after the ban went into effect.

I do look fondly back on the days when beer was handed out for free in the campus parking lot during the first week of fall classes. Molson's also used to provide a certain amount of free beer as the sponsor of the Friday afternoon Engineering b**r bashes. (You couldn't use the word "beer" on the posters, so b**r bashes were all the rage.)

Most of the campus pubs have been replaced by Starbucks now. *sigh*

I was born in 1953 and my wife was born in 1951. I remember the 60's pretty well. Especially being in High School. I remember once thinking that when the year 2000 got here I'd be 47 years old! And that was 10 years ago. Time flies when your having fun.

We watched Mad Men on Sunday nights. It's something we do together. It came on after Dexter (Showtime). The season finale was a week or so ago so Mad Men is over till next year? I record Desperate Housewives and watch Boardwalk Empire (HBO) On Demand the next day. There are a lot of good shows on Sunday night! I really like Boardwalk Empire with Steve Buscemi. He's a really good actor.

Yes, I like watching television! Monday nights I watch the CBS lineup, then Weeds on Showtime. This coming Monday night is the Weeds season finale. Tuesday nights I started watching No Ordinary Family. When "V" comes back on I'll also watch that. Wednesday nights I watch the ABC primetime comedy shows. They are excellent, especially The Middle and Modern Family.

Thursday night I watch The Big Bang, and then turn over to NBC and watch 30 Rock and the Office and Outsourced, and I record Vampire Diaries on the CW and watch it the next day. Friday I watch Medium. On Saturday evening we usually watch a Netflix DVD. It's a big job keeping up with all my favorite shows - but somebodys got to do it! {grin!}

Anyway, your right, Mad Men isn't the best of the Sunday Night shows, but it's a little better than some and not as good as others. But my wife likes it and we like watching it together. I like the shape of Joan's face by the way.

I'm retired and I also try and read at least one chapter a day in one of my "life after death" books. I also spend a lot of time on the computer reading NDE's and looking for holographic universe articles and whatnot. I finished reading Glimpses of Eternity by Dr. Raymond Moody. It's a really good uplifting book - and if you want to read something that will make you feel good I highly recommend it. It's a "keeper" which means I will keep it in my collection instead of trading it in - which will be the fate of that Ken Wilber book I bought used a while ago.

I still watch MM, it's a tad overrated but I'll stay to the bitter end, unless it blatantly jumps the shark.

You'd probably be better off checking out AMC's other critically-acclaimed (crime) drama Breaking Bad, it's a gripping Scarface-esque saga about the gradual transformation of a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher into a (necessarily) ruthless meth kingpin, it's easily one of the best tv programs I've seen in over a decade, top notch stuff.

One other thing, I don't like watching sports on TV, and I don't have any interest in the news whatsoever. For some reason I just don't care who wins what game and I feel the same way about politics. I have been voting for the last 15 or 20 years but I'm thinking about not voting anymore because the truth is that I don't really care anymore. When people try and trap me in political conversations I feel like I'm going to explode.

I especially abhor boxing and wrestling. Whenever I see people fighting it makes me sad and depressed. I wish we could evolve past that. I don't understand why people like it and how they can stand to watch it. When I taught school I told my students that I didn't like watching football and they all thought I was gay. I just laughed and told them that I wasn't gay but my best friend is. We've been friends since college. I told them that being gay is not a choice and that it's no different than having brown eyes or blue eyes and it's neither good nor bad.

"Mad Men is a show written by young people about an era they never knew, and their attitude seems to include a large element of mockery and derision. In almost every scene, I can hear some smug twentysomething or thirtysomething scriptwriter whispering, "Look at these idiots. They didn't know smoking was bad for you. They didn't know liquor can cause health problems. They didn't think women had minds of their own. They didn't know there were gay people in the world. They were so stupid!""

Wow, as a young person who loves Mad Men, can I say that I have never, ever picked up on any smugness or derision in the writing. In fact, amongst my friends who also watch it there's a sense of envy and longing for what seems a far more stylish and simpler time.

One other little tidbit about the 60s, and a potential anachronism trap for MM, is that highlighters weren't common until the end of the decade. If you bought a used college textbook, it was full of underlining (ugh). They weren't invented until 1962, in Japan, and took years to get traction here. Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

I wonder if the people who create "Mad Men" has supposedly gotten the '60s wrong if the media has bungled other time periods. You see, at least we have people from the '60s still around to tell us things didn't work like that back then, - what about times from before where no one from back then are no longer around? Makes you wonder if TV shows or films about the Medieval period or "King Arthur" have bungled big time without anyone really noticing.

"You'd probably be better off checking out AMC's other critically-acclaimed (crime) drama Breaking Bad"

That one's next in my NetFlix queue!

"Makes you wonder if TV shows or films about the Medieval period or 'King Arthur' have bungled big time"

I think you have to take any historical drama with a large grain of salt. The further back in history it goes, the more salt is needed!

