For the last four years, I’ve been an avid watcher of the AMC original series titled Mad Men. The show is about an advertising company named Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price in New York City during the 1960’s. In the series last four years it has covered four years of a decade that changed our country and the advertising firm as well. As the fourth season is well into the halfway point of the series, I wanted to stop and wonder why critics, entrepreneurs and geeks all around love this show. After much research and deep reflection, it boils down to five main things.
The Top Five Reasons To Love Mad Men:
1) If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, this show enchants you because you either know what business was like back then, or you are fascinated by how it was handled in that time period. Since I am a young business owner, I can’t help but watch how business is dealt with in both the good and the bad ways in the 1960’s. For me, it shows me how far corporate America is, but at the same time, it also shows me how many things have not changed about business even now in the new millennium.
Even as a business owner, I still can’t bring myself to wrap around how they did business back then. Can you believe that business power lunches were done over cocktails and cigarettes? Now in this day and age, we conduct business over coffee so in a way it makes sense that coffee drinks are so complex and detailed in how they are made. Just like many cocktails were created in the 1960’s with multiple combination’s of alcohol and other goodies. But the part that I can’t wrap around is how much drinking really was involved in business. Every office in the building has a nice little mini-bar in it. It’s fascinating to watch these characters, smoke and drink until they clock out, and then they go out and do some more. What a long way we have come as a society, and yet we still in some places do these things.
2) The clothing and overall style in the series is spot-on and rather amazing to look at. In this modern age, men don’t wear suits that clean cut and tailored anymore. Even in their casual wear, they look so clean pressed and modest. And the women in the series had clean proper lines, that accentuated their beauty and yet still made them look like they were proper women in society. As the series goes on, you begin to see newer trends that became popular in the 60’s like bloomer skirts and converse tennis shoes with high knee socks. You also see how much goes into the clothing and overall style of the show.
3) Children who were raised in the “Old-School” ways, want to know what things were like for your parents or even your grandparents. Mad Men provides a deep look into the sociological, economical, and overall way of life for all classes and races of Americans during this time period. I remember a scene in the recent season, where the main character Don Draper, gave his secretary a bonus of a $100.00. Back in the 60’s that was a MAJOR amount of money back then. $100 bucks is still pretty good money, but for a bonus, that would be something I would be a little bit more upset about. Don’t forget to add a little bit of big time American History such as the Civil Rights Movement, JFK’s Assassination and the beginning of the Vietnam War, and you are seeing a real life business going through all the normal day to day activities as well as special events going on.
4) For those fans who are women, it’s amazing to watch because you learn how hard it was to be a woman during this time period. Keep in mind that this series is set in a time, before the feminist movement of the 1970’s and before things such as the Equal Employment Opportunity and the Americans with Disabilities acts were in place. So the world was far more discriminating and less politically and ethically correct than how it is run today. But even still, somethings for woman have not changed, women still make less then men, are considered weird for working instead of being at home and raising children (although now a days it’s more acceptable especially with this economy) and women are still stereotyped as just sex objects instead of women with brains and intelligence.
And even now, if you are over 30 and not married with kids, some people still look down on you as if you have a malfunction. I’m 23 years of age, and I am surprised with how many people still look at me funny because I am not dating anyone (and have no desire to at this moment) and I get even more upset when they say to me that I need to be out there looking. For the record, I have friends who are the same age as me or younger, and they have happy relationships. I also have friends and enemies who are older than me and have been through at least one,or in some cases, two divorces and they are not even close to age thirty yet. Me not looking for a relationship does not make me a failure in life, it just means that I have more important things to be working on (like myself) and I don’t need a significant other to define my happiness. But again, I digress. (Although I may make this opinion another entry some day.)
5) But one of the biggest reasons that critics and fans continue to watch is the because Mad Men showcases the dark, demoralizing, ethically questionable and sometimes rather unpleasant sides of human nature and how we as humans used to (and sometimes still do) interact with each other. With everything from irresponsible drinking, adultery, lust, greed, power, racism, sexism and discrimination, you can’t help but wonder what is going to happen next to these characters. But at the same time, you question whether or not those same ideas ever disappeared or if they went into hiding. I like to think that the human nature has not changed, the only thing that has changed is the way people act upon their natures. With the advancements of technology, I am a firm believer that the game hasn’t changed, just how you play it has.
Mad Men is a show that showcases so many parts about the human condition in so many different ways and in so many complex layers. No two shows are ever the same, and no two moments in the show are the same either. It goes back and forth between the present and the past to help explain each character and how they have evolved. If you are looking for a show that will leave you not only questioning the cast of the show for their actions, as well as your own, it’s highly recommended that you take a look at the show from the beginning and see for yourself what you think.