I love Mad Men… and why you should love it too

Mad Men. If you have talked to me this past summer, you know that I have fallen in love with the series.

I have become THAT girl that will ask you…

“Oh my god, do you watch Mad Men?” “Don’t you love Don Draper?” “Could I work in advertising?” “How do I dress like Joan?” “Have you been to Banana Republic lately to see the collection?” “Mad Men Mad Men Mad Men blah blah blah”

The love has been sudden and swift, and all thanks to Netflix streaming. Last night Mad Men won the Emmy for best drama series. Not only does it bring some validity to my love of this  show, but it also gives me an excuse to blog about Don & the gang.

Four reasons YOU should love Mad Men…

courtesy of Village Voice

1. Don Draper

He’s dapper and super attractive, a real man’s man in the 1960’s. As the main character, the life of Don (played by John Hamm) is in a constant upheaval which makes for great television. He is a smooth talker and is able to charm you from the screen (don’t even get me started on his many romantic conquests) Don would my perfect guy, if he wasn’t so conniving, didn’t cheat, and hasn’t lied about basically everything…You love him, adore him, and hate him at the same time.

courtesy of Second City Style

2. The setting

1960’s, New York, Advertising Agency. It’s a whole other world, with endless cigarettes and drinks in hand. The production design and script really brings you to the heart of this time period. Themes addressed, include feminism, sexism, and homophobia. It’s real, gritty, and also glamorized.

courtesy of Swing Fashionista

3. The fashion

They certainly knew how to dress in the early 1960’s. Mad Men has sparked a whole new interest in traditional men’s suits, full skirts, and patterns. It’s hard not to love the glamour, sophistication, and sex appeal of Mad Men fashion. My favorite style from Mad Men is of the character Joan Holloway, who dresses her hour-glass silhouette in office to night attire. The intense office manager of the agency, Joan is always impeccably dressed in curve-hugging pencil skirts, bright, jewel-toned colors, and shift dresses. It’s vintage fashion in it’s element, and I can’t get enough of it.

4. The characters

You can’t have a great television series without memorable characters with a compelling story-lines. Mad Men not only follows Don around, but includes us in the life of his co-workers. Notable characters include Joan, who has multiple sides to her, from tough-talking manager to a woman trying to find her place in the office. You have the the ambitious ad executive Peter Campbell with his annoying, over the top housewife Trudy. The cut-throat, senior partner Roger Sterling, who is manages to get everything he wants (including women) without lifting a finger. My hands down favorite character has to be the wholesome, go-getter Peggy Olson. In a nod to the sexism of the time, Peggy is the secretary who is trying to work her way up in the agency. She is smart, confident, and the character I most relate to in the show. You can’t help but root for Peggy in this 1960’s man’s world.

courtesy of Screen Rant

Convinced to watch Mad Men? If not, let me know…I can talk for days about it.


135 thoughts on “I love Mad Men… and why you should love it too

  1. Love this, and totally had the same experience myself (Netflix streaming FTW!) this summer! Did you experience the same letdown when you finished Season 4 and then realized that there’s no Season 5 until effing March??

  2. I just started getting this show on Netflix too! I’m only in the early episodes of Season 1, but I’m already hooked. The clothes, hair, and make-up of the girls has me playing “dress up” at night trying to see if I have anything that will make me look like Joan and wondering if I could pull off those red lips at the office!

  3. I watched an episode or two with my friend (he always watches highly acclaimed shows) but I never got into it. I think he’s bought the DVDs. The difference between me and him is I don’t just watch a show because it’s won a bunch of awards. He’s always bothered about what other people think about something before he’ll try it. I’ll just watch the show if the premise tickles me in some small fashion. Even then I could abandon the show if I don’t like what I’m seeing *cough* Jericho *cough*. I used to be into sci-fi only, but I’m glad to have broadened my ranges – Dexter, True Blood, Breaking Bad. I can’t wait for the next season of The Walking Dead, and possibly Falling Skies if they quit with the classic end-of-the-world-let’s-all-pull-together-Amercian-style vomit inducing theme.

  4. Thanks to Netflix, I just started watching the series yesterday. I watched about 5 episodes. I am going to have to pace myself because I could easily watch it marathon style. I love everything about the time period–especially the fashion. Although I am very thankful I didn’t have to work in that time period…ohmygoodness. ~~Bliss

  5. I blame Mad Men for making me want to find cool vintage clothes at thrift stores. I always come away empty handed and sad 😦 I can’t afford the Banana Republic line until it goes on clearance :-/ I hope you enjoy the show when it returns! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, too!

    • Nah. I haven’t either. Don’t watch much tv at all. I’m not ashamed and don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Life’s too busy for tv, besides, I can find far more interesting and informative things online than I can with serial tv shows.

