Summer TV Wrapup: Most Intriguing New Show – “Mad Men”

AMC’s drama series Mad Men is something that I, as the title of this post suggest, find intriguing. I don’t know if I necessarily like it, but I certainly admire its qualities and feel that I am learning something by watching it.

The 1960s are an era I have no connection to, and can’t say I ever thought before watching it that it would be compelling. I don’t know anything about advertising in the decade, and I have only a slight knowledge of the political and social framework of the time. The people of Sterling Cooper might as well be living in a different world.

And yet, here I am enjoying it in spite of my apparent disconnect from its thematic values. The show’s sharp writing and slow but steady character development has been the proper introduction to its subject matter, and the result has been a show that, even if I’m not entertained by conventional means, certainly remains intriguing.

And, as a result, Mad Men is the Most Intriguing New Show of the Summer season.

What I like about the series is that each of its characters has been slowly revealed to be something more, and each week we see a glimpse into the lives of one of them. While the show centers on Don Draper, Ad Man, the show is unafraid to expand its horizons.

There’s the divorcee living down the street, Don’s darling wife, his many mistresses, the young junior executive with a wife, the new girl in the secretary pool, and just about any other character you can imagine.

I think some of my hesitation about liking or loving the series is that it really is all over the place. The show wants to hop from discussing psychiatry, to discussing family heritage, to talking about the ad game itself.

And I think the result is that I haven’t yet found anything to latch onto: I don’t need a hero, I actually like the show’s moral ambiguity, but I feel like there should be someone or something I should be following.

And yet, as I say, it intrigues me: I want to know what secrets still remain hidden within each character, and the level to which they will investigate the various social qualities that have compelled viewers so.

And thus, until I find that level of guidance, I can only say that I’m still watching Mad Men. It may just be curiosity, but in the end I’m perpetually intrigued by Mad Men. And, as far as summer shows goes, it certainly has me the most compelled…in its own special 1960s New York Ad Men way.

Mad Men airs on AMC each Thursday at 10pm.

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