5 Reasons Why I Think Mad Men Was The Best Show Ever Made

5. It Revolutionized Television

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When Mad Men came out in 2007, there was nothing like it out there, and no one expected AMC to be the one to run it. Prior to Mad Men, AMC was best known for running old movies and TV shows, so the idea to run a TV show set in the 60’s doesn’t seem too left-field for them. The success of Mad Men lead to AMC green lighting terrific shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, (Seasons 1-3) which lead to more A-List actors doing TV. Mad Men was a cultural event. Every week, millions of people would tune in to see these characters go through the 60’s. If you were old enough to remember that time, you’d talk about the old days. If you weren’t, you’d get a chance to visualize it for an hour. This show connected people, it was the first real water-cooler show of the 2000’s.

4. There is Limitless Re-watchability

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I’ve watched Mad Men all the way through at least a dozen times, and I still pick up tiny new details each time I watch it. From the facial expressions from characters in the background and foreshadowed plot elements hidden in throwaway remarks, to how Don dresses over the decade, Mad Men rewarded re- watchers. The story itself is complex enough that you might understand certain events better after a re-watch, things you missed before become clearer, and foreshadowing is more obvious when you know what it leads up to.

3. It’s A Dazzling Period Piece

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From the leisure suits, to the classic cars, to the way they talked to each other, Mad Men serves as a time capsule of the 60’s-70’s. It’s supposed to be shocking the way they treat women and minorities, it’s supposed to be shocking when the Draper family leaves their picnic trash on the side of the highway. That’s how you know we’ve grown as a society. We need that, now more than ever. Our society has changed so much since 1960, that we need a reminder of why we needed to change, why that behavior isn’t acceptable anymore. On the other hand, how cool it is to see historical events effect characters we’ve grown to care about? That’s the thing about Mad Men, you go along for this ride with these characters, and see their morals and values shaken as time goes on, and by the time the show is over, the characters you’ve spent so much time with are completely changed for the better Except Harry Crane, fuck him.

2. Perfect Usage of Music

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One of my favorite moments in the entire show is when Don and Peggy dance to “My Way” after figuring out the strategy for Burger Chef. This is a crucial moment for Don and Peggy, and one of the few wholesome moments on the show. The moment comes after seasons of Don mistreating Peggy, not acknowledging her accomplishments or her personal growth, only to have the roles reversed, with Peggy on top. I love how the Don/Peggy dynamic is capped off by Don finally treating Peggy as an equal after all the hard work and sacrifice it took to get there. Music is used sparingly on Mad Men, and that was makes these moments so special, as shown by the usually strait-laced Pete Campbell smoking a joint and checking out girls in the creative lounge as Janis Joplin’s “Piece of my Heart” plays. Another cool thing about the music of Mad Men is that all of the episodes end in period-accurate songs, not just the popular ones everyone knows either, there are some obscure 50’s hits in there too, which helps paint a nostalgic picture of the 1950’s.

1. The Character Growth

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This is it. This is the key factor that made Mad Men must-see TV. As you follow Don Draper over the course of his life, you see subtle, as well as not-so-subtle, aspects of his character grow and decay. The prime example is his alcohol abuse. Don Draper, like many of the employees at SCDP, has the liver of a stereotypical Irish bartender. His drinking starts off slow, but steady, and as the seasons, and the stresses of life go on, you see Don pouring more and more whiskey down his throat, to the point where he breaks down and cries at a Hershey pitch meeting, effectively ruining his career. Don isn’t the only character who blossoms though, the women of Mad Men are more interesting then the men most times. Let’s look at Peggy and Joan, they both have a similar goal: to be taken seriously. Joan struggles with being looked at as a piece of meat, and not as a capable, intelligent woman, and is frustrated when men ignore that. Peggy has the same issues, but is treated differently after she displays talent and drive. Both of these women are treated as second-class citizens in an era that is rapidly changing and growing. There were 7 seasons of Mad Men, so you get to follow these characters through so many important events, and see why they do the things they do, and that was refreshing to see. I really hope they have a reunion someday and give us another look into the lives of the employees of SCDP, as well as all the secondary characters, just to see where they went and what they did with their lives after the finale. That’s how good this show is. Watch it.

