LTTP: Mad Men
To be honest, I don’t even remember Mad Men premiering… which probably explains why I hadn’t watched it until semi-recently. I LOVE period television and movies. Most of my favorite shows are either set in the past (North & South), set in the future (Firefly), or both (Doctor Who). You would think that it would have been an obvious pick to tune in to Mad Men every week, just as so many others had. After a little while though, I felt like the show was too far along and that I needed to start from the beginning. Several months ago I noticed that it is on Netflix, so you better believe I binge watched the first six seasons like there was no tomorrow. I don’t regret even a second of it.
This seven season series primarily takes place in New York City and spans basically the entire decade of the 1960s. One might believe at the beginning that the show will be all about the enigmatic advertising executive Donald Draper as the show focuses not only on his work life, but his personal life as well. It truly is an ensemble cast though and as the seasons progress we learn so much about the other characters as well, both professionally and personally.
Picking favorite and least favorite characters is incredibly difficult as almost everyone has been my favorite at one time and on my “shit” list another. With my fairly modern, yet somewhat old fashioned, sensibilities I had to step back a few times during the series to remember that the time period this was set in was one of civic unrest and a time where it was expected for wives to be at home and that husbands were frequently having a little extra on the side. There have been times that I wanted to throttle the character of Pete Campbell and yet other times that I felt incredibly sorry for him. The same can be said for Don, Betty, and Roger Sterling.
As someone with an interest in history and someone who has worked for the museum that tells the story of the JFK assassination, I was incredibly interested in how the showrunners would interject major historical events and milestones and was very impressed with how it was done. The episodes leading up to November 22, 1963 gave an air of foreshadowing, but just enough that you had to know what was going to happen to really acknowledge the impact it would bring.
Basically, the showrunners have done a really fantastic job of submersing the viewer into the decade with costumes, hairstyles, makeup trends, lingo, tie-ins to historical events.
Also, I lied… the only character that hasn’t been on my bad side (at least that I can recall) is Bert Cooper, played by the wonderful and enchanting Robert Morse. He is a personal favorite of mine as Robert Morse famously played J. Pierpont Finch in the movie production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which is also set in a 1960s office setting… I loved everything about it and the fact that AMC chose him as the Head Honcho.
With the addition of the first half of season seven last week to Netflix, I am ready to embrace the final episodes that begin Sunday, April 5. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to cope with having to wait a whole week between episodes!