It seems that no matter how I phrase it, someone takes offence, so I'll try to keep it as brief as possible: this is simply the most boring show in the history of television; and I've watched hundreds and hundreds of all kinds, so should know. That's it.
Mad Men gets the best reviews today and probably has the highest reviews all-time behind only The Wire and The Sopranos. However, it is sorely lacking in what makes great stories, substance. You can only get by in recreating the 1960s upper-class white lifestyle for so long. As for style, there is nothing the show lacks. The costumes are great, the sets are great, and the props all bring the 60s back to life. History is integrated into the story and those who lived during that time (who were also rich and white) may remember things this way.
The substance though is a best clichéd and at worst lacking. You have the husband who cheats on his wife... time and again. You have a decent gay story line, but today that also seems cliché. In the end, the characters are fairly compelling, but the stories just aren't there or are forced. So if you loved the Sopranos which got by in the same way with great characters and mediocre stories then you will probably love this too. If you actually like your characters to be compelling and be part of a larger interesting story then you will be sorely disappointed. It also suffers (in my opinion) from being a soap opera, which I find to be a cheap way to introduce over the top (read unbelievable) stories.
Ad executives in the 1960s were not known for their decency or their honesty. They had gargantuan egos, and they never met a principle on which they couldn't sneeze, if it meant they'd make some more money; to them, higher earnings were the extent of morality. I'm not a Puritan, but this show just makes me feel as if I need to go find some industrial strength soap. I don't really buy the argument that it's fun to watch these people get their just desserts. There's too much ambiguity or openly gloating in the bad behavior for that to work. When you're on a roller coaster, you can't just jump off in the middle. It tends not to work that way. Again, I'm not claiming to be any kind of perfect person myself. I know, we all have flaws. It's just that there aren't always two sides to every story. Some things look bad because they are.
I watched the first 3 episodes and could not stomach any more. I felt so uncomfortable with the treatment of women and it reminded my mother of her youth. Does that make it a good show that it is realistic? Not for me. I thought that so many of the characters were characters... that were trying too hard. I could see what was going to happen with the plot and characters. Every stereotype and typical plot lines. I usually give new shows more time but I don't want to with Mad Men. I don't want to watch everyone smoking and treating women and minorities horribly. I don't care if the show is accurate in the details. Just because the characters act cool doesn't make the show cool. Stop trying so hard.
People who smoked back then were cooler about it. Ad men, especially top level men were smoother and brighter. Overt creeps don't get very far in a culture like that, unless they inherit the firm. A leader like Draper would be more like H.R. Haldeman, less like this confused dweeb sweating out a presentation like it's an exam at prep school. And if a guy really is that unprepared and spends the night before f__g around, then he doesn't last in a results oriented, deadline-heavy shop like advertising. Finally, Draper is a vet with a purple heart in a desk (cheesy character development), and he acts like he wants to scream and curl up in a fetal position, even when he's having a drink with his client. I give you JFK as the 1960 model. Talk about your alpha male archetype. Was anyone involved with the production alive when HE was around? Incidentally, he wouldn't be horsing around buying the lady Mai-Tai's and boring her with his fake "I-don't-believe-in-tomorrow" cheese. Draper sounds like a loser. What is this show about?
I'm feeling sooo depressed after each episode. I could call it a soap but it doesn't even leave you wanting more. I really wanted to start watching this show when it first came out, now i don't even want to continue.
I heard so many people rave about it and now i need to go ask them WHY! All the positive reviews here must be done by the people who run that show- I'll probably get deleted too!
My mother was from that Era and I know it was challenging but it never sounded THAT depressing! She would probably consider "GIDGET" more real to life!Or "I LOVE LUCY". Those shows had plenty of SMOKING, SHOWED MEN at work and also insulted Women at every turn and made it a classic that everyone loved!
Sorry MadMen, sorry your life is so depressing and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Poor white execs, their life is so sad even though they ran their world as they knew it. Why do I need to watch that? I'll grab some of the classics and chuckle instead of wanting to jump off a building.
I'm just a bit disappointed sorry.
Thanks for reading my rant.
