Although I’d watched Seinfeld for a few years, it wasn’t until season four when I began to believe Jerry, Elaine and the gang were creating a show that would transcend the sitcom. I felt the same towards basketball watching Jordan drop 63 on the Celtics or the album on my first listen of Dark Side of the Moon.
That’s how I feel watching Mad Men in its fourth season.
The manner in which the writers weave bits of history throughout the story is rewarding and thought provoking. The actors are at their peak and the entire set design and music evokes a mood that lingers past each Sunday evening showing.
We’ve witnessed a number of memorable scenes over the past three seasons such as the carousel or the constant banter between Peggy and Joan.
A few weeks ago I watched a scene of Mad Men that hasn’t left my mind.
Don has decided to jot down his thoughts in a journal. One night he sits at a table looking out the window. There’s basically no dialog except Don’s inner thoughts. Many shows would have forced the show’s star to put something down in his diary. Anything to keep the show moving along.
But not Mad Men. What fills the screen is an awkward silence that every father can relate to. Juggling family and work often leads to moments of reflection – wondering if you’re adequately balancing both commitments. Solutions don’t magically drop into laps. So we sit there alone pondering what’s next.
I’ve experienced many of these nights. While the kids are asleep and Kim is reading from bed, I’m sitting at my computer. With the lights off, only my reflection is visible on the screen. Although the thoughts run wild, they don’t always make it to my fingers.
And I’m left to think on my own.