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Consider me late to the party, but my current TV series obsession is a golden age classic: Mad Men. Capturing one of New York’s most prestigious advertising agencies during the 1960s, Mad Men focuses on the alluring yet brash Donald Draper, who works as the firm’s talented creative director. At its core, it’s a show about people and the world we live in, but its ability to interweave an enlightened spin on the sombre paths of everyday life, is what makes it so entertaining to watch. There’s a certain appeal to watching a workplace drama at a time where so many workplaces are left derelict and abandoned. It almost feels like I’m living vicariously through the characters as they grace the life of a lively office environment, surrounded by endless social interaction… what does that feel like again?

Notable Takes

Mad Men is well crafted with an attention to detail, from its psychedelically retro tones through interior design, to its traditionally classy garments of the 1960s. It’s witty in dialogue, sleek in style and emotionally driven by its diverse range of nuanced characters and themes. I also found it enjoyable to watch the characters empowered by working together, whilst having a burning desire to succeed in their job roles. In particular, the ambitious Peggy Olsen who works her way up from a shy secretary to a proficient copywriter, through hard work, determination and an enthusiastic drive to make a name for herself.

Favourite Episode (so far)

A notable episode for me, was Don Draper pitching his bittersweet campaign to Kodak for their new slide projector called ‘The Wheel.’ It took me back to my days working at Snappy Snaps, where I would occasionally scan in Kodak film slides to digital photographs. During his eloquent pitch, he uses the projector to switch between family album photographs of his wife and children. Needless to say, it dives into the triumphs of advertising and pulls at your heart strings, as he power-phrases the aching pain of nostalgia through past memories, “It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone”.

You can watch a clip of this scene below:

photo of asfah at bouche video production company in London

Mad Men (2007-2015)

Creator: Matthew Weiner

My Rating: ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Asfah Chughtai