BY GREG CAPELLI
On Sunday, the 1960s advertising industry-based show “Mad Men” returned to television with its seventh and final season, encouraging me to think back on all the television greatness I was lucky enough to witness firsthand. Anyone who watches the show will agree that “Mad Men” captivates its audience because of its ability to relate to every persons inner self. If you are hesitant about watching an episode, here are some reasons to check it out.
Perfectly Imperfect Characters
Nobody is perfect. This statement is not an opinion but simply a fact of life. Unfortunately, very few forms of entertainment have the ability to show the imperfections in each of their characters. “Mad Men” trumps this phenomenon, effortlessly showing the deepest weakness in each and every character. The show also refuses to take the easy way out, never using character narration to show thoughts but instead using character actions. It is this in depth character involvement that makes the show so entertaining. By showing the intricacies of each character, “Mad Men” will pull you in and emotionally involve you with every character.
To Learn some History
“Mad Men” is a fictional story with fictional characters; however, the show is set in a pivotal time in U.S. history: the late 1960s. The producers of the show intertwine historical events into the storyline by using characters to display a social history of 1960s America. For example, a documentary on PBS will teach you about the JFK assassination, but “Mad Men” will show you the raw emotions and fears average Americans possessed during the assassination. The historical themes of the show stretch to every corner of the 1960s, showing how people socially handled everything from racism to the Vietnam War. This alone is an interesting enough reason to start watching.
The “Mad Men” protagonist, Don Draper, played by John Hamm, is the primary reason to watch any episode. Draper thinks outside of the box at work and literally does whatever he wants in his daily life. If you’ve ever wanted to see what would happen if you honestly didn’t give a crap about anything, had no filter, drank like a fish and slept with as many women as James Bond, you’re in luck because Draper does all of these things while simultaneously being one of the top advertising executives in New York. Everyone loves watching super heroes with super powers, and Draper has the super power to mind-blast anyone at any time or place. Nobody is safe, including his co-workers, women and even his own children. Watching Draper’s responses to others challenge him is equal parts hilarious and awe-inspiring, and so is this show.