I rarely get hooked on TV shows. Yes, there are a couple of them that I watch but this one… this one is different. Probably it’s the first TV show I watch so excitingly, the first TV show I enjoy this much and the first TV show which really takes me elsewhere. There’s at least one unique piece that gets stuck in my mind after finishing each episode – a song, a scene in the office, the print of a dress, a drink, a NYC moment… No matter what, that shot stays in my mind until I watch the next episode – which, in most cases, is even better than the previous one.
Mad Men is set in the 1960s, first at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce starting from the 3rd season. The main character of the series is Don Draper, the creative director of the agency, the incorrigible ladies’ man and the American Dream incarnate, the husband of Betty Draper and a father of three. Although he suffers from a masculanity crisis, Don is always impeccable. No tears no blood on his suit. No close ties to other man. What is it that makes him so captivating? He appears to have the world at his feet as the first season begins – a beautiful wife, the perfect 60s house and a job that sees him at the height of his creative powers.
Each 50-minute-or-so episode takes the audience to the 1960s America – the changing moods, social mores and political correctness. I can’t help but wonder: Can people really live such lives? Sexism, racism, status symbols, office politics, four-martini-lunches, misbehavior, cheating, 9-am-bourbons, chain smoking, loveless marriages, loveless affairs, mysteries.. Are men today different at all? Or women for that matter?
Why do I love Mad Men so much? Fashion! Costumes! The big bows, hats with veils, white gloves, the Jackie-O-style swing coats, prints, pencil skirts, high heels, fitted blouses.. Betty Draper reminds me of Grace Kelly with her Hitchcock style blond hair and full skirt dresses. Joan Holloway also so impressive! How perfect can one look be? As for men, so lovely to see them in hats and suits. The drinks! No wine no beer. Real drinks Ladies and Gents – a Brandy Alexander, a Manhattan, the Harpoon, a Bloody Mary, an Old Fashioned, a Gibson Martini, and a Tom Collins. The music! Julie London singing Fly Me to the Moon, Vic Damone crooning On the Street Where You Live, Ella Fitzgerald doing her best to (I’ll Take) Manhattan. The 60s witnessed some great music and Mad Men does the most with it. And.. The Nostalgia! Clothes, cocktails, Madison Avenue – this is the style of the show.
Mad Men is a drama that encompasses so many original themes – and does it with such intelligence. It is funny, entertaining and stylish. Give it a try if you haven’t watched any. If you’re done with Season 4, just sit back and wait for the new season to come. In the meantime, you can go to madmenyourself.com to style yourself on in a chic red dress, gloves and pearls… or else indulge in a coctail.