      • Who are you? Some anti social fuddy duddy… If you don’t have something nice to say shut up. The show has made it to the top … let my friends have their wins.

    • Wow, Kathy. Lighten up. Someone says that they don’t watch the show…no need to castrate him for it. Have a smoke, a martini and chill out.

      • Judes, Kathy is simply saying what most of us has been wanting to say. If that is what you are calling casteration, apparently you have not seen some of the comments on YouTube for classical music pieces. You are seeing Wading’s standard response to every and any freshly pressed post about television program. Must be nice to know you are better than the rest of us, Wading.

  6. I have been dragged along the path to watching this show, kicking and screaming along the way, for fear of also becoming “that girl” who can’t stop talking about it!

    But I’ll tell ya: Your post almost makes me want to become “that girl.”


    Netflix (or should I say Qwikster?) here I come…

  7. I’m currently re-watching all the seasons. There’s so many little things you miss in the writing the first time around. It’s just such a well-done show, with everything perfectly thought out.
    Oh, and the fashion. The fashion! Great list.

  8. I am midway through Season 4 (thanks Netflix!) and I must say the initial attraction I’ve had to this show has worn incredibly thin. As the Seasons progress the writing gets worse with whole subplots dropped with no explanation. The once charming and irresistible Don Draper now grates against my nerves to the point that I don’t even care for his character anymore. I never liked Betty but do appreciate that she’s taking a stand for herself more often and not letting Don continue to walk all over her. I was once enamored with this show but that love affair was quick and ended in disappointment, much like the countless involvements on screen.

  9. I also just discovered Mad Men this summer and am completely addicted! My only wish was that there were more than four seasons to watch because I pretty much went through them in a month. Peggy is without a doubt my favorite character, as well. And don’t even get me started on the 1960s styles…completely in love!

  10. My love for Mad Men knows no bounds. I’m going through some major withdrawals, what with the next season not starting until 2012!

    Also, I am so incredibly excited that Christina Hendricks is taking over the world after being cast as a sexy, smart, and complex Joan Holloway. I pray to the gods of fashion and television that she never gets “hollywoodized”. As a woman in my 30’s with the figure of an actual woman instead of a stick, it makes me feel good about myself every time I see her on screen. I’d love it if Betty Draper would eat a few sandwiches and gain a few pounds.

  11. freshly pressed eh!?
    this is one of those shows i’ll probably never watch. seems like some of the shows the media is obsessed with and tells us we NEED to watch are overrated (sopranos, 30 rock) and lack any racial diversity.
    but i may give this a chance (i wanna check out the wire and breaking bad on netflix too)

    • Diversity? What about the “Mad Men” elevator operator and “30 Rock” Tracy Morgan? :0(

      Seriously, the lack of diversity on “Mad Men’ is actually one of the points of the show. This is about the good old days when white men in suits ran and got everything. There was one episode in which all the guys kind of sat around looking puzzled about “what they want,” and another in which one of the copywriters started dating a black woman mostly for the “cool” cred. Peggy, the much-patronized copywriter who has had to push her way to accomplish anything, said rather bitterly of civil rights, “Let them work their way up the way I have.”

      Not the prettiest ideas and they make us cringe today. But real.

  12. ‘Why are your skirts so long? You have nice legs. You should show them off, the men would like that.’ Gah… I say, Go Peggy!

  13. Haha. I am just relieved that this tv show has brought back some of the classic feminine fashions. I think the 50s and 60s really highlighted the beauty of the female body, and to find it in stores (and not struggling to find the time to sew it myself) is refreshing. My partner got me into the show, and watched most of it without me. But I’m going to have to have a girl’s night in with a bottle of wine (or whiskey) and watch the series myself.

  14. I do love Mad Men, but it’s funny… All of the talk about how great Joan looks, when really, she isn’t supposed to look that great on the show. She’s an aging bombshell. Like that old woman you see shopping at Wet Seal.

  15. You really wrote a compelling argument for watching the show – good work! 🙂

    I am a fan too, mostly b/c I love all things vintage & I love seeing them come to life on the screen.

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. It definitely is an addicting show! I remember the first time I watched it on AMC, it was during season 3. I got so sucked into it and then when it was over I immediately went out and bought seasons 1 and 2. I can’t even tell you how quickly I watched both of them. Then I waited in agony for season 4 to begin airing and now…well March 2012 cannot come soon enough! I’m dying for season 5!!

  17. I love this show, but as a black woman, I do feel a bit uncomfortable with the way black folks are portrayed. Understandably, it was the 60’s….I completely get it. Still…sometimes it makes me feel icky.

    Anywho, great post! I spent most of the summer watching it on netflix, and I can’t wait for it to come back (though it will be hard to watch it weekly instead of in long, lazy marathons).

