Planet Mad Men -

Planet Mad Men


Mad Men has now officially replaced The Wire as the most footnoted and overanalyzed television show going. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

As usual, The Awl’s Natasha Vargas-Cooper leads the charge with her Footnotes of Mad Men. I don’t think this is her best effort though — the Cheever references were bouncing around the Twitterverse last night, and her report doesn’t add much to that, while neglecting some of the more important themes in the show. Gawker’s usually solid replay of the previous night’s episode hasn’t been posted yet is here, and Slate’s trio of Julia Turner, Michael Agger and John Swansburg have  weighed in starting here. I think Agger’s is the best of the three.

Meanwhile, our own Jamie Weinman argues that the show has become a show about television writing, while over at my other blog, I advance the thesis that last night’s episode marked the turning point in the series, from a show about the alien fifties to one about the all-too-familiar sixties.


Planet Mad Men

  1. Ah, another reason to miss West Wing – it just went about being the best drama on TV while the online commentators were being long-winded about their little Sopranos puppy. So actual talking about West Wing already self-eliminated the hyper-subtext types.

    • I never got into either show. I think I saw three episodes of both those series' combined.

      • West Wing still holds up rather well and is worth a watch, in particular the first, second, and final seasons.

        It's hard to reconcile with ten years' of general incompetence in Washington (people criticized Sorkin for demonising Republicans… they come off all looking like Lincoln compared to the current crop), but compared to Sopranos, it's generally more rewatchable to this day. Mad Men's the first show since to really strike the same sort of chords, but without a distraction, it's getting the heck analyzed out of it by TV writers with too much time on their hands.

        I suppose, if you look at it another way, Breaking Bad is the West Wing equivalent – just as good, if not better, than the more-analyzed show, and more fun to talk about online because it flies more below the radar.

        • i would echo Steph on the WW. I am in midst of rewatching it as week speak (up to Season 5) and it holds up pretty well. there is a little bit of 'too much much, too often' in terms of plot twists and such but even if it is a tad over-heightened i think it generally reinforces just how many items are on the frontburner in the white house all the time. adn martin sheen is just superb in the role. well worth some time.

          • Maybe I'll give it a look. I've been looking for something else to watch, and I have no interest in Lost. Breaking Bad had me for the first season but I let it drop and never really got back into it.