This is probably the third time I have seen the pilot and the first time actually really took the time to notice the style and what they were trying to set up. The show moves like a movie, paying attention to every minor detail as well as in the pacing. Like we spoke about in class, I see this show in a class with the Sopronos in the sense that each episode is a part of a 12-13 hour movie.
The attention to detail is amazing. The show is very much a snapshot of the 60’s from the clothing to how the actors physically look. I remember seeing an interview with Christina Hendricks (Joan) and January Jones (Betty, Don’s Wife) where they talked about how the clothing and underwear they use are authentic 60’s braziers and that they are not allowed to go to the gym because neither men nor women were exactly physically fit. While I can’t remember exactly what it is from, I feel like I’ve definitely seen somewhere the seen in the beginning with all of the men walking into the building through the revolving door all in the same suits and hats. The show has a bunch of these 60’s homages which really help you get into the world.
Three scenes that always get me are the final, the scene at the beginning with all the people smoking, and the scene with Peggy at the doctors office. The reason why is because these two for some odd reason make me think that Don is not as bad as you think. With the last scene, you see that he really does love his wife and children despite the fact that he doesn’t wear a wedding band the entire episode, and goes after several women. The smoking scene on the other hand, shows two sides of Don. The side where he knows he is doing his job as an add man, But also the moral side where the look on his face which makes me wonder if he thinks that cigarettes will really kill all of these people, but hey at least “They love smoking”. The scene with Peggy is just scary. First the doctor comes in and lights up a cigarette then gives the old double standard by saying that since Joan is “pretty” and a “fun girl” that it is ok for her to sleep around, but since Peggy is rather homely she best not become a loose girl. As terrible as it is, I really do applaud the writers of Mad Men for not holding back, because if that is how it really was, then there is no reason why they should hold back.