Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Robert Morse, Kiernan Shipka, and so many more that I don’t have room to list them all.
I am sitting here watching the last episode of Mad Men with my wife. We decided to jump into this show this summer and it has been all consuming. We have managed three episodes a night most of the time. I am not a huge fan of the network schedule but I for one would have loved to have watched Mad Men as it came out. That being said, it has binge-watched very nicely. So here are my thoughts on Mad Men – Post Binge Watch.
Damn good story. From the moment Jon Hamm walks on the screen, he emits this epic cool that very few actors can exude. There is something in the dark suit, white shirt, tie and cufflinks that makes him classic, cool and curious all at the same time. You get thrown into the story almost immediately. Here is this guy that works at an ad agency. The ad agency is something new on the scene for big business in the 60s and they are making up the rules, the roles and the rights as the go along. You get introduced to most of the cast during episode one, at least those cast members that are going to stay with us for the duration. You learn that Don has a secret in episode one, you meet all of these people and you are amazed by the interactions. By the time you finish season one, you are really amazed that any of the people haven’t died from an STD or been killed for cheating on their significant others. From beginning to end though you are rooting for this band of deviants, this odd assortment of people that are forging through life together. They are standing with each other, against each other and at times at each other’s throats but they are still getting the job done. Mad Men shows the struggle for minorities of every type throughout its run. From equal rights for women to civil rights to LGBT struggles not one of these very mold encrusted stones of our history is left alone.
The cast is second to none and the real high point:
Jon Hamm – Don Draper – our man in the dark suit – switching identities, sexual partners and drinks like some people change clothes. His ability to leave you as speechless as his clients is incredible. His lack of outward emotion makes him hard to read but when he breaks… it rips your heart out. He is the typical 60s male and then he isn’t. I am a Fan-of-Hamm now. If he is in a show/movie I will be watching it.
“The reason you haven’t felt is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me…to sell nylons.” Don
Elisabeth Moss – Peggy Olsen – the heroine of the entire story – the agent of change throughout the whole show. She is the rock. She is the person that stepped outside fo the norm and made a name for herself. She is the one that you root for all the time. Her transformation from the secretarial pool to being a copy supervisor is inspired.
“Am I the only one who can work and drink at the same time?” Peggy
Vincent Kartheiser – Pete Campbell – you love him, you hate, you hate him a lot. You never can really decide if you want to see Pete fail or win. Either way you cut it, without Pete fouling things up from time to time, the plot don’t move. Pete holds a lot of the weight of the show on his shoulders. He is the weasely little brother/cousin/coworker/creepy uncle that you don’t trust but that seems to get ahead in spite of himself. In the end, Pete becomes more than competent and redeems himself.
“This is ridiculous. If I’m going to die, I want to die in Manhattan.” Pete
John Slattery – Roger Sterling – the reason I think I stuck with the show – glib, polished at times, always ready with a cutting remark and is the catalyst that saves the day most of the time. I love this character. Whenever Roger entered a scene, you waited to see which Roger would show up. Would it by sarcastic/fun Roger? (I love that Roger) Would it be businessman Roger? Or would it be the Roger that let us glimpse at the man behind the remarks?
“Remember, Don…when God closes a door, he opens a dress.” Roger
Christina Hendricks – Joan Harris – Red Headed Bomb-Shell! Strong female lead to a show that already has strong female roles. Maybe the most interesting character of them all. Complex and a little catty all at the same time. She has such a tragic life. You vacillate between enjoying seeing her get hers and feeling bad for the things that are being forced upon her. And at times the men that are forcing themselves upon her.
“He may act like he wants a secretary but most of the time they’re looking for something between a mother and a waitress. And the rest of the time, well…” Joan
Loved! Loved! Loved this show. If you haven’t spent the time getting to know all the mad men & women on Mad Men, start the binge.
So, what did I learn from watching Mad Men:
- The 60s are why we have Human Resources Departments now
- Cigarettes, in fact, do cause cancer and the ad campaigns for those companies worked in the 60s
- How did anyone survive the 60s
- Apparently, it was easier to fall into bed in the 60s then to sell pantyhose, tobacco, cars, airlines, fast food, etc
- Don’t let Betty Draper watch the kids