Author Topic: Mad Men ****** +  (Read 1353 times)

Offline gitano1

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Mad Men ****** +
« on: October 02, 2011, 08:30:18 AM »
Unquestionably, television drama has matured. The advent of the miniseries has given rise to series like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Tudors, and other superb multi-season dramatic series. The best so far, in my opinion, is Mad Men, the first four seasons (52 episodes) are available on NetFlix Instant Watch.
The show is set in an Madison Avenue advertising agency in the 1960s when mass advertising took a major jump. The stimulus for this sudden increase in the industry was television which had proliferated throughout the country. TV advertising changed the way companies presented their products to the public. The men who created that advertising were known as “The Mad Men”.
Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, is the creative director for Sterling Cooper, a major player in the industry. Draper is a darkly handsome, highly talented executive who is continuously finding his way into the beds of beautiful women. This despite the fact that he is married to the gorgeous Betty, played by January Jones, with whom he has two beautiful kids and a lovely suburban home.
But Don is only one of the major characters in the drama. There is Peggy Olson, Elizabeth Morse, a young woman who starts at Sterling Cooper as Draper’s secretary, but who is destined for much better things. Joan, played by the Reubenesque and gorgeous Christine Hendricks, is the office manager. Roger Sterling, John Slattery, a partner is the firm, son of one of the founders, the other being Bert Cooper, played by Robert Morse, one of the original two founders. Pete Campbell is played by Vincent Kartheiser.
These are just a few of the most important characters. They are an ensemble cast, no one outshines anyone else. They are all wonderful, and perfectly cast.
Having spent five years in a sales organization and having grown up in New York City during the period of this drama, I can attest to the accuracy of the story and portrayals. This is the pre-Women’s Lib era. The attitudes are almost embarrassing to witness. The snide sexist comments of the young men, the dress styles of the women giving every one sharply pointed breasts, the absurdly small paychecks for women compared to men, and the near impossibility of a woman achieving anything in terms of upward mobility in the ranks are all made very clear. This is not made up. This is the way it was.
Each character has his or her own backstory and each grows to full three dimensionality through the progressive episodes. However, for me, Draper is the most fascinating. He is a remarkably developed character, highly complex, multilayered, and, above all, human. I found him to be one of the most interesting characters I have ever encountered in drama. His unfolding, the peeling away of the layers of his personality over the first four years like the undoing of an onion, is only possible in a multi-season drama, and the ability to watch it unfold in a kind of time lapse which having the first four seasons available to watch at once makes possible, demonstrates the superb quality of the screen writing and the acting and direction of this series.
There are not enough adjectives in the language to fully credit this series. It has rightfully won just about every award available to a television series. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend watching just the first two episodes of the first season. Then see if you can walk away from it.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2011, 08:32:25 AM by gitano1 »
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