But here is the kicker: I have watched several episodes now, and I can't fault the originality of the setting, the exploration of the place in time, nor the acting for that matter. Its all quite good and original, while not trying to be something it is not:
It is not, well...substantive. I can't get into characters with no redeeming qualities. They are either SOB's (the male characters mostly), or they are simpering boobs or female martyrs (the female characters). I can't abide any of that! Not in real life and not on TV.
If I want to be entertained it will not be by characters whose behaviour I would not condone nor tolerate in real life, and when it a show full of such characters AND no plot, well then its a miss for me.
Still, I can see why its successful and award winning. And strangely, I wish it continued success, because if there is one thing I do applaud, its the presentation of an original idea for TV programming and an audience willing to embrace that.
I get that as times change, so do tv shows in terms of drama or comedy) in how they are I can't help but think that Mad Men is a bit overrated and Matt W is not that creative or a good story teller as he's touted. After watching the premier of season one, I could only stomach the first few minutes of no, I didn't watch the rest. I think J Hamm and Slattery/Elizabeth Moss are talented as with most other actors on the guess so.... (Slattery seems more quality than he should have been Draper?) but the scenes seem crappy (bad editing?) and the story lines can be flimsy. Mad Men basically reminds me of the mediocrity people call show business. :(
If going back to the seventies is like "Life on Mars", going back even further to the early sixties should be, well, not that boring. The opening titles already foretell that the writers were missing some great opportunities. Modern style lounge to introduce an early-sixties series? Come on!
Back then, when white american males ruled supreme, it was so much easier to get laid - even if you were married. And it was so much easier to make fescennine jokes about in the office - without the dangers of getting sued for sexual harrasment. And finally, it was so much easier to have a smoke whereever you want and whenever you want - even if you are a gynecologist in consultation.
But that's about it. Story? Virtually non-existant. Characters or character development? Not a real trace, if you discount that facile stuff the writers try to sell you as psychological deepness or motivation.
Yes I tried but I find this show so slow and unimaginative I can't find a single character with any redeeming features or if not that, just not likeable, male or female. It just seems to be a bunch of hackneyed cliches'strung together in a strange unfeeling way. I wanted to like them but four shows in and I've had to give up! I wanted to like it the premise seemed good set in the 50's/60's? How the old styles of advertising came about,tongue in cheek humour from the outside (us) looking in. (them)But being what we know now about products like cigarettes it becomes rather sick humour and I do know It's not supposed to be funny! Well there's plenty more new stuff to look forward too so I will!
Love the concept, love the actors, love Joan's backside! Now its coming to an end and I can watch the whole thing in one go I'm one re-watch of breaking bad away from watching this in it entirety. It can be a slow burner and the 5 star rating is simply because I have yet to watch all episodes so that will change.
It's difficult to watch a show about nothing. Seinfeld was the original show about nothing. At least it was funny. I don't have the mental energy some apparently have to engage in the subtleties of the show. I wouldn't mind a little more glaring obtuseness. I enjoy the setting and surroundings of the 60s, and I don't mind a show that is introspective and causes us to think about our own lives, but I need just a little more glue to hold it together and some sort of compass to make me think the show is leading SOMEWHERE.
Lots of style, little substance, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Sopranos was a great show, because of 3 basic reasons:
1.Its main plot was the "mafia".
2.the show was realistic.
3.the characters were well written, and played.
Mad Men may seem original and interesing at the first time, but falls down at the first moment when you understand that in fact, its just the "sopranos" writting, in a 60's settings.
The writters should immediately understand that the way they told the story, and made dialogs work in "Sopranos" will never work for anothter settings than the "Italian Mafia" settings.
The Mafia is interesting, it is intriguing, they are criminals, their everyday life is meant to be interesting for the audience basically non familar with this background.
They talk different, eat different, think different, and for a tv series, it is fun to write and to watch. Getting bored? add some action, and voila!
Every character had its scars and joys to tell, and somehow all of the characters were exciting. Wives, kids, Old timers, were all fun to watch. Again for one simple reason: they are all italian and all are related to a Mafia boss.
