October 17, 2010

Post # 1450: An Open Letter to Matthew Weiner

(Warning: possible spoilers for all four seasons)

Dear Matt,

First, I know I don't blog about Mad Men too often, but quite frankly, I have been really impressed with the show to date. After blitzing through the first three seasons on DVD via Netflix, I've been enjoying the current season, which has been a standout. Since others blog more regularly about Mad Men, the only thing I would be able to do is say, "Me, too". I really enjoy the show for what I see as it's primary theme:    how do you invent (or reinvent) yourself in a constantly shifting period? How do you transcend your nature in a realm where anything goes?

Heady stuff, I know, but I wanted to blog formally to commend you, Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, and the cast and crew on last week's "Blowing Smoke"....and I have to ask: have you been reading my blog?

OK, part of it is that the episode hit on so many levels for me - in fact, it's almost as if this season was focusing on addiction: Don's "handling" his drinking, SCDP's "handling" of Lucky Strike, and a relationship that could be seen as addictive from one of the participants. As a former chemical dependency/tobacco control expert, it hit all of my favorite subjects. When Don posted his ad, although I saw it as a desperation move (and a little bit of grandstanding), part of me really applauded the gutsiness of his move, taking on tobacco in a time when tobacco had much more of a presence in media.

But ultimately, the episode showed why I love Mad Men - it is one of the least predictable shows. Unlike, say, Lost, it doesn't throw its plot curves at you - you see things change subtly, and every episode is a surprise. In fact, I know you have an anti-spoiler policy, but it's one of the few shows you cannot spoil as its happening. It is a well layered, thoughtful, intelligent adult drama that, personally, deserves much more love than it's getting...and yes, it's getting a lot.

So thanks from a fan. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens tonight in the season finale. It may be something that is not pleasant, or unrealistic, or even unsettling...but at the very least, it will be surprising.

And that's what we need more in television - a sense of what's gonna happen next?

Thanks again for all your (and your cast and crew's) hard work.

A devoted Mad Men fan

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