The Jet Set Episode of MadMen,
a Fine Specimen of Mid-Century Design
Season 2, episdode 11
actress Laura Ramsey makes a debut as Joy in the episode
The Madmen television series seems a study in American culture at a time when we were collectively trying to reinvent ourselves. It captures design, architecture, home and work values, the struggle of the ever-evolving role of women and men living and working together in our society, and throws it together in one fascinating assembly.
Today, I am excited to highlight my favorite show, the Jet Set episode. Over the holiday weekend, we finished up the entire series on Netflix. While the show ran on television years ago, I only caught glimpses of it then. To watch it season to season in a row, I feel plunked into a world shaped by afternoon cocktails, a world that actually existed in America during the 1960s. It is wonderfully fascinating, and seems true to life with only the bit of exaggeration to keep up enthralled.
The Jet Set episode is a design and architecture aficionado's dream. It serves up prime examples of Mid Century architecture but also peeks at interior design, fashion and the lifestyle during this era. But, in addition to the architecture and design eye candy, the episode allows Don Draper to venture away from his sometimes stilted post as the advertising head showing him in a sort of break down, questioning his life. He meets up with an international group of wealthy Europeans at a hotel bar, not his usual crowd, these folks are a departure from the Madison Avenue set in suits. This is a world he is unfamiliar with-- old European money, bon vivants traveling on a whim, unencumbered by the daily grind of a job. He is invited to a weekend retreat in Palm Springs. During the episode he is noticeably awkward and out of place in this unfamiliar setting, and his normally suave persona is off kilter. An interesting evening ensues.
about the house:
Known as the Frank Sinatra estate in many circles, or the Fox Residence or the Farralone estate in others, the home has a long-history. It is located in a Los Angeles suburban neighborhood, Chatsworth. It was originally designed in 1951 by Architects Pereira and Luckman (they also designed the LA airport). Since then, it has been used as filming for Dreamgirls, Californication, Madmen and other commercials and shows. With a sprawling 10,000 square foot, it has wide-open plan rooms and expansive windows overlooking the pool and patio. Wow, if houses could talk...it is rumored Frank Sinatra rented the house, and Marilyn Monroe stayed in the guest house and spent time with Jack Kennedy there.