Sorry but this won't work for a "Successful American Buisness Man" living in the 60's.
To handle a script about advertising in the 60's is a bright idea, specially to remind the audience that it is at these times that the bases of advertising were slowly built.
But for a maximum 3 hours Big screen movie. Not tv series. To turn that to tv series promising "advertising plot" but handling advertising only 10 min in 8 episodes average, while showing most of the time the boring life of american wives and kids, troubles between uninteresting neighbors, or executives hitting on their assistants...
Its boring to death!
"do not smoke, it makes you look week" said the big boss, in episode 7. Well, the Mad Men series look week with a director who can't find something smarter than to shoot actors ligthing their cigarettes every 2 mins. ok they used to smoke a lot at these times, we got it. find something else!
Mad Men missed the big plot, several time, and is coming and going between a "desperate housewives wanna be in the 60's" and a week copy of the sopranos, trying to tell everyones story fast, treating small talk, and unnecessary details without success.
This kind of writting will work for the Mafia only, and the Italian mafia of course.
I became very uncomfortable (more than usual, that is!) while watching this particular episode of Mad Men. I agree with the reviewer about the self-conscious, and (to me) hypocritical reaction of the white characters to the assassination. I well remember that day and how the reaction of the so-called mainstream (translate: white people) was not so much shock and sadness that a prominent black leader had been killed but rather fear that it would result in race riots - which it did. I'm not looking forward to another episode dramatizing the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Re Don - like other viewers I'm actually impatient (and will be relieved) when Megan finds out about Don's latest sexual escapade. Hope she throws him out. Have to confess that I don't like her - not sure whether it's my reaction to the actress playing her or the character herself (as she written) - maybe a bit of both.
BTW,Did anyone other than me notice the latest anachronism in the show? Don using a remote, for heaven's sake, to turn off the TV? TV remotes were invented or at least in general use until the 80s - but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong! (I was around in the 60s and to turn off the TV you had to go make the "inhuman" effort of reaching over or getting to your feet to turn off the TV (boob tube)!
While on the subject of Don D and his attitude towards his children (and children in particular) - I suspect that Matthew Weiner is struggling to come up with interesting new and dramatic "insights" into Don's character. Up to now he's been presented as a concerned, caring, if mostly absent father. I didn't believe for a minute his confession to Megan that he didn't caring for his children - how they made him feel "hollow" inside. Balderdash!
In the first two seasons, Matt Weiner was making some very pointed commentary on the world as it existed in the 1960's, and indeed, as it still exists today.
Billed as Madison Avenue's premiere advertising man, Don Draper was supposedly better than anyone at selling America what it wanted most: happiness and security. But ironically, these are two things that Don has failed to find in a rather spectacular fashion. How can Don sell so well that which he himself has never possessed? Therein lies the point: what Madison Avenue has always sold to America is just as fake and hollow as Don himself. It's an indictment of our entire society that we've been willing to buy this hypocrisy. This is seriously heady stuff that goes far beyond the fluff of most programming.
This commentary was told mostly through the contrast between Don's home life, professional life, and the fact that he isn't really Don Draper at all. Understandably, Don's hypocrisy causes the failure of his marriage and he and Betty split up. This made perfect sense and was necessary and inevitable, however, this is also where the analogy breaks down. With Don and Betty living increasingly separate lives during the third and fourth seasons, it seemed as though Weiner had finished saying what he intended to say when the show began and had begun casting about, looking for something else to say, perhaps the next logical thing. Over the course of these latest two seasons he didn't appear to come up with anything solid.
Enter the opening to the fifth season. Unfortunately, it's a bit prosaic, and everyone but Don and Roger don't quite seem to be themselves. Specifically, they seem quite a bit kinder and gentler. They don't play the type of hardball they once played with each other. For example, the plot involving Harry and Peggy upsetting Megan has gone soft. Harry is remorseful and is set up by Weiner to believe he's getting fired by Roger, meanwhile Peggy offers a very sincere apology. In the old days, upsetting a woman was not a big deal, even if it was Don's wife. Pete was strikingly out of character when he accepted the "skirt" of responsibility for Joan's baby from Peggy. Why have these characters gone so twenty-first century on us by only 1966? Lane's false dealing with the applicants in the lobby was the only glimmer of hope Weiner might recover his mojo.
