What to Binge This Month: Mad Men

 

 

You’ve been through How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, and Friends (maybe two or three times)... the list can go on and on. Whatever show it may be, if you’re looking for something new to binge on Netflix, look no further than Mad Men. Lucky for you, the second part of season seven (the final season) was just released on Netflix so you don’t have to wait like the rest of us. Mad Men follows the life of Donald Draper (Jon Hamm), an advertising executive in 1960’s New York City. The dramas seven seasons have received countless Emmy’s and Golden Globes. If you’re not convinced by the 1960’s period setting or the endless critical acclaim, these are some of the best elements of Mad Men:

The Costumes

Mad Men deals mostly with some of the wealthiest people in New York City in the 1960’s. Not only do the costumes show this wealth, they are also ridiculously accurate for the times. The costume designer, Janie Bryant, did endless research and curated the costumes from flea markets, thrift stores, original designs, or even her mother’s closet. Every episode each character's costume was made to further tell a story.

 

The Character Development

Not one character is the same in their last episodes as they appeared in their first. Each main and supporting character has at least a slight background story that is told during their time. The greatest of character developments include Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), who both rise above and against the male-dominated world of advertising. Lead character Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is another one, as his complex and mysterious backstory is carefully untwisted throughout the seven seasons.

 

The Writing

The shows creator and writer, Matthew Weiner, does an excellent job of filling each episode with humor, complex subplots, and of course drama. You become intrigued by the secrets the characters hold, the never ending adultery, and the clear representation of the 1960’s culture.

 

The Cultural References

This is a show set in the 1960’s that doesn’t force that fact on you or create a cliche image of the period. Themes and events from the period are set to the background of the show, giving you an insight into what is going on in the characters world but not focusing in on it. Smoking is a prevalent theme in the show, along with alcoholism and racism. There are references to music, art, movements, and the war and each episode ends with a song chosen to represent those times. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles are just a few of the popular artists chosen to end the show.

 
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