Another alliteration day: Mad Men
Mad Men is worth watching for the beautiful styling and acute attention to period detail, but it's also a darn good show. I love that while the characters embody a glamorous lifestyle, the show does not flinch from realties that are far from glamorous. Women are clearly belittled, while at the same time fetishized through affairs. Great clothes or not, being a woman corporate America in the '60s must have sucked.
The man behind the suit, Don Draper, really runs the show. He's a dapper marketing genius, and also a bit of an a-hole. He does what he wants because he can, and it's a testament to the writers and actors that we still sympathize with Don at all. He's not really Don - he's Dick Whitman, man transformed who runs from his own dark secrets.
Much of the heart of Mad Men comes from Peggy's storyline. She's a plain girl trying to angle her way to success, and she's one of the most relateable characters. She's not beautiful or sexy, and she's naive, but not for long. As she grows thicker skin, so do we, and we see her less as a victim and more as someone who can take control, in small bites, of her fate. This mirrors what women were actually going through at that time, and it's a reminder to us that it wasn't so long ago that the workplace was that sexually discriminatory.
Why You Should Watch: It wins Emmy awards for a reason. Every actor pulls their weight, and it's a fascinating look at culture, specifically the marketing/media empire that shaped where we are today.
Factoid: Producer Matthew Weiner removed a song because it would not have been released until a few months later than timeline in the episode. His attention to detail is that aware.