PLEASE CLICK TO DONATE TO OUR SITE!!!!
Primetime Show Reviews
Review by Suzanne 5/21/08
Mad Men is a great show that premiered last year on the cable
channel AMC, but I just got around to watching its first season. It was a great
show. First of all, the writing is fabulous. Secondly, they did a great casting
job and the actors are wonderful. And thirdly, the production values are
flawless and accurate with the time period.
The show is set in the early 60's when it was still basically the 50's in most
ways. It is about the men in an advertising firm in New York City, and their
lives with women, minorities, etc. as well as their jobs. It's sort of a soap
opera, but it's also pretty funny. The dialogue is very witty and often caused
me to laugh out loud.
The main character is Don Draper, a real go-getter in advertising who comes up
with great ideas and really sells the campaigns to the various companies that
sell soap, cigarettes, and many other things. He is a very complex character.
One might call him the leading man, but he's very flawed and really, when it
comes down to it, not a very nice person. But he's not what one would call evil,
either. He's a product of his very messed-up upbringing (what we would call
dysfunctional today). He wants to do good but is haunted by his past, which he
also hides from everyone (including his wife). Everyone on this show has some
secrets, but he seems to have the most. One of the things that makes this show
so fun to watch is finding out everyone's secrets. Don's wife, Betty, seems to
have the perfect life, but like Don is not happy. She is unfulfilled and not
taken seriously by anyone in her life. She is just a little "off" sometimes,
which makes you think she might just lose it one day and either take off or
shoot someone. Another of the main cast members is Peggy, who starts the show as
Don's new secretary. She is very naive and wide-eyed, yet she is very smart and
learns fast. Through her we see how all of the people act, especially all of the
sexual harrassment that goes on in the office. Peggy is a very complex
character. She seems just like a nice young woman but reveals layers as the show
progresses. Another great character is Pete, who seems at first like just a bit
of a weasel, yet he also has a kind of scary edge to him.
The best part of the show is seeing how things have changed since then in
society. These characters drink and smoke a lot. People are not treated the same
way as they are not because we are more "enlightened" and more polite. For
instance, parents don't worry as much about their children's safety (no car
seats, they don't care if they put plastic bags over their heads, they smoke
around them, etc.). They ignore people of color, who are mostly there in
subservient jobs as maids, bellhops, elevator operators, etc. Women are only
treated slightly better and are viewed mostly as not-very-bright sex objects.
Everyone was supposed to be happy in their roles in society, but few are in this
show. However, even though there are many negative aspects portrayed in the
show, it is not what I would call a depressing show. It has some moments of
tragedy, but there are plenty of jokes and light-hearted moments to balance it
The characters are very well written and distinct. In the "Making of Mad Men",
the creators of the show talk about how they wanted the show to be very real and
not have characters that acted like, well, TV show characters. The way they act
is unpredictable, just like in real life. They also went to great lengths to
make sure all of the facts, figures, clothing, furniture, everything about that
time period are accurate. Their attention to detail and good writing really
There are so many good actors in the show that it's hard to list them all.
Everyone does a stupendous job and it's clear they are all proud to do their
best in such a well-written and entertaining show. All TV should be this good. I
can't wait for the new season, nor for the DVD!
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page