Close Up: “Mad Men” Season 5 – Ties, Rings, and Things

They always say: “God is in the Details” and every time there is the opportunity to watch AMC‘s pinnacle of television drama, “Mad Men” we are boldly reminded of this fact! So here goes our “Close Up” of some of the ties, rings, and things the men are wearing this season.

Five episodes into the long awaited fifth season (almost a year and a half!) and Matthew Weiner and his talented team have already lifted the bar, and continue to raise it as the seconds count down on each new episode.

Full of all the racism, sexism, cigarette smoking, adultery, feminism, and homophobia that characterizes the era, Mad Men has made success from context and exploited it against our own. It’s fun to see the evolution of the characters, changing or not changing with the ticking of the clock.

The men of Sterling Cooper Draper Price (Say that three times fast) haven’t much changed, but the evolution is there in their wardrobe. We are beginning to see the times liberating the characters and their style. There is a casualness, a cool that stemmed in America from the Beat movement, and an undeniable pull from the European art flicks of Fellini and the French New Wave.

Speaking of French New Wave, we have the bright return of talented Canadian actress Jessica Paré as Megan, Don’s new 20-something wife. Pare is such a talent; so charismatic, and just strikingly gorgeous. She had her screen debut in Denys Arcand’s “Stardom” where she played a normal Canadian girl who becomes a high fashion supermodel. [FASHION LOVERS WATCH TRAILER]

On the other end of the scale, Betty is still around residing in her “haunted mansion” (a grim corner property definitely rivaling the Gothic grandeur of the house in American Horror Story ) with her politician husband, and three children. With a house that big, it’s no surprise Betty is feeling engulfed by this new marriage.

Everyone is worried about her, mostly because she’s fat.  Compared to the dainty used to be model Grace Kelly look-a-like, this Betty is shocking. It’s really fun to see her like this, though. Count on an Emmy Award for those prosthetics! Absolutely Freaky! My guess is she’ll stay this way for a while.

One of the other delights is definitely Sally Draper. She’s no little girl anymore. She’s in that fantastic age where your mind is opening to different facets of the life that surrounds you. Growing up is hard, and I’m guessing this isn’t going to come naturally to her. Especially between homes, the dynamic between her parents is definitely straining, and she’s managed to pick up some angst and attitude from them on the way.

Vanity Fair‘s James Wolcott made his case for T.V. over the movies of today in a recent article:

As movie theaters switch from film to digital projection, home flat-screens take up a wall, Blu-Ray discs exhume masterpiece-painting volumes of color and intricate detail from popular releases, and the unholy moviegoing experience cries out for human-pest control, cinema has lost its sanctuary allure and aesthetic edge over television, which as a medium has the evolutionary advantage. Movies will never die, not as long as a director like Terrence Malick can make every green blade of grass sway like the first dance of creation, but TV is where the action is, the addictions forged, the dream machine operating on all cylinders. As I write this, the Academy Awards are a few days away, with The Artist the odds-on best-picture winner. Does anyone think The Artist is better than Mad Men?

I guess everyone knows the answer to that… And if this season is any proof, Wolcott is definitely onto something! Mad Men indeed transports you, and the best part is it doesn’t ask you to go any farther than your living room to take a trip through time.

Mad Men is truly such a treat. It is really the perfect dichotomy of performance, writing, and production. After an episode, or entire day, there are definitely a million things you can take away. For a true vintage nut, this latest season of Mad Men is off to a great new start, and it’s hard to get enough!

[End Credits Song from Ep 4. “Mystery Date” – “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” by Gerry Goffin & Carole King]

Until next time,

-The Eye

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