Oh, but it did, Don Draper. It did. And I was there. For an entire week, I was there, and I saw it all unfold. And, I CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD!
Warning: this might be a long review as it concerns a love affair that lasted 52 hours.
• Mad Men (Television Series) (AMC)
• Four seasons (13 episodes each)
• Currently streaming on Netflix.com
• Returns to AMC in March(Season 5)
• Recommended For: Anyone. Period. Everyone should watch it. It is amazing.
The Show: Synopsis from IMDB.com:
A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm’s most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.
Some of you might have noticed that I disappeared last week. About a week before Thanksgiving, I came down with a cold, and was all fired up about it because I had every excuse to read A LOT during my week-long Thanksgiving break. I signed up for the Thankfully Reading Challenge, had TBR books arranged on my coffee table, begging to be picked up, and I was ready to blog every day.
Then, on the eve of my vacation, I decided to take a night off before starting a new book. I turned on the PS3, loaded up the Netflix app, and scanned potential titles to put me down for the evening. Mad Men caught my eye–it was just added to the Netflix streaming library, and I have always been curious about the award-winning series. So, I loaded up “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, the first episode of the series.
I watched seven episodes that night.
I was a goner. I didn’t even consider reading as an option. I was a Maddict.
First, I fell in love with the title sequence. I’m still in love it- typically, I will fast-forward through the opening credits of a series after watching the first episode. Not so with Mad Men–I watch it every time. It is hypnotic and I can’t look away.
Once the story gets started, there is very little I don’t love.
I love the social history I learn from the show. I learn more about what it was like for men and women to work alongside each other in the corporate world. Also, every time Don Draper’s kids are featured in an episode, I can’t help but wonder how similar their childhood is to my mom’s, as she was about the same age as little Bobby Draper during this time period. Also, was life as a housewife as rough for my grandma as it is for Betty Draper?
Another favorite aspect of the show is the portrayal of the advertising business. Every time the men (and Peggy) from Sterling Cooper go into the conference room, I know something magical is going to happen. When the little junior execs file into Don’s office to spitball ideas with him, I get a secret rush at watching their minds work. I love work on this show! In fact, I am usually bummed when Don has to go home (or to the apartment of one of his many girlfriends) because Sterling Cooper is where all the magic happens!
Then, of course, there is the style of Mad Men. If there wasn’t such an amazing plot line to this show, I would probably enjoy watching the show just for the visuals of dresses like this:
or interior design like this:
or a handsome man like this:
But, there is an amazing plot line to this series, which is what compelled me to stay up until 3 in the morning to watch the next episode, only to wake up bright and early at 6 to continue where I left off. I had to watch what would happen next with Don, Peggy, Pete, and even (ugh, she annoys me) Betty.
Speaking of Betty and Pete, they are two of the people that I most love and hate. These kinds of characters might be the main reason I am obsessed with this show. Betty is such a childish woman, but she is surely a product of the times. I can’t stand how much of a brat she can be, and yet I completely sympathize with her because she was dealt a crappy hand. Pete is such a slimeball creep, yet I love him. I hated him in the first season, but then was rooting for him in the following seasons. If Pete’s a major focus in an episode, I know it will be one of my favorites. Plus, Pete always makes colorful exclamations that I get a kick out of, like “Christ on a Cracker!” or “Judas Priest!”.
Of course the epitome of a love/hate character is the Mad Man himself, Don Draper. I don’t understand how I can be so bothered by his extramarital affairs, and yet I love him and want him to be successful in hiding these affairs. I sympathize with him, although he can be such a major jerk. Perhaps, it is leveled out by how soulful he is. He is a very complicated man, and I love him immensely.
No, the main reason that I think I love Don Draper is because of his relationship with Peggy. He never looks at her like another woman he’d like to sleep with. He sees her as an intelligent woman, a woman to respect, and one of the only people he confides in. I love Peggy. She is my absolute favorite character. I want her to win so badly, at both work and in love. All of my favorite episodes of Mad Men involve a Peggy plot line–she fascinates me as a woman, and I almost think that I have learned a lot about what it means to be a woman at work through her plot line.
So, this is supposed to be a review of the show, though it truly just sounds like a fangirl’s online confessions. I do love this series, I could easily watch it all over again and not consider it a waste of time, and I can’t wait until it returns in its fifth season in January. I HIGHLY recommend it. If you have Netflix streaming, I urge you to check it out. You won’t regret it. And you don’t have to do it watch-a-thon style, like I did. Although, you might not be able to help yourself.