Now watching: Mad Men

I’ve tweeting about it quite a bit, so you may know that I’ve been watching quite a bit of Mad Men lately. I mostly watch it on the train, on my laptop and love it. I’m currently on season 3 and it has everything a good show needs: suspense, great decorum, good actors and interesting characters.

The show aired on AMC in the States, and has 4 seasons so far. It mainly entails the story of Donald Draper, creative director at Sterling Cooper: an advertising agency on Madison Avenue in NYC. He has a wife, Betty and (by now) three children: Sally, Bobby & Gene and lives in a suburb just outside Manhattan. He often stays in the city though and meets tons of other women on the way. He has multiple affairs and Betty kicks him out after finding out about one of them.

The best part of the series is the setting: the story starts in 1960 and is very true to the time. This means that current affairs of the time are part of the series such as John F. Kennedy being elected president, the start of the Cuban and Vietnam war, and the civil rights movement by Martin Luther King Jr. Another thing that is typically 60s is the fact that everybody smokes, everywhere: in the car, in the office, during dinner, literally everywhere. And there is no shortage of booze either: people drink all day, every day, even while driving.

Of course, with a story set in the 60s, all you see is very 60s too. From dresses, to type writers, to televisions and washing machines. The series not only show a good part of Don’s professional life, but also his life at home. It is sometimes shocking to see how much was already around, but also how much wasn’t (cordless phones for one). The setting is really what makes the show, so if you’re interested in finding out what the 60s looked like: you should watch this show.

Another great part of the series are the characters: Don Draper, as well as many of the other male characters in the series, are sexist know it alls who really believe that women and African Americans alike should be put in their place continuously. At the same time, you just can’t help but like them. The series shows multiple sides to all of the characters: from loving fathers, to hardlining business men.

The female characters are also quite remarkable: especially Peggy, Joan and Betty all stand out. Peggy is an ambitious girl who makes it from secretary to copywriter. Joan is a redheaded seductress who seems to know life. Betty is Don’s wife who seems to be a bit of a bubblehead at first, but shows her niftier side from time to time as well. It’s quite scary how well you get to ‘know’ the characters and how easy it is to relate to them, despite the gap in time and space.

I’m totally loving this show and I was so late to get on the bandwagon on this one, but it’s definitely worth a watch. They didn’t win a bunch of Emmy Awards for four years in a row because the series is hideous, that’s for sure. Not convinced yet? Here are the season 1 promo trailer and an introduction to Don Draper.

Q: Do you watch Mad Men? Would you like to?

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