Mad about Mad Men!

Anthony Thalassinos

Since premiering in 2007, Mad Men has catapulted becoming one of the greatest television dramas of all time, with a sophisticated cast, impeccable wardrobe and enchanting soundtrack, Mad Men has built a rapport with audience all around the world. Whether your connection begins with the great Don Draper (Jon Hamm) or the uneasy Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) Mr.Draper’s young secretary or the ambitious Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) audiences are immediately given a personality they can connect to, and hopefully step into the shoes of as they try to make it big in the big city!

 

From the very start, audiences are romanced by the music played to set the stage as old classic jazz and crooner music echoes throughout the opening scene, immediately displaying Don Draper smoking a cigarette an act usually associated with an individual who is ‘cool.’ For those interested in fashion you cannot help but take in the attire worn by Don Draper as well as the rest of the men at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. The traditional American Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren suits are displayed by all characters however all worn differently to say the least, Mr. Draper tends to wear patterned colours and nothing to obscure in a way to prove his superiority as well as his individualism and age, furthermore, his masculinity as a proven man in the business and not someone that has to prove himself in the office. On the other hand, the ambitious and young Pete Campbell leans towards more of an edgy style at the time, initially with a navy blue suit and an obscure tie and tie clip, Pete Campbell projects himself as a young showman, someone looking for his big break giving all those in the audience who have wanted to still the show a real character to seek their teeth into.  But it is not just the wardrobe that allows the male demographic to find a connection with the characters, its also the psychological issues endured by each men subtly in the first episode which also gives individuals an avenue to discover a connection. 

 

Whether it is the slow dissolving of an aspirin or fixation with a fly stuck in a light, Don Draper is a character trapped in a jungle.  As Mr. Draper focuses on the dissolving of an aspirin, feeling as if he should be the one in that glass of water instead, the audience is dragged into Mr.Draper’s world of stress and uneasiness as he prepares himself for the deal of a lifetime. However when he does succeed, Mr.Draper’s masculinity and confidence is regained displaying to not only the people in the meeting (particularly Pete Campbell) but also to the viewer’s that Don Draper is still the top dog in the business and consequently the television series. Where as Pete Campbell projects confidence early on but once Don Draper shows his superiority, we are shown an individual with a fake sense of confidence one that knows he cannot compete with such a man like Don Draper. Pete tries to indulge and regain his manliness through the use of sexually harassing women and continues his attempt to commit adultery (in which we are left to believe he succeeds by the end of the episode) to reassure his role as a man yet we still know he plays second best to Don Draper. 

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However, it is not only the Men that make this television show what it is, the Women particularly the young Peggy Olson gives women an avenue to connect with and hopefully aspire to as she differs from the other women displayed in the episode. The women of Mad Men initially are shown as sexually desired objects, using their looks and charm to get higher up corporate ladder, an image women of today’s society would outrage over if having to be such an object. However with the inclusion of Peggy, the audience can almost certainly mark out the differences and realise in the upcoming episodes she is a girl who is ready to shake up the place of Mad Men and not follow the sexually desired stereotype cloned by each woman in the office, this allows not only respect for the character of Peggy but an interest to watch her grow and evolve to see how she does intend become different from the others.

 

Whether it is the wardrobe, soundtrack, or sophisticated and very attractive characters, Mad Men gives audiences an avenue to really take in the lifestyle of the 1950s and 1960s. Furthermore, with the abundance of personalities in reference to the television show’s characters, spectators can put themselves in the shoes of those involved in the show, to feel like they are going through these struggles and successes seen throughout Mad Men.Image

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