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Are You Alone?

Mad Men

The man sits at the bar, smoking. He orders an Old-fashioned. Canadian Club. A beautiful woman approaches and requests a light. “Are you alone?” she asks. He looks up at her, and the shot fades out. Thus ended Season Five of ‘Mad Men’ last year. Tomorrow it returns, and just in time; my mind was almost made into mush by all the Real Housewives programming I’ve had in the interim.

‘Mad Men’ is the best show on television right now. (And I can honestly say that as it’s the only show I’m watching right now.) Apart from its sleek 60′s style and period-piece authenticity, the characters are complex and real enough to resonate today, and never more-so than in the protagonist. Don Draper may be surrounded by beautiful women, powerful men, and all the creative freedom in the world, but he remains almost-heartbreakingly alone. A cigarette and an Old-fashioned will only ever hide that, no more. Too few have the strength and audacity to answer the ‘Are you alone?’ question affirmatively. Those of us who do, well… we need all the smoke we can muster.

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