True both shows take place in the advertising world but the resemblance stops there. While Mad Men uses the backdrop of advertising to deftly explore characters and an era of change, the modern day Trust Me treats advertising the way a cop show treats a crime or a medical drama treats a patient. The dramatic thrust in Trust Me comes from the campaigns. Sure Mad Men has the campaigns too but that show is much more about what getting or losing a campaign tells us about a character. (The Utz campaign, for example, is much more about Don’s extramarital affair than how to sell potato chips.)
Tom Cavanagh is Conner, an impish copywriter who always comes up with a witty campaign moments before the deadline. His partner is the much more level headed Mason McGuire (Eric McCormack). In tonight’s pilot, Mason is promoted to creative director, a move that cause his friendship with Conner to dramatically shift.
I liked Trust Me even if Tom Cavanagh is basically playing a variation of the character he always plays – fast talking, incorrigible charmer. Eric McCormack is great and does a nice job of making the viewer forget that he played Will Truman for eight seasons. The series is well acted, often funny, and even though the stakes aren’t life and death, it’s still interesting to learn about the world of advertising.