Some will say a Mad Men party is so 2007. People with shorter attention spans might prefer honoring a newer TV show maybe an Orange Is the New Black night where everyone is dressed in female prison garb or a True Detective evening where guests perform their best Matthew McConaughey impression. I applaud the promoters at Bar Stache for having a night saluting what is quite probably the greatest drama to ever air on television.
The venue is aiming to "transport you back in time to where men wore suits and class was at the top of the list. Well, right after bourbon and women of course," according to Stache's site. But as most of you know, Mad Men is more than fashion, it's a small screen phenomenon.
There is only one season left of Mad Men, a show that can be summarized as about an advertising agency in the 1960s. It sounds like a boring concept, and boring is an adjective occasionally thrown at the show by its critics. There is very little soap opera and even fewer cliffhangers, but still, every new episode is a treat to look forward to.
There are no dragons or zombies, murders or incest. Mad Men viewers must settle for sex, drugs, and countless witty rejoinders. But what sets it apart really from all others, besides the best storytelling, is that it's true subject is the human condition, or more specifically about what a consumer culture does to our humanity.
For 85 episodes that run over the course of the 1960s, Mad Men has explored characters in depths very rarely seen before. The show does glamorize advertising and a life revolving around the almighty dollar with its haute fashion, stylish production design, and swinging sixties music. But when you pay close attention, you'll notice the characters with all their wealth and sexual prowess still are unfulfilled. To quote the main character Don Draper, the living embodiment of advertising, "What is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness."
As the show goes on you learn the high powered ad executive Don Draper is not who he seems to be. In one of the first episodes, junior executives wonder if he's Batman. Over seven seasons, we learn Draper's backstory is even more tragic than young Bruce Wayne's. Hardships don't have him aspiring for a heroic life, instead he is willing to work for villains like Richard Nixon and Dow Chemical. The product is not what matters, only the selling of it.
Mad Men though has a quality product in a shiny package of attractive actors, memorable dialogue, and great musical choices. But to most who go out at night, the heavy conversations about existentialism that Mad Men can provoke may not float your boat. That's why it's so great Stache is offering those obsessed with Draper's journey a place to chat, to showcase a whole decade of fashion and plenty of drinking craft cocktails, drooling over the babes of Bourbon Street '60s Burlesque, public smoking, and casual sex to a groovy beat created by DJs LinderSmash and Tonx.
Mad Men the Party. 8 p.m., August 30, at Stache, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit stacheftl.com.
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