Saturday, August 30, 2008

'Mad Men' cools off, but theme song sizzles

Ratings have consistently decreased after each new episode as the second season premiered a few weeks ago for AMC's "Mad Men." Its inaugural season - critics argued that it was one of the year's best - earned a mind-boggling 20+ Emmy nominations. And because I tend to jump on the bandwagon relatively late with cable programming, I tried watching the second season without so much as a crash course to the characters or even the general synopsis.

To say I was lost would be the understatement of the year. Aside from the amazing theme song, "A Beautiful Mine" by RJD2 (more on that later), the pace was slow and lacked the intensity I have grown accustomed to seeing. Perhaps I'm not the demographic they are aiming for, but I can't see any aspect of the episodes I have watched that would make me want to come back for more.

I know shows like "Mad Men" - period pieces about a certain industry - are normally conducive to modest ratings and thrive exclusively on critics' rave reviews so really this shouldn't be much of a shock. But, with the immense amount of hype this show has received, from dozens and dozens of reputable sources prematurely casting their votes for the series, there has to be some substance there.

One thing I did enjoy was the instrumental track of "A Beautiful Mine." Who knew it was originally a hip-hop song? While I might not the biggest advocate for "Mad Men," music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas found the quintessential song to illustrate the buzzing advertising world of the 1960s.

Download: RJD2 - "A Beautiful Mine" (mp3)

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