here's no question that Mad Men is a TV show with style, said said Roger Catlin in The Hartford Courant. But that's not really what created the tremendous buzz ahead of the just-launched third season of AMC's drama about Madison Avenue's 1960s heyday. "What makes it the best series on TV is its insight and storytelling restraint, its insistence to treat its audience as wise knowledgeable fans of story and character." (watch the Mad Men season 3 trailer)
The "meticulous set decor" in Mad Men, said Chantal Lamers in the San Francisco Chronicle, "is almost as captivating as the story line. By paying attention to every detail, the show's look takes viewers back to "early 1960s New York, when around-the-clock cocktails, tie-neck blouses, and tapered-leg furnishings were mainstream."
It's all very charming, said Ramin Setoodeh in Newsweek, but, judging from the season 3 premiere, some viewers will be turned off by the show's relentlessly "glacial pace." It's cool, but so little actually happens in the offices of Sterling Cooper, that you are left wondering whether "the story will ever kick into high gear." This is "television as an old-fashioned courtship: true love waits."
Mad Men is certainly "anthropological time travel," said Timothy Egan in The New York Times. It lets viewers visit "a world where doctors smoke, sexual harassment is a hoot, and it is never too early for an office drink because it’s always noon somewhere." Here an executive's daughter asks her father's colleague whether his African-American girlfriend is his maid, and a gay executive marries a woman rather than commiting career suicide by coming out. The wonderful thing about Mad Men is that it's a "a startling reminder of just how distant the near past really is."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Texas has been holding this man hostage for 12,600 days
- Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christians
- 10 things you need to know today: April 17, 2014
- The 6-year-old who woke up from a coma with a different personality
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
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