The Best There Ever Was

Once in a great while in the human experience one comes along that is so rich and so enjoyable we wish it could be prolonged. Please don’t let it be over, your mind races ahead to possibilities of prolonging the interaction. Frequently we drift along afterwards vainly trying to recreate that panacea of celebrating the glorious mountain top euphoria of Bernard Malamud’s Roy Hobbs (“the best there ever was”.)

I approach each episode of Madmen with that kind of anticipation, will this episode give me that kind of adrenaline rush?…… 0-60 in a 1969 GTO Judge…….whooosh. Madmen is now in it’s 7th season 703 is behind me, I can’t help the feeling of pending doom, not so much for the (almost certain inevitable Dark Knight crash and burn?) but for the already determined conclusion. The director, Matt Weiner, is already shooting the announced concluding episodes, there will be 4 more Sundays this season and 7 next year. Weiner who cut his teeth as a writer for The Sopranos has almost single handedly ushered in the Second Golden Age of TV by bringing back high quality dramatic programming to Cable TV, which of course has had the copy cat effect on Network TV as well as most of the Cable Channels. Beginning with HBO, then AMC, followed by Showtime some of the finest entertainment in decades is available throughout the week. Thank God for DVR’s.

It is difficult to single out the best scenes of Madmen, there are so many to choose from, and so many richly developed characters, but I have selected 2 as representative of everything that separates the show from the pack; dialog, editing, timing, attention to period detail are all on display. I feel like I am in the room, back in the 60’s on Madison Avenue relying on wit and imagination and guts to close the deal. John Hamm has his character down perfectly in the scene, Don Draper is the creative genius behind the Ad Agency, the ticking time bomb waiting to disintegrate Manhattan. But here he makes you weep with the majesty of creative genius.

The second clip reveals Peggy Olson played by Elizabeth Moss metamorphosing from secretary to Ad Man (gender reference intended) much to the delight and chagrin of Roger Sterling Company President, played by John Slattery my favorite sob. She has struggled to play in a mans 60s world but she is learning how to be as ruthless as the rest of them.

These clips are not necessarily the best but they are representative of the shows quality and do not require years of show familiarity to follow.

This weeks show ended with the word Okay……and many of were practically screaming at our TV’s nooooooooooooooo. Then, as usual, the ending music was an authentic piece form the 60’s Jemi Hendrix 6-9. And I thought ohhh okay I get it.