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What is the fuss about Mad Men?

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 26,718 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    Its more of a chicks program.
    too true it just screams "greys anatomy"..."sex and the city"..."all saints"..."ashes to ashes" and "house".

    They all have a certain crushing bordem about them that really makes you feel "I REALLY WONT EVER GET THIS TIME BACK WILL I?"

    But thats a good thing cause it makes me change channel and watch family guy...

    I hope at least one of you is being sarcastic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭ Geansai Rua


    too true it just screams "greys anatomy"..."sex and the city"..."all saints"..."ashes to ashes" and "house".

    Its really not like any of them.... Its cooler; more sophisticated..
    Men generally wouldnt understand.. ;) joke


  • Registered Users Posts: 318 ✭✭ grungepants


    i know im not i think the other guy might be but i dont like mad men....

    And its good that i dont....Im not into series like the sopranos or anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭ fonecrusher1


    too true it just screams "greys anatomy"..."sex and the city"..."all saints"..."ashes to ashes" and "house".

    In all fairness its not as bad as that list of utter tripe in your post^ With the exception of house because i haven't watched it so i'l hold fire on it. But i agree with your i'l never get this time back again comment.:)
    I hope at least one of you is being sarcastic.

    Nope. To expand on my remark. I have noticed this program seems to be more appreciated by women. This has nothing to do with my opinion on the show itself. I just don't like it. Its dull. It seems to be non stop yip-yap accompanied with very convincing 60's paraphernalia. A+ on the latter, im sure 60's culture experts are impressed. That doesn't appeal to me.

    To answer the OP's question, i don't know what the fuss is about.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,634 Richard Dower


    Blah!...i don't care how acclaimed it is, i've never seen a stitch of it but just know it would never be to my taste, same as Breaking Bad.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,028 ✭✭✭ mrsdewinter


    Well, I'm not a big fan of these hyped-to-death US shows. I really resent that I'm expected to give hundreds of hours of my life over to a New Jersey gangster/Baltimore police division/fictional White House staff. But I love Mad Men. I found myself getting drawn in by the style and the overall look of the piece, but what I love about the show is the fact that the characters develop in an organic way, they don't suddenly develop an interest in rock-climbing to facilitate an episode about rock-climbing. If a character has a heart attack, he doesn't bound into the office a week later looking as if nothing happened to him. (Well, apart from the central character, Don, but - and I'm not giving anything away here - he's seriously damaged goods.)
    Honestly, whether it's just to gasp at the pre-PC world, sigh at the clothes, or ogle Christina's figure, you can't go wrong by catching it on RTE Player.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,415 ✭✭✭ Jimmy Iovine


    Blah!...i don't care how acclaimed it is, i've never seen a stitch of it but just know it would never be to my taste, same as Breaking Bad.

    Says the chap who seems to be in love with Glee. If that's your idea of television then it's best you don't watch Mad Men, the plots and characters would go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over your head.

    There's so much to love about it. Jon Hamm is brilliant as Don. I thought the episode with him and Peggy at the beginning of last season was possibly the best bit of television I've ever seen. Great to see the transition as the series moves through the decade and styles change, women get more independence and music tastes change. Up there with The Wire challenging for my greatest show of all time


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 21,634 Richard Dower


    Glee is mush, has been since the back 9 of S1 + all of S2, it was fantastic in it's first 13 eps. - i'd NEVER claim Glee as quality tv, but it's entertaining.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 32,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    ixoy wrote: »
    You're just wrong :)


    You can give flippant descriptions of many shows though. Example:
    'The Wire': Set in the '00s, a few men (and some women) sit around and listen to other people's conversations. When they're not allowed they talk to some other people about how they should be allowed to listen to these conversations because it will stop these people doing things.


    It's a strongly character driven show. It's not so much about plot twists, or anything like that, but how these people change both due to the events of the time (hence the '60s as it's a rich cultural era in the US) and how they interact.
    It's a sublime program - looks great and acted impeccably and has some of the most intricate characters on TV today.

    I thanked you as much for your accurate description of The Wire as your accurate description of Mad Men.
    Blah!...i don't care how acclaimed it is, i've never seen a stitch of it but just know it would never be to my taste, same as Breaking Bad.

    ...and this is probably the strongest recommendation for watching Mad Men in this thread :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,765 Diddler1977


    I love the lengths that the makers go to make this a fabulously authentic watchable experience.

    eg. Ice

    When Don is in a bar the ice in his drink is made in a 1960's commercial ice machine that would be commonly used in bars at this time.
    If Don is having a drink in a family home the ice in his drink will be made in a family ice maker (you know those metal trays with the big hinge to pull out the ice)

    Another example...

