Mad Men TV Series Primer

This popular American drama series was developed by AMC and made its debut back in July 2007. Since then, it has been hailed as one of the best cable shows of all time, and has earned endless praise and awards. Set in the 1960s, “Mad Men” is focused on the lives of the ruthlessly competitive employees of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency, the backdrop to the compelling and ego-driven art of making the sale. As such, it follows the life and times of ladies man and hardnosed creative director Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the TV series Mad Men.
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Mad Men TV Series Primer

“People want to be told what to do so badly, that they’ll listen to anyone.” Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be exploring Mad Men.

This American drama series was developed by AMC and debuted in July 2007. Since its debut, has been hailed as one of the best cable shows of all time, and has earned endless praise and awards. This includes an Emmy win for Outstanding Drama Series, making it the first ever basic cable show to be honored with that distinction.

Set in the 1960s, “Mad Men” is focused on the lives of the ruthlessly competitive employees of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency; which in later seasons becomes Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

That backdrop plays host to the compelling and ego-driven art of making the sale, as depicted through the life and times of ladies man and hardnosed creative director Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm.

Draper is an over-confident and self-centered strategist who skillfully markets the American dream by framing it as something that can be found in his clients’ products.

As the series opens, Don Draper is portrayed as the man who has it all: a beautiful ex-model wife, the perfect home and a high-paying job suited to his talents. Along the way, Draper’s underhanded domination of the boardroom and the bedroom has been complicated by his struggle with hypocrisy and his ever-growing lust for power.

Over the course of the series, Draper wrestles to adapt to changing times as well as evolving societal norms, and fights as eager young executives rise to challenge his position.

Filled with subtext “Mad Men” excels at continuously teasing viewers with the secrets of Draper’s past, and succeeds at portraying him as a man capable of extreme action – both good and bad.

Very rarely can one character steal the show and keep it this interesting, but “Mad Men” and Don Draper achieve this. At the same time, the show incorporates a strong cast of supporting characters from all walks of life, including executives, secretaries, typists and mothers.

Chief among these characters are secretary-turned-copyrighter Peggy Olson, who also stands as a symbol for strong women, ambitious account exec Pete Campbell, and – of course – the morally bankrupt Roger Sterling, who is blessed with some of the show’s best lines.

What is especially notable about “Mad Men” is its authentic presentation of the decade in which it is set. Cigarettes are advertised as a healthy product, and lipstick is sold as a way for women to win their man. It likewise nails the era’s clothing, hairstyle, décor, technology and current events, and this makes the show one of the most authentic experiences to ever grace the small screen.

“Mad Men” is character driven rather than story driven, and it constantly hits the high notes with humor, seriousness and just a hint of soap opera drama. It deals with topics such as racism, fidelity, addiction and misogyny, while also pitting the family values of the 1960s against babe chasing, boozing and chain-smoking.

“Mad Men” had already won the awards and the praise, so maybe it’s time you check out this incredibly entertaining series.
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