And its still one of the best shows on television … something of a low bar, I know, but this is definitely appointment television.
The good news is, with the DVR, I can keep the appointment at my convenience.
There is something about the detail that really transports the viewer back to the mid 1960’s. If you’ve read anything about the show before, or if you’ve watched, you already know this.
But I think what I like best about Mad Men is that it’s not as predictable as most of the other shows on the box these days. As dramas go, it’s got some surprises. On a lot of dramas these days, you can practically recite the dialog before the actors say their lines. Situation comedies? Fuggedahboudit. The “jokes”, if you can call them that, are way past lame. I can’t recall the last time I actually watched a sitcom.
But Mad Men is done in a way that keeps you guessing. The season premier episode opened with Don Draper reliving the circumstances of his own birth, and his mother dying in the process. The characters are complex, the story lines are just convoluted enough to keep you guessing, and some of it is more than a touch on the surreal side.
There are several good shows that are back. As good and complex as Mad Men is, Eureka on SyFy (somebody please tell me why they re-branded SciFi) is campy and superficial with predictable storylines and characters that are as transparent as the Caribbean Sea … and I really enjoy it anyway. I’m not sure why it is that I like two such widely disparate shows, but there you have it. I’m wondering if I’d been in on the pitch meeting for “Eureka” if I’d have green-lighted it. “You see, there’s this little town where all kinds of secret government research is done, and the sheriff of the town is this good natured but “normal” guy who solves the towns highly technical problems with good humor and common sense”.
Yeah, me either, and it’s sometimes that bad, but I really enjoy it anyway. Call it a guilty pleasure.
And my other weekly mind candy is “Entourage” on HBO. It’s in it’s final season, and that’s probably OK, but it’s been a lot of fun. The characters are at least approachable, they allow you to care about them, and while 99% of us will every have a chance to live that life … to pull up at college and leave the top down on the Lamborghini while you go to class.
So Mad Men, Eureka, and Entourage for summer TV. Not so bad, and all recorded for me to watch when it works for me. Have any guilty pleasures?
Of course you do.