Everybody Loves Blue Screen

Via Movieline, the video of the Mad Men cast and crew taking turns singing “Bye Bye Birdie” (based on the episode where everybody was arguing over and/or imitating Ann-Margret’s star-making performance in the film). Considering that the original number was in front of a blue screen, I still find it surprising that no one’s done a YouTube video superimposing other images behind the young Ann-Margret. But it could be that Ann-Margret alone is so awesome that there’s nothing anyone can add.

By the way, there’s a line in that Mad Men episode that demonstrates what I might call the limits of historical accuracy. After Sal sees A-M, he says “I saw Susan Watson do it on Broadway. She was great, but she didn’t have that.” The line just squeaks by on a historical-accuracy scale, because Susan Watson did play that part on Broadway, and he doesn’t actually say that he saw her do this song — but he seems to imply it, and in fact the song was not in the stage show. That, however, is something only a hard-core Broadway musical geek would care about. So the line stays in, as it should. But I suspect that a number of bits on Mad Men and other realism-minded shows are like that: if you have specific, in-depth knowledge of something they’re talking about, it might ring a little bit false. Which is to say, I’m sure some things on Mad Men that seem very real and accurate to me seem just a little bit “off” to someone who knows these subjects better than I do. Which, as I say, is fine. The point is not to be 100% accurate but to put in as much historical knowledge and as much accuracy as they can.

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