Men in “Mad”: a look into the television series for viewers and nonviewers

By Tori Pappas

When great television is the topic of conversation, the networks HBO or Showtime usually come to mind before AMC. However, AMC’s hit series “Mad Men,” has consistently broken this common conception. The series’ dashing leading man, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), has stolen the hearts of women all over the country. The sixth season of the drama has finally begun and viewers could not have been more pleased with the April 7 premiere.

The show is set in the sixties on Manhattan’s infamous Madison Avenue, hub of the advertising industry.

“Mad Men” takes its name from this notorious avenue and follows an advertisement agency as they experience the switch from black to white print and the evolution of the television.

Season one began at the beginning of this cultural decade and the previous seasons have led viewers through the ups and downs of the turbulent sixties.

From the Kennedy assassination to the Cuban Missile crisis, the show has created the perfect blend of fact and fiction to satisfy viewers.

Don Draper is the lead character that struggles with infidelity, a hidden identity, and the strong demand of a work life. Draper and his co-workers, most notably Roger Sterling, could not get anything accomplished without the help of the stunning secretaries. Joan Halloway runs the ad agency nonchalantly and her curves and permed red hair distract everyone from how much the male dominant work force let a woman control.

“Mad Men” has been able to persuade its audience of its authenticity in different ways.

“The set and costumes are so believable that I actually think I am living in the sixties for an hour every Sunday night,” senior Elizabeth Grossett said. “My parents are children of this era and have said it is uncanny how many details are exactly as they remember.”

This accuracy does not come at a small price. The show took over a year hiatus after season four due to budgeting issues.

Fortunately, the drama was able to rebound because of its spectators’ dedication to it.

The premiere picked up on old story lines while also bringing some of the backburner characters out of the woodwork.

It is now the latter half of the 1960s and the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, is sure to fill the script with the rich history of the decade.

“It is a fabulous show to engross yourself in because the factual events make you feel as though you’re actually learning,” Grossett said.

Draper starts out the premiere on a vacation with his wife and the entire episode is meant to mirror “The Sixth Sense” in that you question whether he is a ghost. Viewers are in for a wild spin.
“Mad Men” has survived six years on television and from the positive reviews of the premiere, it does not seem to be going anywhere.

There is an affirmative consensus from the community to give it a shot.

In the very least, it will be on the list of possible distractions from the approaching finals.