Why I Love ‘Mad Men’

Yay to “Mad Men” for winning another Emmy! I really look forward to Sunday nights. No, I’m not in love with Don Draper, but I’m really in love with his story, and the story as a whole that Matthew Weiner is telling.

Let me count the ways:

  1. This presentation of the 1950s and 1960s seems real to me. We’ve long had romanticized versions of the 1950s. Many of us have parents or relatives who tell stories about the “good ol’ days,” or we’ve all at least read some e-mail quoting George Carlyle about how stand-up all the kids were from back then. We’ve seen “I Love Lucy,” or maybe “Leave it To Beaver” or “My Three Sons.” That era has been romanticized forever because of its postwar country-wide deep sigh of relief. (And, granted, the boom in stylized architecture/ clothing/ appliances/ etc. was truly spectacular.) But here’s the thing: The era was great if you were a white, middle-class man. If you fell into any other category (black, Jewish, poor, homosexual, woman, child, etc.), you were kind of screwed. I think Mad Men is the first time I’ve ever seen that fact portrayed on the screen. And the show takes a person from every “other” category and throws them into the world so we can see how they had to sink or swim. Continue reading

Don Draper and Other Men That Don’t Do It for Me

SO HAPPY that Mad Men is back on.

I know a lot of other women who are happy about it, too, but for another reason. …

The other night, Superman was telling me about a female friend of his at work who announced, after seeing the third episode of Mad Men: “That’s it! I’m leaving my husband for Don Draper!”

I laughed and told him I’d heard this sentiment once or twice myself. I’ve heard it on many of the blogs, often on Twitter, and several times with my own divas over at popculturedivas.

Don Draper — clearly — is a heartthrob. Continue reading

If You Love Mid-Century Modern …

037… you must visit Palm Springs! For Chris’ birthday, we took a quick road trip to P.S. and had an awesome time. Here’s how we experienced the four things I wanted to give him for his birthday:

0211950s tiki culture: We experienced this at our hotel! We stayed at the very-retro Caliente Tropics (at the end of East Palm Canyon Drive), which was originally built in 1964  in classic Polynesian and tiki style (which was very cool and postwar-exotic at the time). The motel-style digs have since been redone and brought into the modern era with things like marble tubs and in-room fridges, but the motor-car-style place still retains its uber-vintage vibe, with tiki torches, bamboo plants, lots of palm trees, and even private cabana “huts” for two. There was a family-friendly pool surrounded by green lawn and barbecues. You half expected some pearl-wearing housewife and a bowling-shirt-clad daddy-o to step out with a tray of grillin’s and Jell-O.

Midcentury-modern architecture. Well, Palm Springs is the epicenter of midcentury-modern everything now. Embracing its roots, which sprung forth in the middle years of the century with the unique “desert modernism,” the town has turned its attention to renovating its modern-movement buildings. The deep overhangs, flat rooflines, great use of glass, and desert landscaping create an environment that looks right out of a vintage postcard. Continue reading

Mad Men Monday: What Did You Think of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’?


Last night’s Mad Men episode was called “My Old Kentucky Home,” and it was one of those “outside the office” episodes that producer Matt Weiner is making popular this season.

What I liked:

  • I liked having another “outside of the office” episode — I like seeing how the characters behave out of the office from time to time, and this one didn’t disappoint. Most of the characters were attending the “soiree” of Roger and his new wife. And even those stuck working for the weekend (Peggy and the Creative team) had a “soiree” of their own, of sorts, as they put on their weekend personalities and smoked a little weed. Meanwhile, Joan threw a dinner party and realized, I think, that her husband might need her more than she needs him.
  • I liked that we saw unexpected “performances” at each of the parties, underscoring the “having different personalities out of the office” concept — Roger singing (although in blackface, singing “My Old Kentucky Home”), a barbershop quartet number from Paul Kinsey from Creative, and then Joan on the accordian. They each gave sort of the same element of suprise you’d get if you suddenly saw your boss performing a tap number at the holiday party. Continue reading

Mad Men Monday: What Did You Think of ‘Love Among the Ruins’?

Last night was Season 03, Episode 02, “Love Among the Ruins.”

As straightforward as Episode 1 seemed last week (pretty much poising everyone on the brink of change), this week’s episode seemed very … hmmm … not so straightforward?

What I liked:

  • (Superman caught this one, and had to point it out to me, but …) I liked that Sterling’s daughter is planning her wedding for November 23, 1963, which will be the day after Kennedy is shot. Superman looked over at me, when they showed the invitation, and said, “Hm. There’ll be a problem with THAT.”
  • I liked that they, once again, tied everyone’s struggles to the current ad campaign. Don comes up with his ad campaigns from what’s going on around him, but sometimes what’s going on around him seems to mimic the campaigns, in very cool twists. This week he was touting, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” Continue reading
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