‘Mad Men’ Review

Article by Linda Kimaru
Posted: August 12, 2013  

Mad Men is one of those shows that generated a lot of buzz when it first came out in 2007. Everyone was fascinated by a period drama that was set in the most exciting time in America – the sixties. Even better, it focused on advertising agencies.

We were introduced to fast talking, sharply dressed men who seemed to have either a drink or a cigarette and sometimes both. It was difficult not to fall in love with Mad Men for me. It was like a voyeuristic journey into a time where literally anything was possible. Be warned however, you might pick up a chain smoking and heavy drinking habit as the season progresses. 

While the whole story is about this one particular ad agency and the people who work in it the plot primarily revolves around Don Draper (Jon Hamm). He’s the brilliant creative at the firm who everyone looks up to because he’s the best. Straight away you can tell he’s a man with enough demons. He drinks almost as much as he smokes and hardly ever seems to be in a good mood. Add to that his wife Betty (January Jones) is forever pursing her mouth in disapproval of something or the other and his difficult daughter, it all gets a little depro.

Don’s life is shrouded in mystery. He’s reluctant to talk about his past and when you do get a snippet of it it’s just that-a snippet. But all the flashbacks slowly begin to reveal to the audience just who the man is. It all becomes very murky whether you should love him or pity him. The way I figure it, he always has a scotch in hand so life is pretty good!

Between all the cigarettes and scotch, he happens upon a Peggy Olson (Elizabeth Moss) who starts out as his secretary and eventually becomes a copy writer. Her particular character explores women in the workplace back then and how advertising was a particularly challenging career choice. I mean, the field was dominated by men who spent half their time drinking and cheating on their wives. Well at least that’s how the show puts it across.

The great thing about Mad Men is that because it’s one of those shows that relies extremely heavily on dialogue, it’s well put together. Though, there will be episodes where you will feel as if the story gets slow but in certain cases of character development, it cannot be rushed. You have to trust the writers are slowing something down for a good reason and when it comes full circle, you finally understand.

The show was the creative genius of Matthew Weiner who captures the vibe, fashion, talk and everything in between of the sixties. He’s previously worked on The Sopranos and comedy Becker. Season 6 of Mad Men is now complete and the show has been renewed for a seventh season out next year.


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