6 Reasons Why You Should Watch 'Mad Men' If You Aren't On Board
"Mad Men" has always been one of those shows you've heard of, knew was really good, but didn't give the time of day to watch.
Even with its availability on Netflix, the show didn't always click with audiences. And, as an avid (obsessed) fan of the show, I completely understand why.
It's 1960s New York; the advertising executives of Madison Avenue coined the term "Mad Men" to describe themselves.
However, for a show about an advertising agency, it's definitely not a show about an advertising agency.
Matthew Weiner, instead, focused on the condition of the men and women as they dealt with life as it came to them. Yes, there was some drama from the agency sprinkled in there, but that's not what made me come back for more.
I came back for Don, Joan, Peggy, Roger and all the characters on the show that made it a joy to watch.
While I wish more people shared in my joy, the series is now in its homestretch and we will never be able to get that time back again (then, again, four consecutive Emmys for Best Drama Series surely made up for the lack of viewers).
However, I can still tell you what you missed out on. So, here are six reasons why you should have watched "Mad Men."
Obviously, the style
It was the 1960s, after all. It's when men wore tailored suits and appreciated a woman in a dress that celebrated her curves.
If Christina Hendricks isn't the most gorgeous woman in your eyes, you have some problems.
However, deeper than that is the fact that these outfits weren't just meant to give us a taste of time as it changes.
It also foreshadowed events and gave us a clue into what was going on in the characters' heads -- because God knows the writers won't. More on that later.
The style has become so integral to parts of the story that there is an entire series of articles dedicated to analyzing its importance.
From Peggy's yellow power color to Joan's more modest look when she wanted to be taken seriously, the series always gave the characters development in the most surprising of places.
The unforgettable characters
What's a show without good characters?
I guess the answer to that is the 2011 remake of "Charlie's Angels," but I digress. "Mad Men" thrived on the deep introspection of its characters. The "mad" part of the title never stood for Madison Avenue; it stood for insanity.
What is a real person if not insane? From Don Draper's alcoholism to Roger's orgy phase, Betty's trouble as a mother, to Ginsberg's actual insanity (He cut off his nipple for God's sake!), every character exhibited a real person with real problems, times ten.
Although the show was set in the past, it was clear the characters' troubles transcended time (for the most part).
They never shy away from a good dance number
Stay with me here. A series as depressing as this needs something to break up its unfortunate events.
"Mad Men" just happens to do that with a good dance number.
Whether it was Don and Peggy slow dancing in 'The Strategy,' or Ken tap dancing in 'The Crash,' the show was able to cast joy and laughs in our hearts in-between the sobs.
It even took a turn for sexy with Megan's rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou."
Then, of course, there was Robert Morse's incredible number, "The Best Things in Life Are Free," from the episode, 'Waterloo.'
If that doesn't make you want to watch the show, I don't what would.
Despite the slow burn of the show, they never shy away from a shocking moment
From a man cutting off his nipple to a secretary running over a man with a lawnmower, there has been a surprising amount of gore in the show. However, the shocking moments don't stop there.
From the partners firing each other to Peggy's little problem in the first season, "Mad Men" has kept the show as entertaining as it is intriguing.
While the character development is beautiful, and watching relationships flex, grow and fall apart makes for exciting viewing for me, the plot involving the ever-contentious ad agency keeps the show as engaging as any.
If you don't believe me, watch the thrilling episode, 'Shut the Door. Have a Seat,' and tell me "Mad Men" is boring.
It's the most intriguing look at history in recent memory
Now, I obviously haven't lived through the time period, but what I can tell you is watching events like the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination, the moon landing and the Kennedy vs. Nixon election play out through the eyes of those "living through it" is infinitely more exciting than any history textbook I've read.
Not only that, the events also have a profound effect on the characters. For example, take office manager Dawn Chambers, who Peggy finds sleeping in the office due to the racial tensions occurring during the Hough riots of 1966.
If you can't seem to pay attention in a history class, then maybe "Mad Men" is for you.
Underneath the style, clothes and alcohol, there is real life being lived
Yes, it's the 1960s, when sexism and racism ran rampant, but once you look past that, there is more to life than your society. There is marriage that never should have happened, struggles to grow in the work place, surprise pregnancy, divorce, children acting out and dealing with the past.
I can go on and on about how "Mad Men" portrayed life, not just imitated it.
It put humanity into its characters. It gave them actual lives that carried them throughout the series, and that's why I kept watching.
Who would have known that the naive new girl, Peggy, would grow into a confident and successful copy chief, or that the sexy and objectified Joan would become a rich partner of the firm?
What "Mad Men" does best is remembering where the characters came from and where they're supposed to go. Every character on the screen remembers who they were, who they are and what they did to get there.
I wish there were more people who experienced the journey with me, but the joke's on them. I get to enjoy one of the best series on television all to myself.