    The writers have written the programme in real 60's time. Each day is replicating a certain date. eg. When filming something like the Nixon-JFK debate the writers will go back and look at the weather on this actual day. If the weather was unseasonably warm for example they will make sure that Betty is wearing a short sleeved dress or on the otherhand if the weather was cold they will put Peggy in a high necked warm dress.

    I just find Mad Men so beautiful to watch.

    But it is the storylines (slow moving on first appearance) that keep me watching.

    BTW, it is not a chicks program - my husband is more in to it then me.

    I do not like The Wire but I do like Breaking Bad.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 26,718 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    Nope. To expand on my remark. I have noticed this program seems to be more appreciated by women. This has nothing to do with my opinion on the show itself. I just don't like it. Its dull. It seems to be non stop yip-yap accompanied with very convincing 60's paraphernalia. A+ on the latter, im sure 60's culture experts are impressed. That doesn't appeal to me.

    To answer the OP's question, i don't know what the fuss is about.

    I'm just concerned that anyone wouldn't watch this show based on concerns about what gender would prefer it. Now, whatever about not liking the show because of the tone or pacing or whatever, that's fine. But dismissing a show as a 'chick's show' (whatever that means) is bizarre. Obviously some shows are designed to appeal to a female audience, but how Mad Men could possibly be perceived that way is perplexing to me. If 'no stop yip-yap' turns you off genuinely rewarding television, fair enough, I'm not one to argue. But if people are ignoring TV's most complex, involving and well made show in favour of the likes of Family Guy (not that there's anything wrong with watching Family Guy, but I'm sure everyone can agree it's in a significantly different league to Mad Men) under the false perception that they should be because "it's for girls", personally I just feel it is a damn shame.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 32,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    Just for curiosity's sake, I did an average count of the number of words of dialogue in 3 Mad Men episodes and the same for 3 Sopranos episodes and the Sopranos was about 10% higher. There isn't a huge amount of talking in Mad Men; I'd say each line is carefully written to avoid yip-yap.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,765 Diddler1977


    Blah!...i don't care how acclaimed it is, i've never seen a stitch of it but just know it would never be to my taste, same as Breaking Bad.

    Wow that is quite a talent you have their - I'd love to know something is not to my taste even when I have never tried it! ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭ fonecrusher1


    I'm just concerned that anyone wouldn't watch this show based on concerns about what gender would prefer it. Now, whatever about not liking the show because of the tone or pacing or whatever, that's fine. But dismissing a show as a 'chick's show' (whatever that means) is bizarre. Obviously some shows are designed to appeal to a female audience, but how Mad Men could possibly be perceived that way is perplexing to me. If 'no stop yip-yap' turns you off genuinely rewarding television, fair enough, I'm not one to argue. But if people are ignoring TV's most complex, involving and well made show in favour of the likes of Family Guy (not that there's anything wrong with watching Family Guy, but I'm sure everyone can agree it's in a significantly different league to Mad Men) under the false perception that they should be because "it's for girls", personally I just feel it is a damn shame.

    Christ almighty in all fairness did you genuinely not see this in my post; "This has nothing to do with my opinion on the show itself" or are you simply looking for thanks from fans of the show? Also i never once mentioned family guy in any of my posts?!

    Look the title of this thread is What is the fuss about mad men? Its an invitation to discuss the show in general & why it seems to be popular amongst certain people. Im expressing my opinion on why i don't like it & why i don't know what all the fuss is about it. Ok you find it involving & well made. Good for you but you have to respect the fact that other people may not share your enthusiasm for the program.

    I just find it dull thats all.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 26,718 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    Christ almighty in all fairness did you genuinely not see this in my post; "This has nothing to do with my opinion on the show itself" or are you simply looking for thanks from fans of the show? Also i never once mentioned family guy in any of my posts?!

    Look the title of this thread is What is the fuss about mad men? Its an invitation to discuss the show in general & why it seems to be popular amongst certain people. Im expressing my opinion on why i don't like it & why i don't know what all the fuss is about it. Ok you find it involving & well made. Good for you but you have to respect the fact that other people may not share your enthusiasm for the program.

    I just find it dull thats all.

    I can happily accept that you and many others don't like it, and yeah in fairness it wasn't you who brought Family Guy into the equation, I will concede both those points.

