Working hard or hardly working? That is the question we ask every time we see the Mad Men hard “at work”. The show should really be called Mad Women because the women in this show take the cake for being smarter than most of the men. We only wish and dream that we had our own personal bar at the office and that lunch consisted of 3 vodka on the rocks. We long for the days of office cigarettes and scotch for breakfast but in the end it does not make a productive day and we all know it.
If you love the 1960’s and 1970’s than this show is for you. We will admit that before multiple seasons were available we didn’t get too hooked on this show. We actually found the first season to be quite boring and uneventful. Fortunately for everyone, once 5 seasons were on Netflix, we started it over again to really put a solid effort in. We are glad we did because this show ended up being one of the best period pieces we had ever seen!
Mad Men is more like a “slice of life” type of show. This means that everything is set exactly the way it would be in that specific time period. For instance, in the 1960’s, women were seen as vessels for babies, stay at moms and house cleaners. While there is nothing wrong with that life, it was not an option which makes a huge difference. It is much different to choose to be a stay at home mom rather than being forced to stay home.
Women were seen as secretaries or personal maids in these eyes of the “hard working” men. The men just get drunk all day and then shit out some half ass idea by the end of the day and then win awards. Then drink more at the award ceremonies, making the show seems more like the alcohol Olympics rather than an advertisement agency.
Don’t get us wrong, we understand that the way of life in the 1960’s way much much different than today. Even the topic of homosexuality comes up in the show. This is obviously not something people disclosed or discussed back then. But it is interesting to see how life was back then for everyone. Issues like homosexuality, race, religion, gender roles , depression, mental health, body issues and substance abuse are all topics this show tackles throughout the seasons.
Mad Men is more about the psychological development of each of the characters. Anyone who likes to study people or see how they work will love this show. The characters are all so complex and fucked up in the head. It really hits closer to home than people might think. Knowing the innermost secrets and working of each character really makes us put ourselves in their shoes. We feel for each person in different ways and they all make up a beautiful mosaic of fucked up lives.
The show centers on the ad agency called Sterling Cooper, an Advertisement agency in New York City, specifically on Madison Avenue. Men who work in advertising on Madison Avenue starting calling themselves “Mad Men” and the rest is history.
Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, is a womanizing, alcoholic, sometimes abusive asshole. Basically he will fuck any woman who breathes and will drink any liquor available. Basically he is such a mess because of his troubled past and many many insecurities. Draper carries himself with such mystery, swagger and confidence that woman just fawn over him. Making him much more interesting because who doesn’t love a mysterious tall dark and handsome man who is completely broken inside?
Now before we bring down the hammer completely, we will admit Don Draper is thoroughly examined throughout the series. We can understand how and why he does the things he does. But still, Don Draper is a self destructive ass munch. We don’t do spoilers here so we will just have to let you see for yourself. Don’t give up on Draper too early, he will not disappoint you.
Peggy Olson (favorite character alert) is Don Draper’s secretary who gets promoted to write copy for him. Basically she works on advertisements for clients and is “one of the boys” or at least she tries to be. Peggy is inspiring and her character can relate to anyone. She works hard and Don Draper is the only person who really sees her for who and what she really is. The relationship between Don and Peggy is probably our favorite in the show and is the most fun to watch. The second best relationship is between Don Draper and Betty Draper, Don’s wife.
The show has many other characters that we kept up with and loved. Betty Draper, Joan Harris, Meghan Calvet and Roger Sterling are our favorite ones to mention. Actually, we just realized how much we love and miss this show as we are typing about it.
The show is 7 seasons long. The final season was broken up into 7 episodes a year so it took 2 years to finish the final 14 episodes. Each season has 13 episodes with the last season having 14. Each episode is about 45 minutes to an hour long. So the binge will take quite a while but it is worth it. Each season really builds on the other so we recommend 2 seasons before you make a judgement call. We ourselves admitted to you that the first season was boring to us at first. Trust us when we say to give it a shot.
Our biggest warning here is not to get your hopes up. This show is not an epic suspense action/adventure show. Meaning that it is not as dramatic as Lost, or as scandalous as How To Get Away With Murder. There are no huge reveals or secret twists and turns. The Don Draper backstory is the biggest twist and it is not even that far of a reach.
We feel like if you can go into the show knowing it won’t have your heart racing or have you on the edge of your seat, then you can appreciate it for what it is. Don’t get us wrong, there is plenty of drama in the show. It is just different because it is a more realistic view on life in the 1960’s.
It is not as much of a soap opera as most other shows we have reviewed. If anything, this show stands the test of time when it was on air by having multiple actors win Emmy awards for their portrayal of all the fantastic characters. Mad Men is captivating in its own unique way and is a must see for good TV.
4/5 stars for this show and an 8/10 rating for binge worthy success
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