I decided to continue with these kinds of posts, though it has been a while since I last did one. In these posts, I’m highlighting television that I’ve highly enjoyed and the reasons why. It is the turn of the acclaimed Mad Men this time; a sophisticated and darkly funny look at the high life of advertisers in the 60’s and the personal dilemmas in a changing world. I began Mad Men when it started airing, but due to busy things at the time, I put it off. Now I decided to get back into the show and boy am I glad I did. I’m currently at the end of Season 2 and hooked once more, I can’t wait to see what else transpires.
Here are the three main things that stand out about Mad Men to me
Number One- The authenticity:
Mad Men, especially in terms of visual style and set design is a sight to behold. Everything is so meticulous and captures the 60’s in glamorous but also ironic verve. Authenticity also extends to the themes and social issues the show deals with, such as sexism, racism and infidelity, amid the backdrop of an eventful decade. It’s like every cog in a well made clock has been fashioned perfectly when watching as everything runs so well and it is admirable the way the show doesn’t have to explain everything to people, it gets you to take note of what was going on even if you are unfamiliar with the time period.
Number Two- Character Development:
Mad Men is a real ensemble piece, with the main character being that of the suave ad man Don Draper. He seems to lead the charmed life, but various things under the surface are not at rest. While he is very much the main character, the other people who populate Mad Men’s are just as interesting and in the tradition of great ensembles, everyone is given something to do. What really makes Mad Men work is how well the characters, like Don’s beautiful but deeply unhappy wife Betty and his secretary Peggy, who goes from naive new girl to assertive woman, are drawn. Every character is flawed in some way and rather than rush through their stories, we observe the little nuances of their tales that keep us wanting to know more and more about them. It’s the sign of a great show when you can see the characters changing as it goes on.
Number Three- The acting:
Mad Men is the kind of show that could have fell apart with the wrong actors in the parts. Thankfully, every role is cast with precision and eye for talent. And what talent there is to view. The acting throughout is consistently on point and really bury themselves in the characters. It helps that the scripts are razor sharp too and can go between satire and drama. But what makes Mad Men really have sparkle, is the excellent work of the ensemble cast who play their parts to perfection.
I advise anyone out there who hasn’t seen the show to give it a whirl, you won’t regret it.