Yep, it’s not a film, and it’s all the better for it. Mad Men is about the guys and gals who worked in the advertising industry in the 50s 60s and 70s in the advertising capital of the world.
My advice is not to skip a single episode. Up until about a month ago I worked in an online marketing agency, my new current role is also about online communications. As you all know, I also spent a large part of my career working in television and film. I can say, without much doubt that working in marketing is as creative as working in TV or film – if not more so.
In fact, at lot of the creative work in TV is dangerous. If you’re too good, people get threatened and scared that they’ll be exposed as fakers, or that you’re after their job. If you’re really creative in a marketing or ad agency your bosses will only see the money you can bring in. They won’t be threatened, they’ll be thrilled.
Mad Men has some of the best dialogue ever written for TV, most of it comes from the mouths of Roger Sterling and Don Draper, but all the characters both male and female are treated with a great amount of respect and attention.
The final series is very brave, an extended anecdote in the career of Don Draper which appears for a large part of the series to be going nowhere, and then, the final pay-off is magnificent.
The programme covers business, sexual mores, political milestones and the rise of the counter culture. The art direction is sumptuous, and it’s directed with intelligence, wit and panache. Start making your way through it as soon as you can.
So, 65 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.