Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men became a cultural phenomenon and it’s easy to see why. It’s stylish, well acted and exquisitely written. Mad Men, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, is quite simply the greatest television show ever produced.
This first half of the seventh and final series of Man Men includes all of the show’s key elements that have made the it a success, giving fans the opportunity to once again immerse themselves in the world of yesteryear, while also wondering how it’s going to end.
Set in the 1960s, the Weiner’s show follows the trials and tribulations of a New York advertising agency. The through-line of the show is how the world changed during this time of social, cultural and political upheaval. This has given Mad Men the wonderful opportunity to include many important touchstones from the time to add a historical dimension to the show, making it not only a strong television drama, but also something of a learning tool.
The writing of Mad Men is without a doubt it’s strong suit, and it’s biggest success has always been in the casting of Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Never has a role been so perfectly suited to an actor. Hamm takes a character with incredible personal flaws and makes him not only palatable, but oddly heroic. It’s a career defining role for Hamm, and one which he’ll never be embarrassed about. The word iconic is often bandied about with little or no understanding of its usage, but iconic is a word that should not only be applied to Hamm’s Don Draper, but to the show as a whole.
The world of Mad Men reeks of class, from the fashion to the set design and musical choices. This is a show that is filled not only with rich textures and layers delivering wonderful character development, but also one where the plot is key. Weiner has always taken his time in unspooling the show’s plot, never rushing things along. It’s clear that he has always had a game-plan which will pay-off in this final series. It’s a show with few faults (if any) and its continued quality is a rare thing indeed. Weiner could potentially have drawn this out for a few more seasons, but it’s obvious that he wanted to end the show on his own terms.
Mad Men is television as its best. This is a show which has always focused on what it feels important, offering viewers well drawn characters and finely plotted story-lines.
Commentaries and documentaries galore, Mad Men even keeps the quality high on the extras department.