I did not catch the “Mad Men” wave and watch it right when it came out in 2007, in spite of unanimous praise from critics and viewers alike. Eventually, after seeing the line “the best show on television” in ad after ad (slightly ironically), review after review, and win one major award after another, I rented season 1 and began watching.
It totally blew my mind. In a time when the most popular shows are usually the most ‘in-your-face’ with its plot and visuals, the most prominent examples being “True Blood” and “Dexter”, “Mad Men” stands out as a show where subtlety is everything. It doesn’t dazzle / shock the audience with violence, gore, overly-dramatic acting, an over the top score, etc. The show does its job with the fundamental ingredients that makes a show great, brilliant script writing and terrific acting.
The show doesn’t have things blown up or blast music at you when something dramatic plot-wise happens because it knows that you’ll feel the impact without those shenanigans. It takes a lot of wit, and courage, to be able to pull this off.
Another quality that I love about the show is: you know a show is great when you can discuss it with your friends for hours on end, because there are so many implied plot developments that the characters do not say out loud on screen but are occurring, and the combination of dialogue and the actors’ expressions gives us plenty of clues as to what is actually going on.
So, as a result of how much I fell in love with the show, I watched the first three seasons of “Mad Men” in a span of a few months.
The first three seasons have been great. I have absolutely no complaints about them. The episodes trigger all of our emotions; they make us laugh, tear up, angry, frustrated (in a good way), feel enlightened, and much more.
While season four got on to a great start, the recent episodes (8-11) have taken a slightly different tone, one that I’m fine with, but that I’m not sure if it’s best for the show’s longevity, because this certain direction usually occurs when shows stop being as great as they were.
To be continued on Part two…