Sunday, August 3, 2008
While watching last week's second season premiere of AMC's brilliant advertising soap opera MAD MEN (yes-just because it's well-written, well-acted and looks better than anything ever on TV, there's no denying that it's basically a soap), a subplot involving a television show that many of the characters were all watching at the same time really appealed to the TV geek in me.
The episode was set on Valentine's Day, 1962 and the program in question was A TOUR OF THE WHITE HOUSE WITH MRS. JOHN F KENNEDY. I had never seen this documentary, only clips from it in other docs or movies set in the 1960s. I did recall that I had an old TV GUIDE with Jackie on the cover - promoting a CBS news special called THE WORLD OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY. Right away I thought that these were one and the same. This special aired on Friday, November 30, 1962 - the day after Thanksgiving. I thought to myself - Thanksgiving? Valentine's Day? Could MAD MEN have actually confused the two or made took artistic license with the date and title of the show for dramatic impact?
Well, as I delved further into my massive TV Guide collection, I realized that it was I who was wrong- A TOUR OF THE WHITE HOUSE WITH MRS. JOHN F KENNEDY was in fact a different hour-long news show that aired on CBS and NBC simultaneously! (AMC's blog site claims that it aired on ABC as well, but according to my TV Guide ABC was airing NAKED CITY with guest Jack Klugman! Hmmm....). So, MAD MEN did their homework after all, which just makes me adore the show even more. The attention to detail in set design, props, wardrobe and hairstyle is a lesson for all those in the industry, raising the bar farther than any period piece TV ever imagined. It's a far cry from when LAVERNE & SHIRLEY moved into the 60s with their 80s style feathered hair!
Those wanting see the entire Jackie Kennedy tour can check it out at AMC's blog,which you can visit by clicking on the "MAD MEN gets it right" title above. I also believe it's available on demand on some digital cable services. I wonder how many networks will air A TOUR OF THE WHITE HOUSE WITH MS. MICHELLE OBAMA on Valentine's Day 2010?