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Reviews Comments: Strongly Recommended Mad Men whole series review by Honore DB

The only reason this show isn't Trope Overdosed is that it makes an effort to be fresh and unpredictable. Mad Men is well-constructed, engaging, and steeped in sophisticated social commentary. If you can, imagine a Joss Whedon series without the action or the Speculative Fiction. Indeed, you'll recognize several actors and writers from Whedon productions, and the pilot is eerily similar to the unaired pilot of Firefly.

Fair warning, Mad Men is dark, and frequently upsetting. It's a challenging show, full of literary references and Genius Bonus (it helps if you lived through the events, of course). And if you dislike modern feminist critique, you may feel alienated. One tip: feel free to laugh. There's black comedy at every turn.

My uncle worked in just such a company, and found the show to be painfully accurate. It's uncompromisingly anvilicious in its depiction of the blithe, ingrained sexism whose legacy is still very much with us, and the general lunatic decadence of mid-twentieth-century corporate culture. For me, an American two generations removed, it's a history lesson, but I've also found plenty to empathize with—Peggy's struggle, fresh out of college, to break into a professional world she does not in the least understand, and Don's difficulty accepting the privileged life he knows he doesn't deserve.

Comments

  • Mr. Grieves
  • 13th Oct 09
I agree on every level. This is one of the best shows I have seen in my life.
  • The Man In Black
  • 9th Nov 09
I disagree heavily on the Don part, but like the rest of the review however. Sidestepping his marriage, why doesn't he deserve what he's got at Sterling Copper? He is a fricking evil genius!
  • Nornagest
  • 9th Dec 09
I'm not sure where the Joss Whedon reference is coming from, but I can get behind the rest of what you're saying.

One note: you don't need to dislike feminist lit-crit to feel a little alienated by the show. Indeed, that's much of the point; it works very hard to make modern viewers deeply uncomfortable.
  • Camacan
  • 23rd Jan 10
I thought that it was rather ineffective in its portrayal of the society of the time. It is a contemporary drama in fancy dress.

I expected a lot more of this show than it delivered, given the hype. The story is very slow and quite conventional. Some works do a lot when nothing is overtly happening — this show wasn't one of those. Try it by all means, but if you find it is dull initially, that might be the time to leave it.
  • 76.67.16.3
  • 17th Sep 10
I have no idea how it is remotely similar to Firefly.

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