One Line Review: “Mad Men gets better with every season!”
Release Date : 19th July 2007
Years Active :- 2007-2015(Season 1-Season 7)
Set in the 1960s, Mad Men perfectly portrays the American culture throughout the series. If there was a list of series which are long and are good from the start till the end, Mad Men would be on the top of that list.
What’s it About?
Let’s start with the key question that will keep you hooked to the end.
Who is Don Draper?
What’s so interesting about this question? The thing is – even Don doesn’t know the answer to it.
The series starts by introducing us to the world of Don Draper. Don is an AD man at a prestigious Ad Agency Sterling Cooper and not only is he charming, competent, and smart, he has an incredible gravity to him.
His colleagues want to be like him and they are also envious of him. Not only is he good at what he does, but he also has the perfect family life with a wife and two sweet little kids.
Don’s biggest flaw is commitment, the other is fear of his past. From outside, he is a perfect man who is the creative head at Sterling Cooper but on the inside he is as fragile as anyone else, probably moreso.
But that doesn’t sound interesting, so what is it about Don Draper that’s so interesting? Keeping the review spoiler-free, we can only saw watch the series and find out!
Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Jon Hamm was meant for this role. We see the confidence and the fear of losing everything through his portrayal. He is the man who saves the day and then he becomes someone who messes up everything.
Matthew Weiner makes sure he achieves everything any American would dream of, and then brings him right to the ground and makes him start all over again.
Characters and Performances
Pete Campbell, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is someone who wants to be Don Draper or rather wants his chair. He is ambitious and ready to do whatever it takes.
Not a likable character right? But as his story moves forward, he grows on us. From a mere shadow and rather a poor shadow of Marketing Mad Men, he grows into a serious character with his own story worth following.
Matthew Weiner has created a perfect character arc of Peggy Olsen. She is someone who starts with nothing and then becomes something remarkable on the show.
Elisabeth Moss makes Peggy Olsen interesting to watch on TV. The relationship between Peggy and Don grows over time from colleagues to good friends.
Peggy’s story shows us how hard it was for women to climb up the ladder of success when patriarchy was acceptable by the society in the ’60s.
Betty played by January Jones is an integral part of the story, at least before she divorces Don and their lives take different paths. Betty has her own issues first with Don then with herself.
We want Don and Betty to be together, but we realize slowly that these two aren’t meant to be. She wants her partner to be loyal which she finds later in Henry Francis. While Don ends up having disturbed personal life after he is involved with anyone, sooner or later.
John Slattery as Roger Sterling is charming. Roger brought Don to Sterling Cooper. John and Roger have a strong relationship and like every relationship, it has its ups and downs. Roger Sterling grows from being just the boss (who inherited his position) to someone who is important to the company.
Joan (Christina Hendricks) is perhaps the strongest character in Mad Men. Though she is a secretary, she wields all the powers in Sterling Cooper. Joan is beautiful, lovely, extremely competent, and handles herself well. Christina plays the role like it was tailor-made for her.
Few other characters of Mad Men
There are many characters that are great on the show, Like Bert Cooper, Ken Cosgrove, Harry Crane. The list goes on as it filled with some memorable performances. Some of them come later into the storyline like Lane Pryce and Megan.
The story is filled with external and internal conflicts. And that is not just for Don but every character in Mad Men. The show is all about the American dream in the ’60s. It shows how deep the roots of racism and patriarchy existed within society.
Matthew Weiner has made a beautiful character arc with some interesting storylines. Each season ends with lots of questions on our mind right until the final season.
The show doesn’t end with showing us the end of every character, but it shows us every character goes on a journey of something.
That journey is leading them to where that is not answered because this is as far as we get to know them and feel what they have become.
There are so many more characters that I wanted to mention but that would have become the bible of a show, it would have been so long. Mad Men is the best series in the Drama genre.
This show is worth your time. You not only see characters making progress, but we also watch them evolve from underneath. The quality of the show doesn’t decrease as it proceeds to the next seasons, it might have a bad episode, but it doesn’t divert from telling the beautiful story of every character on the show. Must Watch.