When you get to King Arthur, you're really in the realm of legend, since historians still debate whether there was any such person.

BTW, an interesting alternative take on the Middle Ages is found in Michael Crichton's novel "Timeline." It's not his best book, but it incorporates a lot of revisionist historical thinking that I found interesting. The medievals were far from the homogeneous mass of simpleminded peasants they've been made out to be. In some respects - such as the elaborate network of mills they erected throughout Europe - their accomplishments were remarkably sophisticated.

I've never seen the show, but my father actually worked on Madison Avenue in the '60s. One thing that annoyed him was one boss who insisted women couldn't smoke in the office, while men of course could.

WHY THE SHOW SUCKS
When I graduated from high school the word of mouth was:"If you had no talent, skills or intelligence-go into sales." Advertising is the mouthpiece of sales. In other words, if you're too dumb to sell stuff, go into advertising and bullshit about stuff other people are trying to sell. You fatuous, vacuous, pretentious dildo.

Mad Men is the apotheosis of pig syphilis marketed as a rectum sweetner.
Little, ingratiating, bum licking salesmen. Essentially an algae of dead cock penis phlegm, with a faked Viagra powered phallus pump-up into the non-heroic pseudo-Valhalla status of advertising sales and 'earning large.' The show is celebrating the pompous fatuity of 'selling' with ethically dead characters wearing office boy suits and smoking cigarettes. As tho it took brains to sell bananas on E Bay or in a Safeway. Or even more brains to bullshit about it. As if.

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Jesse I agree with you 100%, although I think ad men have to be a little more creative than salesmen, the latter of whom are the most despicable of the lot. By the way, I just have to add, my Dad was in the business end of the deal, responsible for the transactions, not the bullshit part. He had quite a few stories. It was pretty well known for instance that a certain influential magazine sold a lot of ad space on a kind of blackmail. If you didn't advertise with them, well let's just say there'd probably be a not too optimistic article about your company, it might even affect your share price. If you decided to advertise, well let's just say your company's prospects all of a sudden got a lot better.

It is what it is-fiction. I couldn't care less if it doesn't accurately reflect it's time period. What were you expecting, History Channel-esque documentary accuracy? MM doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is-a program about fictional people loosely based on early 1960s NYC ad agency culture. Lighten up-you might start liking the show if you stop expecting it be what it's not.

I like Weeds and Dexter better, and most recently I've started watching Boardwalk Empire with Steve Buscemi and it's also excellent.

I don't have a problem with the fact that "Mad Men" is about ad execs. Actually I find the scenes where Draper improvises a new ad campaign to be the most interesting part of the show. And it's really true that the ad business in the 1960s was considered glamorous and sexy, much more so than today.

Michael,

I've never watched the program, but, since I was born in 1937, I can pretty much confirm your observations about the 1960s. I just mentioned to a friend last week that I didn't know what homosexuality was until my freshman year of college in 1955. My older roommate in my college dorm had to explain it to me. We didn't have a TV until 1954 and so we weren't well "educated" in those days. Our learning was much accelerated during the 60s because of TV.

I cannot recall one person in my neighborhood or associated with my family that had a drinking problem. There must have been drinking problems around, but I didn't see them.

Every time I see the movie "Perdition" with Tom Hanks on the TV schedule, I think about two scenes which clearly were written by young people. The movie took place during the 1930s, but they had Hanks shooting a pistol with a two-hand grip and taking an elevator without an elevator operator. I don't think the two-handed pistol grip came in until the 1960s and the automatic elevator about the same time.

I overdosed on commercial broadcast television years ago, having it watched it from an early age. The last commercial series I watched were those of the waning StarTrek franchise.

Among other disagreeable aspects, I find the advertising unpalatable.

I do watch broadcast television at least once a week, however, using an amplified antenna, a digital-analog converter box, and a disgracefully large and heavy 26" old fashioned CRT TV obtained at a yardsale for $5 before these became nearly worthless as everyone ran out and purchased a flatscreen HDTV.

Given the above, what can I view?

In a word (acronyn, actually): PBS.

This is more than tolerable, except during the all-too-frequent pledge seasons.

PBS often features BBC shows, not just on Mystery and Masterpiece Theatre.

I enjoyed Waking the Dead (this show featured a cold case squad) for a number of seasons.

Currently, I watch Life on Mars every week. (Feel free to look it up if you're curious).

There is a certain ambiguity to the background plot which makes occasional historical anomalies plausible.

Plausible or not, I enjoy the show; I doubt very much I'd care for Mad Men but then I'm not likely to ever watch it.

I think if you kept with the show a little longer, your opinion might change a bit. The early episodes definitely had that "don't we know better now" vibe that you talk about, but I think part of that was the writers just trying to establish the characters and their world. Later episodes have had a lot less of the preening, and more of some of the best character-based drama I've ever seen on television.

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