Discovering “Mad Men”

By Maggie Cornelius

Courtesy of Blogspot

Having never seen a single episode of AMC’s hit show “Mad Men” before I have to say I wasn’t initially that impressed. Why is this TV show winning so many awards? Sure, the period clothes are cool and there are a lot of unique (and attractive) characters (I prefer Roger Sterling over Don Draper thank you very much) but I was expecting much more.

Deciding to give it a second chance I am now three episodes deep into the new season. I have to say that I can finally see the appeal, besides bringing us into an area of work not often portrayed, advertising, it also covers a time in America in a way that is riddled with subtle and not so subtle historical events, race relations, and women’s rights references. The unplanned hiring of a black female secretary in the second episode after a joke gone bad fills the office with an unexpected number of African American applicants is one example of the way the show explores racism without being too cliche or over dramatic.

Then there are the unexpected moments of comedy. Even the darkest most dramatic person needs some uplift every now and then and the moments of comic relief in “Mad Men” are just subtle enough to fit with the show while still causing one to laugh out loud, like any time Rodger makes one of his classic sarcastic comments or when Don Draper smokes pot at a Rolling Stones concert with a group of teenage girls.

While I can’t consider “Mad Men” one of my favorite TV shows yet, I am starting to understand it’s massive fan base and all the awards it receives. The show is well written, well cast and provides drama that can transcends its era-specific setting. So far this season is slowly escalating in terms of the drama, and if you’ve seen past seasons you probably will have a better idea of what’s going on. After last nights episode, I must say I’m definitely going to keep watching, even if only to stare at Roger Sterling some more!

Maggie Cornelius can be reached for comment at [email protected]