Mad Men: Shaken With A Motown Twist

Being Draper-less for a year and a half is no fun, so I’ve been stockpiling martinis to prepare for the hugely anticipated return of Mad Men. Now that it’s finally back on the air, we’re instantly transported back to a familiar world scrubbed clean, littered with white lacquered desks, well-suited 60s ad men, and busty women sporting their cool ciggie-stained angst. Eons ago (last season), our very favorite slick-backed Don had been left hanging, falling face first into the depths of his Brooks Brothers-clad soul. Ah, how the heart yearns to be drenched in whiskey, spiraling downward in a crisp unflappable suit through a message-cluttered sky.

Recently, my colleague, @wavemaven, recommended Pop Culture Pirate, Elisa Kreisinger’s incredible Mad Men remixes. The following remix by @elisakreisinger and @marcfeletti had me downloading and doo-wopping between episodes. Watch how this kicky, choreographed video edits the women of Mad Men into Motown’s “Set Me Free.” It extends the female-centric narrative outside the series, and seals it off in movable boxes, sliding Tetris-like to the tune. For a few brief minutes, “Set Me Free” allows the ladies to escape from under the male gaze and the deafening shadow of Grace Kelly, strenuously taut silhouettes, plastered bangs, ponytails and sadness. It sets them free.

I love how a fab remix like this one can take a well-known show — super well-coiffed and hand-pressed into the public’s pop culture consciousness — and snip it up, shifting the geometry of this background TV theme and bringing the mad women to the forefront via graphic novel-esque box-cutting and song. The video scrambles the source material to bring out new and universal ideas. When I hear the women in Don’s world collectively cry for help, blocked together onscreen, mouthing “You don’t really love me, you just keep me hangin’ on,” I feel as if the backbone of that era has been given a little wiggle room, a loosened ‘do and a beat we can all dance to.