• AMPlus Issue7

Reviewing Mad Men

Keyuri Desai

20th October 2020

Released in the year 2007, this American drama series is a fresh change from the 21st-century sitcoms and is sure to keep one engaged. Created by Mathew Weiner, the series spanned over seven seasons, the last one releasing in 2015. All seasons of Mad Men are currently available on the online streaming platform Amazon Prime Video. The series revolves around the life of the protagonist Don Draper and multiple other supporting characters like Peggy Olsen, Roger Sterling, and Don’s daughter Sally Draper. The series depicts a combination of fiction and real-life events that occurred in the advertising industry in the ‘60s.

A memorable scene from Mad Men (Source: AMC)

Based out of Madison Avenue, Don Draper, a creative director at one of the biggest ad agencies, is introduced as a charming, exceptionally skilled, and well-respected man. Throughout its course, the series uncovers Don’s secrets and explores the life he lived before being ‘Don Draper’ while he lives his complicated American dream. Peggy Olsen, on the other hand, starts as a regular secretary to Don. The subtle yet remarkable development of Peggy is what makes the audience overly attached to her life. The creative revolution of the 60s, integrated with the complex, high profile scandalous lives of the characters, is indeed a thrill to watch. The element that sets this series apart from others set in its time is individual character development, making the audience feel like an integral part of these characters lives as they live through the 60s.

To watch Mad Men in 2020, it almost feels like time travel. The economic excitement of the newly consumerist world, coupled with the creative geniuses portrayed on screen, would make anyone want to pursue a career in advertising post-viewing of Mad Men. Some of the most critical events in this decade, the election and assassination of JFK, the civil rights protests, the assassination of Dr King, the moon landing have all been showcased, giving the series an incredibly realistic flow.

The series goes from women being ridiculed in their place of work to a woman being a partner and eventually starting her advertising firm. Mad Men is an absolute delight for people interested in learning about the dynamic political and socio-cultural atmosphere of the 60s. The series ends on a bittersweet note and is a cultural journey in itself, guaranteed to give the audience a better understanding of and perhaps more compassion for the world we live in.

(Sources: Mad Men, IMDb)

Edited by: Ritish

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