Here is one end of a conversation in my chi-chi condo since we illegally downloaded, I mean, got the DVD box set of the entire first series of Mad Men last week:

"No, dear. I did not come to the United States, fleeing another identity which I am yet to reveal. Nor is the Mercury office filled with whisky, racism and sexually promiscuous 'secretaries.' When I say I am going out to work on a piece late at night, I really am going out to work on a piece. And my being is NOT wracked with a horrible guilt you could never even possibly imagine."

Steve is all like "watch it, watch it," in his column this week. The new show starts Sunday at 10pm on regular AMC. But I'm contemplating sneaking out of the house to watch it on my own. And then, maybe, lying about where I've been. Just so my wife doesn't have to see all these complete and utter bastards repeatedly deny their better selves in favor of, well, shameless debauchery, and start wondering aloud about MY conscience. So yes. A secret watching regime will definitely help things.

It is an awfully good show, though. Isn't it? I think its hook has to do with the idea that most of us like to imagine ourselves with dark and glamorous secrets which, no matter how appalling, might add drama and excitement to our otherwise regular lives. It's why I love Batman, and James Bond. Don Draper is the same deal, only subtler. And because he doesn't have a gun or any gadgets, it's easier to imagine oneself in his duplicitous shoes:

DON DRAPER: Total scumbag...

AMC's website carries interviews with the stars and loads of background material on the show, but I'm resisting. Because I don't want to think of the characters as actors, or the show as anything other than my own private, guilty pleasure. I suppose watching Mad Men is a bit like having an affair, only, not. In which case my wife should be pleased I'm watching it. Or should she? Now I'm over-thinking. Sorry, dear.