Tuesday, March 04, 2008


After the end of the Sopranos we have been without a weekend TV ritual in my house.
We've been catching up with 'House' but following the first episode in the UK of 'Madmen' at the weekend I'm hooked.

Set in early 60s Madison Avenue in the glamorous, chain-smoking, sexist (everything-ist, to be fair) heyday of advertising, the story follows damaged Creative Director Dan Draper and 'new girl'Peggy Olsen who is looking to break into the male dominated adland.

The way it blends in snippets of history/Americana/advertising folklore gives the plot extra resonance - Lucky Strike 'It’s toasted' and 'plink plink fizz' to name but two in episode 1.

Theres a temptation to have a snidey laugh - 'look how backward people were' - but I'm sure that theres those in contemporary adland who would happily roll back to those heady days. In fact it's more curious to note how little some things have changed in 50 years!

Personally I look back and think, at least Adland knew how to dress themselves back in '61. Not a blue flannel shirt and chinos in sight. Sharp suits and haircuts for the boys, taffeta, high heels and hairspray for the girls.

As an aside: interestingly ,the US final episode - it finished back in October - ran with no ad breaks.

I've found the torrent, so thats me sorted for tv for the next few weeks anyway.