  18. I have adored “Mad Men” since Ep 1 Season 1, but seriously, if you had ever had to dress the way Joan does at the office every day, you wouldn’t be playing dress-up today. (And I think she looks cheap in the image you show!)

    I think the show should be required watching for any woman under 30 or any woman who has forgotten how far we’ve come.

  19. I used to love this show but they lost me by all the hassle they’ve been having with the show. I think they completely forgot about their fans and let us all “move on” to something else.

  20. “Mad Men” is without a doubt one of the best series on TV right now. Very deserving all of the critical acclaim and awards success it has garnered. I’m looking forward to Season 5! (Really, is there anything AMC airs that is bad? “The Killing,” “Walking Dead,” I could go on and on… The retro vibe that “Mad Men” has perfected, the surprisingly deep and hard-hitting plots, and a cast of memorable, sympathetic characters have really created a not-to-miss show.

  21. I love Mad Men too! I love Netflix Streaming too. For my big birthday coming up I am going to have a Mad Men party. Particularly appropriate since I was born in the 60’s. I love the fashions and the way the way they show off curvy women’s figures. Congrats on being FP!

  22. I had the same epiphany on this show two seasons ago and watched all the reruns until I was up to date. I grew up in the 60’s and remember the fashions, the smoking everywhere, even in the planes during flights. What I love most about the show, is not just the writing, but the parallel of this business and all the backstories with the movements of the 60’s. Looking forward to what the new season brings.

  23. Loved your post. I too am a Mad Men fan. In fact, I just did a post on our gal, Red. Love Christina Hendricks. Love the whole cast. Love the whole thing!

    Congrats on fp!


  24. I also love ‘Mad Men’ and thanks to the oh-so contestedly wonderful Netflix I was also able to burn through the show in a summer. My only issue is with Pete Campbell. He is sucha weasel!

  25. I have watched almost every episode until now. However i don’t know i can continue now that i quit smoking. Smoking and luck strike are one of the great themes( i am not saying anything else because would be a big spoiler). Great show anyhow, i guess my favorite character is…… well this show is one of a kind for having amazing characters. I can’t point out one in particular from the main characters. The characters are so well build and complex. I mean, i did not like Campbell at the beginning but now i do. As for Don, my opinion has changed a lot .Great show, that’s all. Definitely worth watching.

  26. I have the entire Season 1 ready to watch. And it looks like that will begin this coming Monday. (when I have finished Rescue Me Season 7.
    My question is. I hear many people saying that Mad Men takes a few episodes to ‘get into’ and then you are hooked.
    Do you agree with that or did the show grab you straight off the pilot?

  27. umm hi, my name is shai and i’m an addict. when i first discovered this show, i was every bit as crazy obsessed as you are. waiting for the new season to pick up out here in the middle east!

  28. My sister, her husband and I decided about a week ago to start watching it on Netflix. We’re going to meet weekly and have “Mad Men” nights. Tonight’s our first. Can’t wait!!!

  29. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mad Men too!!! One night when I was bored, had the night off work and without any shows to watch I wandered over to Blockbuster (when they were still in operation), and picked up season one of Mad Men – and I think I had to rent it disc by disc, so I got the first disc, picked up some take out and got home to pop it in. Within HOURS I was back at Blockbuster like a crack addict looking for her next hit, and snatched up all the discs they had! I was completely hooked, and within months of season four coming out!! It was AWESOME!!! I push it on all my friends now… LOL, go figure! I’m one of “those people” too!

  30. I’ve watched Mad Men since the first episode aired. It’s about the only show that comes on at 10pm (Eastern) that I can stay awake to watch. Great cast, interesting characters, and intriguing plot twists keep me coming back.

  31. I love it too, but I’m a little worried about all the retro in music, film and television. Why this obsession with the past? And where is the new stuff?

  32. Mad Men is one of the best series to hit TV for many, many years. The storylines, production design and art direction are never less than jaw-droppingly good. I’m eagerly awaiting Season 5 here!
    Along with Pete and Peggy, Joan is one of my (very) firm favourite characters. There’s a good interview with Christina Hendricks here:http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/2011/sep/16/christina-hendricks-drive-mad-men?INTCMP=SRCH


  33. I’m sorry, but I didn’t care for the show. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance, being that I only watched half of the first episode. It just had an arrogance about it I didn’t like.

  34. I started watching it on a whim and got sucked into it.
    I end up talking about it with my neighbor and I’m going to try and get my wife into it too, I think she’d like it after a few episodes.
    Don is the man’s man. And yes, he is a lying, cheating bastard of a guy, but in the end he’s always going to recognize people for what they do and do the right thing (unless it’s cheat on his spouse, girlfriend, etc).
    And Betty? Don’t even get me started on her. She’s a spoiled brat that has had everything she ever wanted and throws it out the window. She’s a B****.
    Anywho, can’t wait for the next season to start.

