You know, it seems that as of late, American TV hasn't really had a lot of shows set in past time periods. Off the top of my head I can really only think of a few from the past decade or so: Dr. Quinn (1860s), American Dreams (1960s), That 70s Show (1970s, obviously), Freaks and Geeks (1980s)...what else am I missing? I really like historical dramas (as evidenced by my obsession with the BBC) so when I heard that AMC was doing an original series set in the early 60s, I was pretty excited. And now that I've seen the first episode, I'm even more excited. Summer TV generally has a reputation for being kind of "light" and not necessarily high quality, but this show isn't just good for a summer show, it's just plain good.
Set in an advertising agency in New York City, I think the most fascinating aspect of the show is just how different things were back then, which really even wasn't that long ago. This is a time when everyone smoked and drank, even at work; women were working but part of their duties were to be eye candy for the men; extramarital affairs were almost acceptable. Who knows if that fascination is going to wear off, but thankfully the characters and storylines set up in the first episode look like they're enough to keep the story going. The main character is Don Draper, the creative director, and he's joined by other partners and secretaries in the agency. There aren't any really recognizable faces here, but John Slattery is Roger Sterling, a founder of the firm, and Vincent Kartheiser plays Paul, a junior executive, and is really just as young-looking and creepy as he was playing Connor on Angel.
Am eagerly awaiting upcoming episodes!