    But you did bring up the issue of gender in the first place, I'm just trying to counter a sub-debate you started. I just wouldn't like to think anyone (not you) would dismiss a decent show based on the fact that it is (wrongly, IMO) perceived as not gender appropriate!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭ fonecrusher1


    Just for curiosity's sake, I did an average count of the number of words of dialogue in 3 Mad Men episodes and the same for 3 Sopranos episodes and the Sopranos was about 10% higher. There isn't a huge amount of talking in Mad Men; I'd say each line is carefully written to avoid yip-yap.

    Yeah but theres good story developing yip-yap & theres boring obscure yip-yap.

    One of the things i liked about sopranos is that you could watch pretty much any episode & thoroughly enjoy it regardless of how many episodes you had watched previously.
    And its for the exact oppposite reason i don't like shows like madmen & 24. There may as well be a little sign in the corner of the screen saying; longterm members only.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,765 Diddler1977


    Yeah but theres good story developing yip-yap & theres boring obscure yip-yap.

    One of the things i liked about sopranos is that you could watch pretty much any episode & thoroughly enjoy it regardless of how many episodes you had watched previously.
    And its for the exact oppposite reason i don't like shows like madmen & 24. There may as well be a little sign in the corner of the screen saying; longterm members only.

    Did you start watching Mad Men from the start? Or did you attempt to hop in the middle of a series?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,751 liah


    I think it's kinda hilarious that fonecrusher called it a 'chick's program', considering it's one of the most infuriating things I have ever made myself sit through!

    The first season had me fuming an awful lot of the time, and I still have very little respect for some of the characters (Don, namely), but it's so goddamn interesting I can't really help myself. It is remarkably well-written and just stunning to look at. But as a girl I found it incredibly, incredibly hard to put up with some of it without going into a mild rant about sexism :pac:

    I always thought it was a man's program, considering it's about men getting to do whatever the hell they want, treating the girls like crap, drinking and smoking all day, manipulating and sleeping with as many women as possible, etc.

    The idea of it being a chick's program tickles me, frankly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,800 voxpop


    liah wrote: »
    I always thought it was a man's program, considering it's about men getting to do whatever the hell they want, treating the girls like crap, drinking and smoking all day, manipulating and sleeping with as many women as possible, etc.

    Are those points above not one of the main themes throughout the program - how life was in the 60s. How sexism was rampant, how it was normal to get hammered, drive home, crash your car and then just pay a fine. How everyone smoked, that drinking at work was accepted and nearly expected.

    I dont see how it could make you angry really, its the setting for the show - its like getting angry at the Sopranos, because they are gangsters and you are against crime


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 26,718 CMod ✭✭✭✭ johnny_ultimate


    I've always thought Betty - and maybe a few of Don's other 'love' (ahem) interests - was the only 'weak' female character on the show, almost resigned to a live of servitude. Joan is a very strong character: yes, she deals with rampant sexism (many episodes of the fourth season anyway strongly focus on it) but the way she deals with it - often, admittedly, just taking it when there's no other option - is compelling viewing. The episodes where she walks in and lays into the particularly piggish males are always satisfying.

    But Peggy is the character that is the most well balanced, and I find sexism criticisms hard to justify with a female character such as hers on the show. She is often dismissed or looked down upon because of her gender, but this is the way things were back then. The way she can hold her own when Don says something extremely pig ignorant to her is admirable. The fact that she is where she is, and in many cases significantly more dominant than the guys around her
    (like her 'boyfriend' subplot in season four, or the way she confidently strolls in to fire creative staff)
    . Most of the male characters are sexist in this show, and the way the females deal and cope with this is one of the more interesting dynamics IMO, and one of the main thematic focuses of seasons three and four especially. Through Peggy - and I forgot to mention Sally, who is potentially the key to the whole theme! - we're slowly seeing an alternate and often very fun take on the women's rights movement. If the show continues on for another few seasons, I can see this dominating, particularly as Sally and Peggy's peculiar growth of independence and weird sexual awakenings have already begun in earnest!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,688 ✭✭✭ fonecrusher1


    liah wrote: »
    it's about men getting to do whatever the hell they want, treating the girls like crap, drinking and smoking all day, manipulating and sleeping with as many women as possible, etc.

    but it's so goddamn interesting I can't really help myself.

    See^ you women do like all that stuff deep down. Yessss!!! I win.

    /runs out of the room without hearing any counter-argument...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,751 liah


    voxpop wrote: »
    Are those points above not one of the main themes throughout the program - how life was in the 60s. How sexism was rampant, how it was normal to get hammered, drive home, crash your car and then just pay a fine. How everyone smoked, that drinking at work was accepted and nearly expected.