While I suppose the show can continue to cash in on kitschy cool, unless they can find a way to continue what they were onto in seasons 1 and 2, it becomes pointless, empty drama. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, except they've already set my expectations so much higher. Well, that and now it just isn't so much different from a soap opera, or anything else on TV for that matter. I would love for Mad Men to have stayed in its niche. It was in such a wonderful niche.
Unfortunately, I didn't hear Weiner saying much in the kickoff of the fifth season to justify the continued existence of the show. For the most part, it seems the reason it continues is merely because it hasn't been cancelled yet. Nevertheless, hope springs eternal...
What deflects from the blatant "penut butter" flow of the show is the puke-inducing inhallation of what we "now" know to be sickening. Hell, I used to smoke my face off (hardest fucking thing I've ever had to do). Just saying, this may be a little too much puffin' and not enough "make it real by focusing on the story and not letting the main characters get away with murder" stuff. This show has potential... kick it in the ass p.d.t.! P.S. the secretary to the dick is most memorable and should be given more creative licemse. e.
Mad Men is a mixed bag for me. Overall, Mad Men has a few great moments, but is mired down by so many negative elements that it makes it difficult for me to endorse. There are good things about the show that helped keep my attention. I thought the dialog was solid, the set pieces interesting, the acting was great, and the overall story had its moments (add agency and the people who worked there attempting to succeed). The downside for me was all the cheating and just nasty moral demeanor of the core host of characters. I recently watched each season back to back and was stuck by how immoral the show attempts to be. In the beginning I was rooting for Draper's wife (which was barely the only likable character), then the show just lost me near completely. As the seasons continued, I discovered I was watching the show more to ensure each character was going to get punished rather than actually enjoying the show.
in this show its about a ad agency in the 1960s and its very good . the show shows drama and involves cheating on wifes and how they worked back then it does a very good job of showing what happen during those times and the politics behide working in ad agency. it is a huge hit on amc and has done a very good job and has had show on the oprety winfrey show about there sucess . to me this show is good and even though i am not from the 60s it shows some viv picture of what happen back then and how they did bussiness.
The things I like about this show outweigh the things I don't. Love the theme song ("A Beautiful Mine"). Love the 1960s look to everything. Don't really like the overdone cliches. Some references are subtle, but most are very obviously set out to remind the viewer that it was a very different time culturally then. The indifferent callousness of the men towards the women gets to me - it seems over the top, too - but maybe I'm young enough to not realize that it was actually like that. Overall, it's a show to watch - maybe more for style than substance, though.
Season 4! I found that this show to be rather lethargic in the way it's storylines and characters were developed. Mostly in the first 2 seasons. But I began to like it more for some reason in the show's 3rd season, and season 4 has won me over most definitely. I apologize to all the people who had tried to inform me of the elegance in storytelling that this television show wields quite well. I wasn't a fan of season 1, but re-watching it, it is fantastic. Season 2 is pretty good but not amazing, season 3 is a huge step up, and season 4 is the winner. And now Season 5 is I think my second favorite! I like it quite a bit. It's near amazing. The show itself is a little depressing. After an episode, I feel a bit "detached", or gloom. I'm not sure, but it is not the kind of show I could watch a marathon of at all. One episode is enough. I must applaud the storytelling, and the the way the characters interact. Especially the women. The women are my favorite part, and not just because of the voluptuous-curvy Q that is Joan Holloway. The women are the ones that are the most interesting to watch, especially the dynamic between Joan and Peggy in the first seasons, and I hate that that has lingered of in the past few seasons, but there are things that the characters do that are fantastic.
The men are pretty good to, but it's honestly the women are the best part in my non-important opinion. It's not my absolutely favorite show, but it is one that I like to keep up on. Oh, and the writing is "delicious". I find it to be so great! It inspires me very much. 8.5 out of 10.
Mystery mad men.
