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Follow Friday: It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

For this week's Follow Friday, my first inclination was to talk about Harry Potter.'s time for THE END. Then I changed my mind because if you're not already a fan of Harry at this point, I have 3 things to say:

1. What planet have you been living on for the past decade?
2. What's wrong with you?
3. If you haven't become a fan by now, there is no hope. Unless you're under the age of 10.

So...moving on.

The Emmy nominations were announced to day and I am beyond excited that my favorite TV show, Mad Men, has received 19 nominations! If you haven't checked out this show, now is your chance to catch up on 4 seasons of fabulous television. All 4 seasons are currently available on DVD. In addition, you can catch selected reruns on AMC or on many OnDemand cable systems. It's also available on iTunes.

Season 5 should have started this month but some contract negotiations delayed the plans for the upcoming season. We'll get more Mad Men sometime around February, 2012 so start watching now so you can be ready.

People who have never seen the show often ask me, "What's so great about it?" so here are some of my reasons why Mad Men is Emmy worthy:

In terms of casting, it's an amazing ensemble. Probably the best known actors when the show started were John Slattery (for his bit roles on Desperate Housewives and other TV shows) and Elisabeth Moss (AKA President Bartlett's daughter on West Wing).  Many of the show's stars have now become famous in their own right and they are all spectacular. The storylines are amazing but it's the actors who really bring those stories to life. 
Me...The Mad Men version

The accuracy of the set design and background history is fascinating. The fashion is amazing. The show's storyline runs with the real events of history in mind. Through the eyes of the characters, we've experienced the Kennedy/Nixon election, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Kennedy assassination, civil rights issues, MLK's I Have a Dream speech, Bob Dylan, the Beat Generation, and the early effects of the Vietnam War.  After each episode, I frequently find myself running to websites like Mad Men Unbuttoned that dissects the various pop culture and historic references found in each episode. 

It's also interesting to see how things such as gender roles, the role of the media, workplace interactions, and other hot button issues are treated in the framework of the 1960s. Sometimes I watch the show and think, "Was it really like that?" It's hard to believe that some of our thinking has changed so drastically in forty years. 

Trust me when I say that after a few episodes of Mad Men, you will never look at a print or TV advertisement the same way again. I'm always looking at ads thinking "What would Don Draper have to say about that?"
Speaking of Don Draper...if you need only one reason to watch this show, Don is enough. He's handsome and eloquent, but it's more than that. He smokes. He drinks. He cheats on his wife. Frequently. And you still find yourself rooting for him at every turn. He's a man with a mysterious past who has managed to work his way into a very charmed life. As Peggy Olson said to him in one episode, "You have everything...and so much of it." Sometimes he doesn't seem to appreciate his success. Other times he battles inner demons. He's one the most interesting fictional characters I've ever come across. 

So there it is. Mad Men. Watch it. You'll love it. The End. 

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