I came late to the Mad Men party. I never watched a single episode until about four months ago. I was looking for a new show to watch and several friends highly recommended Mad Men. Of course I had heard of it, I knew it was really popular and critically acclaimed. But a show set in the early 1960′s about an ad agency really didn’t appeal to me and that’s all I knew about it. I watched the first episode and thought it was pretty good. By the third episode I was hooked. I made my way through all five seasons in a little over a month!
Mad Men’s central character is Don Draper, a complex man who is an advertising genius with a hidden past. Jon Hamm plays Draper impeccably. He has just enough arrogance and attitude but is still likable. The show is shot in a way that you know it’s a period piece. You immediately notice how almost every character smokes cigarettes, and smokes a lot of them. The drinking is there in abundance. All the ad men at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency have a mini-bar in their office and the libations flow.
Don’s family life is a little less interesting to me but still keeps my attention. Kiernan Shipka plays Don’s daughter Sally and she does an absolutely amazing job. I’m less interested in Don’s wife Betty (played by January Jones) or son. At the ad agency is his real family and Elisabeth Moss is great as Peggy Olsen, who starts as Don’s assistant but soon turns into his protegé. I was a huge fan of Moss in West Wing so I was happy to see her here. The character that kills every scene he is in is Roger Sterling, played by John Slattery. Roger is a supporting character but he has the best lines of the show.
I can’t wait for the next season of Mad Men. The character’s are so well written that you get drawn into their world. It is worthy of being the 7th best TV show of all time.