As an advertising/marketing communications type I was drawn to the AMC series Mad Men because of where the show took place, an advertising agency. The characters are interesting and their backstories compelling. It’s a good drama, like a prime time soap opera. But as a collector and baby boomer, I love the set design.
Men in suits and ties all day long, smoking and ash trays everywhere and furniture that reminds me of when I was growing up in the 1960’s. It’s the set design that connects me to the show more than pitches, client dinners and infidelity.
The old fashioned console, black and white TV’s with rabbit ears instead of cable or satellites. The program even features clips old TV programs, commercials and news casts. I am in baby boom, nostalgia heaven when that show is on.
The show deals with other societal ills of that decade too. The Viet Nam War, assassinations, poor treatment of women and minorities are also part of the subtext. But those are painful memories. So I focus on the costumes, giant cars that were mostly made of steel. I look past the lack of seat belts, deliberate littering, or regard for the environment. After all, I was in elementary school. Those were the adults problems. I just wanted to play kick-ball and watch Batman.
If you do not care for the show, fine. Watch it with the sound off and you can experience a museum like look back at life in the ’60’s. It is the next best thing.