I’m not too sure what to think after watching the pilot of Mad Men. Personally, the costumes were well put together and the overall 1950’s? look really made the show stand out. However, the writing was awful.
I read both articles on the first episode and I’d have to agree with the reviews from The Washington Post. Intentionally, author Tom Shales didn’t flat out say that if you enjoyed the episode, you’re stupid, but essentially, that’s what he meant.
The Washington Post doesn’t necessarily flat out say that the pilot was awful and that no one should watch it. However, by the choice of Mr. Shales’ language, it infers the writing was boring and slow and not enjoyable, especially for a first episode. He writes, “the stories unfold in a dry, drab way and the pacing is desultory”. The story was slow and the plot went nowhere within the hour. Shows, especially pilots, are supposed to be compelling and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, I heard more about how cigarettes were bad for you than I saw Mr. Draper take any action to change it.
After watching this pilot, the only plot I can really see continuing on is the affair between Miss Olsen and Pete. Otherwise, the story seems wrapped up with the relationship mended with Miss Siff and the Lucky Strike clients pleased with Mr. Draper’s “It’s Toasted!” pitch.
Anyway, The Washington Post made it very clear that this pilot was not of any high-brow material stating, “the people in and around them spoil the show, gum up the works and shatter veracity”. The setting and scenery are too forced and it seems that Mad Men is shooting for the “Best Scenery” award rather than “Best Performance”.
The way the Mr. Shales presented his thoughts made it seem that if you liked it, you were fully accepting what you saw for face value and did not look any deeper into the actual show itself. If I heard someone tell me that, I would be quiet upset. Essentially, Mr. Shales was bad mouthing the show while also bad mouthing the audience that accepted it.