It’s a tough call between Community and Mad Men when I’m trying to pick my favorite on-air show. I don’t have to compare them too much because they couldn’t be more different, but if I really had to pick, it would be Mad Men.
Unfortunately, negotiations pushed Mad Men‘s season five premiere all the way back to January. It will have been a year and a half since I saw a new episode of the show. It is smart, intriguing, beautifully acted, and doesn’t gloss over the nastier parts of history. I also see it as one of the best things on TV for women.
As fall looms nearer, we will start noticing pushes for brand new TV shows. September and October are critical months for those new shows–getting the cut mid-season is just one episode of bad ratings away. There are quite a few–both dramas and comedies–that I’m semi-curious to see.
Two of the dramas, however, are ripping shamelessly from my favorite. Their thought processes make sense–Mad Men is everywhere. Clothing stores have lines inspired by the show, magazines feature the cast on their covers, and everyone has an opinion on how the show is tackling issues from the 60s.
Take a look at ABC and NBC’s respective attempts to board the Mad Men train:
I’m a sucker for a good trailer. More often that not I’m disappointed by the real thing. If I had to guess which of these two shows was going to be better, I would have to say Pan Am, mostly because I respect Christina Ricci.
Regardless, I will say that I don’t think either of these two shows are going to be able to cash in on Mad Men’s success. Why try to compete with a show that is doing all the right things? At best, you match it, but people never take it quite as seriously because it’s a rip-off. More likely, however, is that it won’t be as good, and it will be easy to see why when Mad Men is right there for critics to compare.
I wish these shows the best of luck. I might even tune in. I don’t see them ending well though.