Mad Men is one of the breakout hits of the last couple of television seasons. Last night’s premiere of Season Three drew a record audience for the show.
It’s set in the 1950’s at a Madison Avenue advertising agency. Everybody smokes. Secretaries in the office dress in tight clothes, wiggle like hookers when they walk and play little battle-of-the-sexes games as bait in order to snare the most successful husband possible. The lead adman, played with ease by Jon Hamm, acts like the perfect husband at home but has at least one binky on the side, over whose outside activities he is insanely jealous. In the new season, our Mad Men apparently leap ahead to the 60’s and things are a little bit different. How much so, I will never know because this show hasn’t grabbed me like it has seemed to grab on to so many others.
I’m sure there were people who just didn’t care for Seinfeld, never watched an episode of ER and didn’t get all of the fuss over The Simpsons. I’ve been on the crowded pop culture train for some shows (Friends) and avoided it altogether (Grey’s Anatomy) and you can put me in the failed attempt category for Mad Men.
We started to PVR Mad Men because of enthusiastic recommendations by friends but after two episodes we’re calling it quits. Sure, they do the time capsule thing very well. So what? Hamm’s character is a creep who’s devoid of any morals. Everybody smokes – appropriate for the era – but it’s so distracting that I almost feel like my throat is getting dry. I want to slap the women at the agency and say, grow a pair and for God’s sake, do up those buttons! I don’t find it at all quaint or amusing. So I’m gonna pass.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a great show. It just means it’s not a great show for me. And the rest of the tv-watching world that will continue to bestow accolades and awards on this program, will simply have to understand. There’s a tendency to assume that someone who doesn’t like what you like just doesn’t “get it”. Oh, I get it! I just don’t want it, thank you!