There’s something about Mad Men that has me captivated. The show delivers an accurate depiction and insight into life in 1960’s America, driven by narratives that follow intriguing and complex characters. Matthew Weiner, creator and writer, has meticulously crafted a story that you actually care about.
The narrative centres around Don Draper, creative director at Sterling Cooper, an advertising agency on Madison Avenue, Manhattan. He’s a leader in his field; his punchy sells that he delivers to clients are one of the highlights of the show for me. He’s also a man of mystery in many ways; he expertly separates his work, home and philandering lives, yet there is much about Don that those close to him have no idea about. At times he is very much an antihero, not that Mad Men needs a hero figure for the show to work. Cast your eye to the picture above and you’ll see some of the other cast members of Mad Men; each of whom has been carefully developed into a believable character, with their own insecurities, flaws and broken pasts.
Delve beneath the excessive smoking, drinking and philandering and you get an honest and real picture of 1960’s America. People die, get married, get divorced, have their toes cut off, lie, cheat and steal. Mad Men does all of this but without the typical TV drama kitschy feel. The way that the show deals with important moments in history (JFK assassination, the Civil Rights Movement amongst others) adds to the feeling that you’re watching something bigger than a TV show but that you’re catching a glimpse of the origins behind the driving forces of change that shook America in the second-half of the 20th century.
Mad Men has been a refreshing change to the comedy shows that I usually watch; sorry Ted, I care about how you met your kids’ mother a whole lot less now.
For a humorous take on how Don Draper reaches decisions, click here. Thanks Oatmeal.