Jul 09, 2008

is he underestimating?

Chronicle / SFGate TV critic Tim Goodman on the impact of Mad Men's $25 million advertising campaign in advance of Season 2:

Now, to the worry and the inherent challenge of growing the audience: If all the advertising pays off and new fans flock to Season 2 of "Mad Men," what are they going to think when they find a very intelligent, somewhat slow moving, exceptionally shaded character study? In other words, this isn't "The Sopranos." The brilliance of "Mad Men" is that the drama is mostly in the words. Actions are subtle. Many times the interior dialog of a character like Don Draper isn't explained.

Goodman's characterization of the show is right on (see the last bit in my last post), esp. if newcomers don't initially understand the backstory of Draper. (After all, it took most of the first season to explain it.) But is Goodman underestimating the intelligence of the viewing public?

(Or should we be more worried that AMC's spending the $25mm because they've dulled the sharp edges and know season two can attract -- and retain -- a mass audience? And since when does Goodman use The Sopranos as a comparison like that? He's already deserted Tony and the guy's not even in the ground a year?)