Friday, May 15, 2015

A Billboard on the Side of the Road

Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. 
And you know what happiness is?  
Happiness is the smell of a new car.  
It's freedom from fear.
It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams
 reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. 
You are okay. 
- Don Draper

I am not the drawer's sharpest knife.  Never have been.  While I am not sure - on a qualitative level - how good an excuse that is, until Don Yee attempts to offer a better one on my behalf, it shall have to suffice as mine for having ignored Mad Men for the first six and one-half years of its television life.  

Some of my time - over the course of the past six weeks or so - has been spent familiarizing myself with the show.  To that end, I set my DVR to record all of the episodes that I was able to access through A&E "On Demand", which took me back only as far as the beginning of Season Six.  I decided that even if I did not know the complete back story I would likely be able to pick up enough of along the way to make it worth my viewing time.  It was.  I had completed Season Six and the first half of this final season, Season Seven, by the time A&E kicked off its premiere airings of the final episodes of the series. 

Mad Men airs its final new episode on Sunday night.  I had resigned myself to the fact that at some point after its conclusion I was going to have to undertake the process of finding a way to watch it from its beginning.  I simply had not figured out how exactly I was going to attain that objective.  

And then this happened.  I know that in the wake of recent and semi-recent disclosures Rolling Stone is not thought of as a reliable source of information but, for whatever it is worth, this time they got it right.  Although I had not made it home from the office on Wednesday night by the time the Marathon began (What is it with me and marathons, anyway?) - and having only been alerted to its existence by my big sister Evan's Facebook post on the subject - which I read while stopped at a red light on my drive home from the office on Wednesday night - my DVR knew enough to begin at the beginning and recorded "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", the show's very first episode, and has kept on keeping on.  

When will I have the opportunity to sit and watch them - the seventy-plus episodes of the show that I have never seen?  Candidly, I have no idea.  But now I know that if and when I want to view them, I can.  And I intend to do so.  I have really enjoyed the episodes that I have watched so far.  Don Draper is one seriously-flawed human being.  In that respect, he is eerily lifelike for a fictional character.  

I am happy to have finally taken the time to make his acquaintance. 

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Season 1, Episode 1


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