Mad Men, a television drama that originally aired on AMC, had a life of seven seasons. The first four seasons of the show each won that year’s Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. This is a feat that only three other shows (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and West Wing) have been able to accomplish since the Emmys’ conception in 1949. The show also holds the record for most Emmy nominations without a win, sitting at 17. Needless to say, this show is hype. A period drama beginning in 1960, the show follows protagonist (anti-hero?) Donald Draper as he wheels and deals in the world of Madison Avenue advertising in Manhattan. In episode one, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” we learn a lot about the character Don Draper. It’s made apparent that he’s got his back against the wall going into a meeting with his agency’s largest client, the non-fictional R. J. Reynolds Tobacco company, owner of the Lucky Strike brand of cigarettes. The audience knows he’s got nothing to present, but when called on in the meeting, he stands up and somehow manages to give one of the greatest pitches in sales history on the fly. You see, Don works best under pressure.
This theme carries on throughout the show, and results in some incredible monologues and amazing sales pitches that are always entertaining. But is this reason enough to sit through seven seasons? Of course not. The show has a diverse group of characters who are all struggling with social issues relevant at the time. Feminism, Racism, Homophobia, and War are all depicted with historical accuracy. Historical events like the assassination of JFK and the Moon Landing weave their way into the world of Mad Men, playing pivotal roles in the series’ plot. This type of story-telling is excellent at showing us areas where we’ve progressed socially quite a bit, and (more importantly) the areas in which we need to continue progressing.
Now, all this being said, Mad Men moves at a slower pace than most, is very dialogue-centric, and its characters are often facing very real-world issues. If you appreciate a good drama and the character-development that follows along with it, then this is the show for you. Be sure to stop in your local Bookmans and we will get you all set up to immerse yourself in the world of Mad Men. Just ask one of our friendly associates to lead you to our television section. I’d like to recommend splurging on the Blu-Rays (it’s worth it as the show is beautifully shot and framed). P.S. It’s even better the second time around!
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