Five Good Reasons to Start Watching Mad Men (now streaming on Netflix)

Yesterday Netflix, the American provider of on-demand internet streaming video in the US and Canada started streaming all four seasons of the AMC hit series Mad Men.

Now, you have absolutely no excuses.

The show is available to watch on AMC On Demand, DVD and Blu Ray, and now Netflix. For those of you who haven’t been able to find this gem of a show because your DVR’s are polluted with garbage that is reality television, its time to fire The Apprentice, mute Snooki, take back that rose from the Bachelorette.

Instead, hand that lovely rose over to the staff of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce and spend your television viewing time with arguably the best scripted show in the last 25 years.

NOTE: You cannot debate this until you have watched every episode! (There might be some reverse psychology worked into this column, read closely.)

For those of you that have somehow managed to miss this critically acclaimed freight train that is Mad Men, here is a synopsis is a nutshell:

Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The focal point of the series is Don Draper (Jon Hamm), creative director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, as well as those in his life, both in and out of the office. As such, it regularly depicts the changing moods and social mores of 1960s America.

If that is not enough to fire up the Netflix right this minute, here are five reasons that should help you get your Madison Avenue fix.

1.      Jon Hamm. Yes, I have a man crush on Hamm. The guy dominates his appearances on Saturday Night Live, and is a trusted pitchman for Mercedes Benz. But his bread and butter is how he owns every scene he is in on Mad Men. No one actor has been the glue to a drama like Hamm since James Gandolfini was on Sopranos. The guy was born to play this role.

 

2.      It’s the 60’s man! The show depicts America culture and society of the JFK era, starting the series in March 1960. As the season progress, we start to see the cultural shifts that lead from a post Korean War conservative attitude to a more liberal pre-Vietnam conflict world. The decade itself acts as a character on the show, mixing in historical events into the lives of Don Draper and his co workers and family. Not to mention how rich the show is with its depiction of the arts and entertainment and politics of the times.

 

3.      The writing is top notch. I dare you to watch the pilot episode “When Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and not be hooked. Creator, showrunner, and head writer Matthew Weiner has a pretty nice resume. Not only did he write a bunch of episodes of “The Sopranos”, he produced a third of the episodes of the hit HBO crime drama, working closely with legendary David Chase.

 

4.      Its not on network TV. Shows that “end up” on AMC, FX, USA, etc seem to be there for a reason. Usually, the creator says “We were too edgy for the networks” when promoting their cable network shows. Too edgy means takes more chances, pushes the envelope and screams NOT YOUR VANILLA FLAVORED SHOW. Most network shows follow very strict guidelines, whereas cable shows have more leeway to explore subject matter that might shock audiences. I don’t care for paint by numbers dramas. I want to be challenged.

 

5.      The best lineup in television. The casting directors are batting 1000 with the ensemble they have put together for this show. Made up of mostly unrecognizable character actors and up and comers (many faces are well known today with the success of the show) I dare you to watch a season of Mad Men, then try to recast Don Draper, or Peggy Olson, or Joan Holloway with a different actor. They clearly had a vision of how they wanted these roles to look, sound, and feel, and major reason while this show is so good is because you believe John Slattery IS Roger Sterling.

If this wasn’t enough to get you to start watching, there is no hope for you. You might as well turn the tube on, and waste your time and kill brain cells watching some rich brat whine about getting the Mercedes E350 in Mars Red instead of Olivine Grey Metallic on “My Super Sweet 16.”

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