    I dont see how it could make you angry really, its the setting for the show - its like getting angry at the Sopranos, because they are gangsters and you are against crime

    It makes me angry because I can empathize so well and that kind of behaviour from men infuriates me in real life, so, via that empathy, it infuriates me there too.

    I still find the show interesting and of course I recognize that it was part of the times. It doesn't mean it's not allowed to bother me, and the fact that it bothers me doesn't keep me from seeing it as quality programming. In fact, it's probably because of that that I consider it quality programming. It has an ability to hit home. A very effective one, at that.

    I liked Joan until the
    rape scene.. she stopped fighting
    , because she knew what was going on and was manipulating the men while they thought they manipulated her, which was really the only way she could have control over the situation at the time. She was an interesting character, but I thought they cheapened her a bit after what I mentioned in the opener of this paragraph. I expected her to have more fight and self-respect.

    Peggy, I'm still not entirely sure what I make of her. Yes, I like that she can hold her own with the lads, but I think they're trying a bit too hard with her character sometimes. I'm not sure how to describe it, either, so I'll digress on that one.

    Don is just a selfish prick who I still just plain don't like. I think he bothers me the most because if I didn't see the seedier side I'd be half in love with him (he's certainly lovely to look at!) :pac: and that prospect terrifies me, knowing that people can be that seedy and manipulative and so quick to lie.. and to lie so easily and effortlessly.. and I'd never know the difference. I hate users, and Don is a user.

    Betty's an odd character alright but I actually think she's one of the more interesting ones, and in the first two seasons she played her part as the beautiful little 50's housewife flawlessly. She drove me nuts never standing up to Don so it was a massive relief to me when she told him where to go. I kind of half want to like her for being able to finally break away from Don and do things for herself, and half want to hate her because of when she
    slapped Sally
    and a few other things related to her particular brand of mothering. I think she's a pretty realistic depiction of a woman raised in another time finally trying to do right by herself, but a bit in over her head at times and making a lot of mistakes along the way.

    The rest of them I'm not too invested in, and it's been awhile since I've watched all of it anyway so I might as well end my ramblings on that note.

    Point is, while the characters can be utterly infuriating sometimes it truly is a quality show, from pretty much any perspective.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,466 Forest Master


    I watched Season 1 and it's terrible. Boring - I spent the entire season waiting for something interesting to actually happen besides snide remarks & pompous smalltalk. It's just a bunch of chauvanist as*holes acting like as*holes while smoking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 192 ✭✭ tskk


    I love Mad Men. Thank God BBC4 showed it late last year at a normal time not like RTE showing it at midnight?

    I just love the style, the characters, Don is not a nice person but when you find out his past history you might be able to understand how he thinks. Roger is hysterical. His one liners are classic. There are so many characters and so many things going on but it all comes back to Don and whats going on in his world.

    I would highly recommend it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,751 liah


    I watched Season 1 and it's terrible. Boring - I spent the entire season waiting for something interesting to actually happen besides snide remarks & pompous smalltalk. It's just a bunch of chauvanist as*holes acting like as*holes while smoking.

    You should see my first post on Mad Men :pac: I thought the exact same thing. It was really hard to get into, the characters seemed so unlikeable.

    In fairness though, I'd give the rest of it a go. It does get more interesting.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 32,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    I watched Season 1 and it's terrible. Boring - I spent the entire season waiting for something interesting to actually happen besides snide remarks & pompous smalltalk. It's just a bunch of chauvanist as*holes acting like as*holes while smoking.

    Are you sure you're not mixing it up with Entourage?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,751 liah


    Are you sure you're not mixing it up with Entourage?

    I like Entourage :( What's wrong with Entourage?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,800 voxpop


    liah wrote: »
    It makes me angry because I can empathize so well and that kind of behaviour from men infuriates me in real life, so, via that empathy, it infuriates me there too.

    You must be a seething ball of rage after each episode :pac:


    Don is a great character - looks like a superhero, top of his game, perfect wife and family, but is completely messed up inside and cant be happy.

    I dont get the appeal of Peggy tbh - was waiting for her to crash and burn but it never happened (end of season 2). She has this superior attitude, it just grates on me.


    btw - Im only finishing season 2, - spoiler tags appreciated :)


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  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 32,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    liah wrote: »
    I like Entourage :( What's wrong with Entourage?!

    Nothing in particular. I watch it myself, but it is chock full of chauvinistic arseholes acting like arseholes making snide remarks while waiting for something to happen.

    I watch films about nazis, the Klan, the Catholic Church... but don't consider them bad films because the characters are not the nicest bunch of lads. Well-made portrayals of unlovely people are interesting to me.


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