By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 21, 2010 at 8:50AM
I know there are other things I should have been doing this weekend, like tracking down new indies at LAFF, finishing my taxes, viewing some of the screeners piled on my coffee table, or catching up with my backlog of unwritten posts. But I did watch the last four episodes of Mad Men season three--partly because the Emmy nominations are coming up July 31 (will the show beat last year's 16 noms and two wins, including best drama?). But also because season four is looming. And I am looking forward to seeing the next installment of Mad Men (debuting on July 25 on AMC) almost as much as Chris Nolan's Inception.
Why is Mad Men so alluring? Part of the fascination is that it's a detailed cultural portrait of Manhattan in the years after my father and mother moved there in their 20s. They were Ivy League-educated and attractive and thought they held the world by the tail. My father was a social, jazz-loving, hard-drinking, Kool-smoking man who loved women; my mother was pregnant with me before she graduated from college, and gave birth to my brother three years later. My clueless parents broke up within five years--and decades later, each succumbed to smoking-related cancer. It was the period.
Judging from the photos on the jump, I suspect the show jumps ahead a few years from the end of the last episode.