‘The Pitch’: Can AMC Find Drama at Real Ad Agencies?

Trailer not quite as stylish as 'Mad Men'

So, who's psyched about The Pitch, the upcoming AMC reality show that follows ad agencies as they pitch new business? Great premise, right? Can't wait for the April 30 premiere? Hell-o? Check out the trailer below for all the high drama—walls of Post-it notes, meticulously detailed whiteboard presentations, and bored, balding white guys plotting strategy. Pretty compelling, huh? The series features agencies like The Ad Store, SK+G, WDCW and McKinney (that's McKinney from Durham, N.C.!) battling it out for assignments from Frangelico, Popchips, Subway and Waste Management (that's Waste Management from Houston, Texas!). The biggest Madison Avenue players demurred when asked to participate, preferring to keep their new-biz secrets secret (whiter boards? balder execs?). Is it fair for me to judge the show based almost entirely on the snippets shown here? You bet your Zou Bisou it is! The trailer's a pitch. Alas, I'm unmoved—and I'm a balding white guy who covers the ad biz! Even industry insiders will probably prefer AMC's other agency show, where existential angst, hormones and fedoras fuel transcendent ad campaigns for titans of '60s commerce. Don Draper's world is compelling because it amplifies and stylizes our salacious notions of what agency life should be like. Mad Men depicts an alternate reality, the kind of familiar but idealized world that agencies have always excelled at projecting, with friendly folks and perfect products giving no hint of the dreary meetings, impenetrable jargon and workplace ennui behind the creative. From what I've seen, The Pitch could almost be set in any flailing industry, even journalism—except we can't afford whiteboards these days.