Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Serenity #226

I spent the afternoon watching season one of Mad Men the Emmy award winning drama (soap?) on AMC. This was my first exposure to it. It came up in my 'you might like' lists on Netflix but I found it at the library.

After the first couple episodes I was unsure as to whether I'd would ever send for season 2. It seemed little more than a night time soap set in the sixties pre-political correctness and thus giving a pretext for a lot of offensive behavior and views. I thought to myself, this is just Desperate Housewives for chauvinist men or shall I say, Desperate Execs.

Something about it reminded me of the Sopranos too. The viciousness, the power gluttony, the deals behind closed doors, the deceit and the greed, the cynicism, the sadness masked by a manic grasping after irrelevancies. Only difference being the use of words rather than guns and fists as the weapon of choice. And I took to the Sopranos after I got past an initial revulsion and grasped the writer's intent.

So when, while researching for this post, I discovered The Mad Men was created by the creators of The Sopranos, I can't say I was surprised. It felt more like learning something I already knew but didn't know I knew.

But by the end of episode six I was beginning to get it. I'm becoming more convinced that it is more than a soap and more than pretext for crudity. There is an important message in it which is ironic since it features the message makers aka the Madison Avenue Ad Men aka the Mad Men.

I believe now that this is an attempt to put a mirror before us as a society. Just as The Sopranos was.

Before I became convinced the story was worth my time and attention, I was already attached to the music and hankering after the soundtrack. It features a lot of original Jazz pieces along side Jazz and pop music from the 1940s.

Another aspect drawing me in was its look. It reminds me of noir. Of, say an old Humphrey Bogart.

I can't get enough of the music. Especially David Carbonara's original pieces.

I adore Carbonara's version of Babylon. I've heard a lot of them over the years. Sung one a number of times at church youth events. But this is my all time favorite version. I've played about fifteen times while preparing this post.

I went looking for it on YouTube specifically as I had just finished watching episode six of season one in which this was featured in the last two minutes in a stage performance that Carbonara himself participated in. The versions on YouTube in which those final scenes--like a music video--featured were all embed disabled. I had almost given up looking when I found this one which is music only with no images.

And last, a recap of the first two seasons. Since I just reached season 1 episode 6 I saw some spoilers in this. But they serve to reinforce my growing inclination to stick with the story.

0 tell me a story:

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