My Time on Madison Avenue

By | November 6, 2012

My name is Sean and I am addicted to Mad Men. Over the last few months we have consumed all five seasons of Mad Men and am now going through withdrawals in search of my next hit.

We started watching Mad Men earlier this year but after the first three episodes failed to hook us in we dropped it and moved on. We started watching a bit of Sons of Anarchy and Louie, but we didn’t feel that compulsion to binge on either. I suggested to Jenna we try giving Mad Men one more chance and the rest is history.

The show takes several episodes to get into it but when it starts rolling you are consumed by complex characters and beautiful stories all set against the backdrop of the 1960’s. I can’t describe what makes this show so good other than the brilliant characters. The show is definitely character driven and there is a reason why it won an Emmy for Best Drama series in its first four seasons. Nothing is blatantly spelled out for the viewer and you can interpret someone’s actions based on what you know about their life and decide if what they did was good or bad.

There are no heroes or villains but there are characters I really like and others I am put off by. Everyone is flawed and everyone is looking for validation. In any given episode you can see redemption for a character or something that makes you wonder why you liked them in the first place. One of the characters I like is manipulative and a little sleazy but there is something about his ambition and drive that I enjoy.

I feel that watching this show week to week would be frustrating because of the slow paced nature of events. A fallout from an action may not come to a head in a single episode, and it could be weeks for repercussions to be felt. However, story threads do come back and even if it isn’t mentioned for a season or more it isn’t forgotten. A single episode immediately leaves you thinking “that’s it?” but then you take a moment to reflect on where the episode began and realize how much ground you covered with everyone and are impressed that it all fit into a single episode. This satisfaction in each episode is what makes it so enjoyable watching a few episodes back to back, and after a few days you have gone through an entire season and are onto the next.

Mad Men isn’t a high paced show with twists and turns in every episode. It is a slow building drive that waits for you to become invested in the characters and takes you on a fantastic trip as you go in and out of their lives.

It was a fun ride and so begins the wait until 2013 for another season to start.

2 thoughts on “My Time on Madison Avenue

  1. jaymiek

    I think one of the things that keeps me hooked on Mad Men (besides all the beautiful people) is that my sympathies keep changing – you can’t really stay mad/be sorry for one person; another side of the story is revealed and suddenly your feelings change too.

    Dammit, I’d managed to put that show out of my mind for a while, but now I’m back to waiting.

  2. Sean Post author

    Yes! That is what I loved about LOST. While their reveals or back stories could be a bit out there Mad Men is a less wild and crazy (except Don, he’s had a fun life before getting into advertising). I like that these reveals feel genuine and would be similar to you meeting someone in person.

    You are introduced to someone, have some passing words day to day. The relationship starts slow and after knowing them for a few months layers of their life become exposed and a strong bond with that person develops, and suddenly you’re binged on five seasons of a TV show and want more.

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