After hearing the topic of Mad Men supposedly being the greatest show on television, and critics and audiences alike beating that dead horse to a bloody pulp, I've decided to check it out. And the pilot shows that it certainly has a story to tell that's larger than just one episode.. or even one season.
The best part? Definitely the acting, as well as writing. Both are top-notch and every character right away seems excited to establish their position within the confines of the show. Don Draper, played superbly by Jon Hamm, has a certain confidence about him that draws your attention to him. And I really like the setting of the show: the 60's, where everybody has a cigarette perched between their fingers like it's a missing body part, and the idea of coming up with ways to make people want to continue buying cigarettes.
However, it's downside is its tendency to frequently dip into episode long lulls. Sometimes, barely anything will happen in an episode besides conversations between characters. You get the idea that Matthew Weiner and co. are setting people up for bigger and better things, but sometimes, it's excrutiatingly dull to sit through nearly 50 minutes of small-talk between employees of an advertising agency.
Regardless, Mad Men seems to be a show that, as I mentioned before, gets its power from its combined efforts. Sure, episodes may drag, but when you look at them all as a whole, each is necessary to get to where Weiner wants us to go. A compelling show with great acting and writing.. but best show of the year? Uhh, I'm not sure.. ask me when I finish this season again. Because Breaking Bad, it's younger, more under-rated brother on AMC, has been giving it a run for its money.