  35. I work in advertising and every time I see an episode of Mad Men I feel “Damn I am born in the wrong era!” If only I was there in the 60s trying to make my name on the great Madison Avenue. And Roya, I know Don cheats but he is still the idol form me. His understanding of human behaviour is astounding. And yes, I too am in love with ‘Joan’, she perfectly portrays a woman of the era of gorgeous divas like Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy (You know which episode I am talking about!) May that era, fashion, style, culture, come back before I die!

  36. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Mad Men! It’s entertaining and at the same time thought provoking and it’s an eye opener to how far society has evolved and matured since the 60’s. I love that they were able to intertwine the social issues seamlessly into the whole storyline and by that was able to avoid making the show appear like another propaganda. I love Don’s character although I have spoken to a few individuals who hated his character. But he’s hurt and is just as vulnerable as anyone else. That’s how I justify his being an unrepentant douche, sometimes. But not only does he gets away because of his looks, but he’s smart and he knows what he’s doing and why he is where he is in the ad business. And just like you, I love Peggy’s character, too and how she tried to break out of the mold society dictated women ought to be during those days. And I love Joan Holloway because what’s there not to love about her? Pete is just annoyingly adorable. I don’t know.

    Oh my gosh, I can go on and on about what I think of the show. I’m just happy that there’s someone out there who shares my love for Mad Men. is there any chance you’re near Rochester? we need to get together. haha.

    I love your post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  37. Love Mad Men, I felt the same when I Netflix streamed and watched the last of season 4. I just stared at the screen and wondered what to do next. It got me from the start. But heard about issues with AMC’s budget so they might cut characters in the next season.

  38. It’s not the worst thing on TV, but it is the most over-hyped thing on TV. I wasn’t in my 30’s in 1962, so I have no clue how authentic it is. You’d have to be 80 to know for sure.

    The whole “New York Ad Agency” idea has been overdone… but not quite as bad as cop dramas or law firm dramas. What keeps Mad Men semi-interesting is the whole thing… the look, feel, char’s, script.

    This is also why it will cease to exist in 24 months. 98% of all TV shows get more expensive to produce season after season. Production can never be lower than the season before. It must get better. You have to retain a lot of well known talent for a long period of time. You have to keep the story interesting so you bring in better, and more writers.

    Friends and X-Files are perfect examples of TV shows that became far too expensive to produce over the long haul, even with continued success. Network TV won’t repeat those follies. That is why most shows do not make it past 5 seasons anymore. If they do, their production was meager to begin with.

    Mad Men started with high production costs so the shelf life is thin. John Hamm is smart to take on other roles right now. The rest of the cast should follow.

  39. I had been watching Mad Men, until I realized that the reason I was in such a bad mood was because I was watching a show full of cheats! 😛 But, I love the fashion and Peggy, and wish I wasn’t so influenced by it.

  40. I like Madmen but I think it has its weaknesses. I think January Jones is not very good. She is wooden and boring. I also think that the Don Draper mysterious past gets a little over-the-top at times (especially the whole California connection).
    The strongest scenes are with Joan and Peggy and the style, costumes, sets are impeccable. I wish they would dare to have a real family man on the show. Surely some of the men in the 60’s were true and faithful to their families and marriages. It seems like more of a cliche to pretend that nobody was.

  41. Absolutely adore Mad Men. I was crushed this year when I found out there wasn’t going to be any new Mad Men until 2012 at the earliest! Though, I remember when it first started, it took me at least 3 attempts to get into the show. Glad I stuck it out.

    There’s a load of new TV shows starting/ed that are trying to capitalise on Mad Men’s success – The Playboy Club and Pan Am. Wasn’t too thrilled with Playboy Club, but Pan Am looks to have more potential.

  42. I can’t believe there aren’t more comments about the smoking on this show. Sure, it is true to the period, but does it have to be in every scene? I believe this show is the tobacco industry’s answer to all the restrictions that have been placed on it in the media. Nothing like showing gorgeous and stylishly dressed people smoking to glamorize their drug. That used to be the way they advertised in movies and TV, and now it is back with a vengeance.

  43. I cannot wait for the new season to begin! do you know when does it premieres?
    I also cannot get enough of Joan Holloway´s wardrobe! She looks amazing on the show, but then when she goes to premieres and wears “normal” clothes she does not look as good as she does in the show!

  44. I started watching Mad Men on Netflix this summer, too and I came to two very simple conclusions:

    1. I’m not that attracted to Jon Hamm, but I am completely infatuated with Don Draper. It’s bizarre, actually.

    2. I want to be Joan. I want to look like her, dress like her, act like her.

    Love it! And cannot wait for season 5!

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