Finally an episode which makes me want to watch more. The mystery around Don/Dick is a fresh impulse to the series which I was missing before. It might explain why he is the man he is today and that makes him much more interesting than just another advertisement guy. The scene with Adam in his apartment was so sad and very well played by the actors. The story about Peter switched him right back from being kind of sorry last episode, to being a full blown idiot once more. Trying to sell his wife just to get a story published showed his 'real' face again.
That's probably the theme of this episode; almost all of the men are double faced.
This is one of the best shows on today. The characters are top notch and the feel of the show is so unique and real. I love the window into history it provides, especially looking at sexism, racism, smoking and drinking, politics, it's great to get such a fresh look at that era of history like this. If you haven't seen this show then check it out because it is top notch. The American Movie Classics channel or whatever it's called has some great shows. The one with the dad from Malcolm in the Middle, Breaking something???, is also awesome, but not as good as Mad Men.
I did not start watching this show until season one was over. I went back and watched all of season 1 and I am now caught up on the entire show. I think this show portrays how life in the late 50's and early 60's were. Just about everyone on this show smokes which back then over 50% of the population smoked. Women for sure are not treated equally in this show and were not back then either. The setting of the show and wardrobe are true to the lifestyle back then and I also think the actors do a great job of how people acted back then. I really did not think I would like this show but it has really drawn me in and now look forward to it. If you are looking for action you are not going to like this show. There is really not much comedy in it. It really is a drama in the truest since of the word.
I really thought I would hate this show. When people started raving about it, I frankly thought it was a soap, but set in the 60's. When it was nominated for an emmy (shows this works for advertisement purposes..lol) I tried it out, and I am suprised to report I am hooked. It is not a soap but is more of a slice of life drama about the advertising world of the early sixties and the lives of the people who work there.
Like my other favorite show "Battlestar Galactica" it isn't for everybody, and I admit I like quirky shows. People may not like how slowly things develope, but the show is suprisingly well acted for a little show on AMC. (like battlestar, I believe good material elevates actors and not the other way around) Although the show has big themes (sometimes) what I love about it is the attention to detail with the little thing (not just the costumes, but the attitudes of the times are very well done). It is amusing and shocking to see how blantantly sexist men were back then and how repressed women were. The last episode with January Jones was a classic example of this. (she plays Don's wife) She went to the stables because she knew a younger guy there was interested in her, and she knew she would be alone with him, but when he hit on her, she promptly shot him down. She wanted the attention but social mores made it impossible for her do really act on it. What mkes this show so good is in the same episode, Don cheats on her like it was nothing.
The show deserves its emmy. It is very well done and frankly blows other nominees like grey's anatomy with its melodrama out of the water.
The show is top class entertainment with great ingredients: writing, directing, acting, music, fashion, history, you name it.
I love how every season brings me equal anticipation. I fear skipping a minute because I know I will miss a great line or some little detail about some fictitious character that for some strange reason is of great importance to me. It takes a great deal of genius to stretch fiction this far within one's own immigration. This is suddenly the time and place you badly long for although you are not from the Mad Men generation neither you lived in New York City.
I enjoyed seeing how the characters grew in their roles, some to the most unexpected demeanours. I make a special mention of how a new Pete Campbell emerges from the sleaze that he wore flawlessly to this likeable character with this occasional outburst of morality and social intelligence. I admire how the writers and cast are playing with our sense of judgement and it is very difficult to have a favourite character in this show.
It would be impossible to say praises to the cast in few words but I can say that the choice of actors is masterful. Jon Ham has certainly fulfilled his mission on earth by bringing to life the legacy of a Don Draper. That this pure power. The list goes on and on: Peggy Olson, Betty Draper, Joan Harris, Roger Sterling, Lane Pryce, Megan Draper, Lane Pryce, Trudy Campbell, Ted Chaough, Bert Cooper, Ken Cosgrove, Harry Crane, and a very long list of unforgettable characters
The urge to write this review is predominantly to say that it is too early to close the curtain on this show. It still has a great deal of steam and because it will leave an obvious void in the TV landscape.
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