11 September 2010 | Nooshin_Navidi
This is a perfect show in every sense. The opening credits & animated intro are themselves works of art, and the creative direction makes the series so visually exquisite that you can't take your eyes off the screen even for a moment lest you miss one of the many perfect vignettes. The haunting opening music sets the stage for masterful sound design, ranging from each episode's musical selections to the subtlest of ambient sounds. The camera-work is nothing short of stunning; it loves each character and makes even the background action interesting. Talented cast and every character is watchable & believable.
For a period piece, 'Mad Men' is remarkably fresh. The show is set in 1960, following a decade of post-WWII recovery which, with the help of rampant consumerism, transformed America from an industrial society into a "leisure society". One of the most rewarding things about the show is how we get to witness the many cracks which had already begun to form in the manicured facade of the '50s, slowly making way for America's rebellion against the manufactured "good life", and resulting in the social & political upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s.
We get to have intimate glimpses into the various components of this process--money, power, politics, sex, race, gender roles-- in a way that makes us feel as if we're actually there in the room with the characters. The show also does a magnificent job of portraying the simultaneous liberation and objectification of women as consumerism rapidly transformed their role in society.
Each and every well-developed character on this show takes his/her turn to unfold in delicate layers. This unfolding is done with pin-point precision and subtlety, and without ever spoon-feeding us. And every new nugget of information is a highly relevant piece of this very addictive puzzle.