The ghosts of 'Mad Men'

The television series 'Mad Men' is one of the most popular of all time, in no small part because of its moral center. It's still memorable becausee it's a meditation on beauty, decline, and the commoditization of our most deeply held beliefs.  At its fictionalized advertising agency, Sterling Cooper, it begins as a man's world, so such abstractions are never discussed outright.   But these unspoken themes are demonstrated in the writing of the show’s creator, Matt Wiener, in his determination to show rather than tell his audience about a strange and supernatural place beyond the slick pitches and shallow patter of the advertising industry.  Virtue exists in Mad Men.  It’s just always slightly out of reach.   And despite the shifting morality of the 1960’s, glimpses of religion, the traditional kind, stubbornly recur throughout the series.  Peggy’s Catholic...(Read Full Post)
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