Mad Men (2007-)
Created and written by Matthew Weiner
Starring Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, and Vincent Kartheiser
Costarring January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Staton, and John Slattery
I'm late coming to the Mad Men party. Nevermind that it's won Golden Globes, been nominated for Emmys, is the most watched show ever on the AMC cable channel, and features one of the hottest actors on the big or small screen: I'm just now seeing the show for the first time. Of course, I don't have cable, so I can't watch cable programs until they come out on DVD. My daughter has been trying to get me to watch Mad Men for quite some time. Likewise I've been trying to get her to watch Boston Legal. Finally, we settled on getting together once a month to share DVDs. First up was Mad Men. We watched a few episodes from Season One, and now my 15-year-old son and I are trying to cram four seasons in before school starts; we are that hooked. As my son says, this show is really addictive.
Mad Men is "a term coined in the late 1950s to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue. They coined it." So begins the cable soap opera, which opens at the dawn of my favorite decade: the 1960s. It's no surprise that the ad execs would promote themselves with such a dashing turn of phrase. Says Roger Sterling, co-owner of Sterling Cooper, the ad agency in which Mad Men is set, ad execs are shameless self-promoters. All of them save our hero Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who keeps his head down where his personal life is concerned and his past well buried. Good thing his talent speaks for him. A veteran of the Korean Conflict, Don is a hard-drinking, smoking philanderer. Oh, and he has a wife and kids in the 'burbs. But despite the glamor in this most prestigious of advertising agencies--or maybe because of it--sexism and racism are rampant. And yet Don's secretary Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) with a little help from Don and a lot of talent manages to rise from lowly secretary to lowly copywriter. She has plans for her life that include a lot more than the traditional marriage and children.
Mad Men: Season One
Mad Men: Season Two
Mad Men: Season Three
Mad Men: Season Four