Laura and I just started watching Mad Men. It’s pretty common practice for us to let a show go at least one or two seasons before watching. That way it has a chance to prove it’s worth investing our limited time into. We don’t often start shows after their fourth year as is the case here, but hey – things happen. Better late to the party with Draper & the gang than not showing up at all.
The first episode of any program is a little awkward. It introduces characters, plots, attempts to summarize what the show is going to be about, sets up the feel and style it will have, and has to do all these things with interesting and captivating writing so you’ll be entertained enough to stick around for more. It doesn’t always work out. Mad Men did a pretty swell job. Show me Draper, show me Sally. Bring in Peggy, bring in Pete. Let me stare at Joan.
A little bit into the pilot, we were introduced to the character of Ken Cosgrove. When this human came onto my television, I found myself staring at him with question in my mind. Who is this fellow, I kept asking myself? At first I thought he was Teddy Sears (the big tall blonde fellow from Torchwood, Raising the Bar, Dollhouse). But he wasn’t. His face was completely recognizable to me, but I couldn’t place him or figure out why. Despite the fact not being able to come up with his identity was driving me mad, I prefer to force my brain synapses to fire and scuffle through the back rooms of my mind before I settle on IMDB and look them up the easy way. Such practice may be like digging a hole with a spoon when you have a shovel, but it increases the sense of accomplishment in the end.
Then I figured it out.
Anyone who watches Mad Men and is familiar with Xbox gaming knows where I’m going here…
He’s f’in Cole Phelps from LA Noire! I’ve never seen anything else he’s done, but that was the thing that made this realization so different and rad.
I spent a lot of hours driving around the streets of L.A. in the 1940s with this guy, thwarting criminals all the way from traffic to homicide and back again. And the fact that I was able to recognize the real-life man (Aaron Staton) after only ever seeing a video game rendering of his person is something that is totally awesome to me. LA Noire’s gameplay puts tremendous focus on facial features and representation, and my experience only proved what a success it was at that. It made me realize really just how far we’ve come with graphics and rendering, and made me even more excited to see how far we’ll be able to go.
Thanks, technology. You’re neat!