My journey with Mad Men has been a long one, but it’s a show I anticipate weekly now. I stormed through the first season on a re-showing, not quite understanding what I was meant to be enjoying about any of these characters and their interactions. The lethargic direction and storytelling irritated me no end and I found myself bored, but something happened, I kept watching. I was captivated without knowing as such. In-Your-Face dramas like Lost scream at the top of their lungs that they are captivating, intelligent and beautifully filmed, Mad Men does all of that, albeit, in a more hush-hush tone. Focusing purely on aesthetic, almost every shot might be perfect for a promotional image because each frame is structured less as a TV Show and more as a piece of artwork – not that I’m experienced in the field of painting, but presumably something oil.
Seinfeld used to be able to take the banner of ‘It’s A Show About Nothing’ and do something with it: a sitcom – in a similar way, Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men has seemingly taken the banner subconsciously. It’s hard to understand how and why this works. Why do the ludicrous things that happen to the women of Wysteria Lane mean something and the illustrious affairs Don Draper and the Sterling Cooper employees have don’t? Why is only one of these two shows considering to have the watercooler talk about them? It’s a strange. I however now can appreciate the show for everything it is – it may indeed be showing off all its lovely sets, forcing down our throats how different the world is now by showing us the early ’60s from a 2010 perspective but Mad Men is simply wonderful. It’s focused on nothing in particular, its amusing in the way it draws parallels to our current times and reflects the ’60s in an interesting fashion, but most of all, it’s a show about people; their job, their homelife and everything in-between: dealing with subjects of homosexuality, pregnancy, smoking and alcohol in such a subtle manner you could be forgiven for not noticing anyone done anything.