Make it simple, but significant
Authenticity, drama, controversy and Matthew Weiner have been the main components in making Mad Men the greatest television shows of all time. It may not be a heaving going show but it has kept the world gripping for 8 years but now it finally came to an end. The 1960’s was a period of great social and international change we had the pill, Kennedy, hippies, free love, the moon landing, racism and the tale of Don Draper and co. Mad Men is captivating, both as drama and as an almost scientific examination of the 60’s. It’s extremely cleverly written, intelligent and in many respects an American period piece. The gently unrolling story lines, the flawed, broken and unhappy characters make for an intriguing mix. There is homophobia here, misogyny and it is eye-gratingly awful to behold, it jars with us and reminds us also I think of how far we have come. It is so good to see quality television with high production values doing so well. Nothing psychic or spooky here, just ordinary flawed people behaving in ordinary flawed way.
What also makes “Mad Men” such a special television show is that we can make our own interpretations of what the show is about and we wouldn’t really be far off. For instance, I believe that the show demonstrates the importance of two simple main ideas. One is temptations becoming addictions and another is the evolution of women’s roles in society. When I say temptations becoming addictions, I’m talking about people doing things they shouldn’t be doing but having trouble resisting and doing it often as a result. Good examples include Don sleeping with countless other women behind his wife’s back and the countless amount of smoking and drinking everyone does in this show. With the evolution of women’s roles, Peggy’s story serves as the ultimate example of that for obvious reasons in that she is more interested in her work rather than her love life.
One of the major reasons why I adore “Mad Men” as much as I do is because of the characters. These characters are not only well developed by the writers and well acted by the performers who bring them to life, these characters also feel like people that exist in real life and I am able to identify with whatever situations that they are going through.Don Draper (John Hamm) was the anti-hero for me, the writers were wise in not making him the antagonistic. While we may not look up to him in season 1, they eventually start to show glimpses of his inner good come season 2. I am absolutely thrilled whenever television shows like this play with the audience’s expectations in that way since it makes the characters more three-dimensional and more real. After all, there are people out there in real life that we meet who we don’t care for at first but we eventually start to respect as we get older.I find the character of Peggy (Elizabeth Olsen) to be particularly strong and well thought out. The writers made Peggy a woman who wasn’t interested in impressing her drooling male co-workers like her other female co-workers might, but instead just wants to make a name for herself in her profession.
Roger Sterling is the man I enjoy the most. I liked how sharp and straight to the point he was, and I loved how calm he always seemed to be regardless of the stress he’s faced with. It’s as if he was subliminally not giving a crap about anything and that having a drink is part of the solution. Let’s talk about the eye candy also known as January Jones and Christina Hendricks. Along with playing smart and likeable characters, Jones and Hendricks look absolutely amazing in this show. Whenever one of them is on screen, my eyes are automatically drawn to them they look that spectacular. When one of the characters said that Betty (January Jones) looks very much like Grace Kelly.With their naturally pretty faces, their great physique, and their colourful dresses, I take great pleasure in seeing them every time they’re on screen. Mad Men will be remembered as one of the all time great television shows. It’s a great historical piece with an insightful analysis of human kind. Along with the shock moments of the lawnmower in the office, Lane and Pete’s fight or Betty killing pigeon’s with a BB Gun. This show will remain with me for the rest of my life and I hope it will with the rest of you.