THE EVERLASTING APPEAL OF MAD MEN

Within days after Netflix had announced the set departure date for Mad Men off of their streaming platform, Amazon had agreed to pick it up days later. All seven seasons of the Emmy-award winning show are now available on Amazon’s IMDB TV. This speaks volume, not only to the die-hard fans of the show, who made meme after meme to express their sadness over Netflix’s betrayal before Amazon came to their rescue; but also to how relevant and marketable the show is, five years after airing. 

Mad Men ran on AMC from 2007 to 2015 and focuses on an advertising agency set in 1960’s New York. It is still a significant mainstay in people’s heads. But why? One of the simplest answers is due to how rewatchable the show is. Unlike the other AMC titan programmes like Breaking Bad or Walking Dead, the audience was not drawn to Mad Men due to a larger than life plot or dramatic twists. In fact, it was the opposite. People loved to watch Mad Men because of how simple each episode could be, with the narrative focusing on the day to day life of the ad men and their (usually failing) personal life. 

There is also a certain sex appeal to Mad Men which cannot be understated. With everyone having to stay at home and navigate the troubles of Zoom calls, we yearn for that simplicity of turning up to a gorgeous wooden office, with a whiskey in one hand and a cigarette in the other. That’s not to say that one should glamourise the show, as initial viewers might have done upon first viewing. The show implores the viewer to take a hard look in the mirror throughout, as the precedent of a white-collar firm in the 1960s leans itself into a cast that is dominated by white men in powerful positions with few women or people of colour being able to operate on the same level. 

The idealisation of Don Draper; the protagonist of the show is another reason why Mad Men has remained in conversation for all these years. Don, the epitome of ‘tall, dark and handsome’ and the creative director of the ad firm, may seem calm and collected in the office, charming his clients with his innovative ideas, but as the show progresses, we see a darker side to him. We see Don as a serial adulterer, a liar in more ways than one, someone who will do anything to have his own way. Rewatch after rewatch, a viewer could change their mind about Don, or any other character in the show. They could sympathise, antagonise, detest or forgive. Despite knowing the plot, and the inner secrets of each character, when you hit play on Mad Men for the umpteenth time, you walk away with a different impression, that’s why it still remains so appealing to this day.

(Copyright AMC)

To stream Mad Men, find it on Amazon, or click the link here

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