Created by Matthew Weiner, Mad Men became something of a cultural phenomenon when it aired for seven seasons between 2007 and 2015. Set in a New York advertising agency on Madison Avenue between 1960s and 1970, the time-frame gave the show a wonderful opportunity to include many important touchstones during a time of social, cultural and political upheaval.
The writing of Mad Men is without a doubt its strong suit, and the show’s biggest success was the casting of Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Never has a role been so perfectly suited to an actor. Hamm takes a man 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. That’s not to belittle the work done by the show’s sterling supporting cast (which includes January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery and Jessica Paré (to name but a few).
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.
Why don’t you check it out?