Fuck Being Famous

I don’t understand it, why would anyone want to be famous? I can’t think of anything worse than being an A-Lister. I’m a private person, so the idea of having people who like my work come up to me and invade my privacy and take a picture kinda bugs the shit out of me. Imagine you’re Jay-Z: you work 120 hours a week, you’re constantly busy, and the few hours a week that you get to just relax and hang out with your beautiful family, some asshole is going to come up and tell you how dope Reasonable Doubt was and ask for a picture. No, thank you. Fuck off.

On the other hand, maybe it evens out. Being that visible probably makes you a goldmine for advertising, your personal brand can make you more money than almost any other venture. Additionally, people want to suffocate you with praise and gifts, you’re allowed into places other people could only dream of, and you can even get away with murder. (Shouts out to OJ) In addition to all of those perks, you get to use your co-sign to elevate the people you care about. So it can’t all be bad, or else no one would want to be famous.

Overall, I don’t think I’m equipped to be famous, I’m kind of an asshole, if you can’t tell, I wouldn’t want to be drunk one night and be a dick to someone, only to find a video of it up on TMZ for God and my mother to see. I don’t think we let celebrities fail enough. They’re people too, kinda. If Tom Cruise is having a bad day because someone broke into his house and asked him to sign their Top Gun DVDs, I couldn’t judge him for freaking out and backhanding a pedestrian. The amount of therapy and drug abuse needed to maintain that lifestyle isn’t attractive to me. What’s all the money and access in the world worth if you can’t enjoy it?

Why My Life Would Suck Without Music

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Every morning at 8:30 I awake to the gentle, soothing sounds of “GET UP BITCH, GET UP BITCH, GET UP BITCH GET UP!” Juicy J has a knack for getting me out of bed. After jamming out with Mr.J for a minute, I get up, get dressed, and put on something more relaxing, (I’ve been leaning towards Mac Miller’s Swimming lately). Then I get into my car and push play on my “Driving” playlist, belting out lines from “99 Problems” while stuck in traffic. After properly hyping myself up for work, I start to veer off in different directions while I try and make 8 hours of Dunkin Donuts tolerable. After finishing my shift in Hell, I like to put on something happy to offset all the stupidity that I usually have to deal with working retail. Music is a constant part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Life’s better with a soundtrack, in my opinion. Most of my memories are hazy and faint, but certain songs crystallize these fragments and make them feel more significant. My life is divided into genres of music. I first started listening to Dad Rock (Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, The Who, etc) in middle school, because that’s what my parents listened to, and I had nothing to compare it to. As I grew up, I started to branch out and explore other genres. Ironically, I got into rap with Cypress Hill, before I started smoking weed. I don’t think many people can say the same. Cypress Hill introduced me to a whole different sound: that dark, ominous production style that DJ Muggs birthed. Cypress Hill introduced me to a bunch of old-school rappers that I probably wouldn’tve had access to before; Snoop Dogg, Eminem, The Alchemist, Dr.Dre, Kottonmouth Kings (yikes) These were my staples up until college. These were the people I listened to and took advice from, as stupid as that is.

The songs I used to listen to on repeat don’t hit me the same: they have a hint of nostalgia to them. Every time I listen to “Hits from the Bong” I flash back to those worry-free days, smoking a dime bag out of a bong I made out of a liter bottle, a pen, and a trumpet mouthpiece, thinking I was on top of the world. Now, I look for music that blows my mind. For example, the first time I heard “Space Song” by Beach House, I was blown away, I’d never heard anything like it and I had to have more. It took me by surprise that something that awesome had been waiting for me, within my reach. I usually hate change and trying new things, but I’ll listen to pretty much anything once. I don’t understand it, but it’s exposed me to so many different artists that I would’ve shrugged off otherwise.

Whenever I’m feeling shitty, or unhappy, or tired, or angry, anything really, music can Image result for mac millerchange that, and that’s incredible to me. If work’s got me down and miserable, I put on Malibu by Anderson .Paak, and 15 minutes later, I’m belting out the words to “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” with a smile on my face. That is something precious, there aren’t many things that effect my mood anymore. I can put on Jay-Z and feel like I can take on the world. I put on Mac Miller and close myself off to that world. Music is also something I use to relate to people: I’m not a big “people” person, I’m quiet and grumpy, and don’t like meeting new people. That all changes if I find out you like the same music as I do, I’ll probably like you a whole lot more and be nicer to you than if you kept it to yourself. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t put on my headphones and escape for a while. I’m sure I probably would’ve snapped long ago.