This aired in the U.S. last year and I heard a lot of good things about it but only now that it’s airing on CTV have I had a chance to see it. It’s worth the wait.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Mad Men is a drama set in a New York advertising agency in 1960. Along with rampant workplace smoking, viewers are treated to casual sexual harassment and racism. It’s a real window into an often romaticised time.
From the two episodes I’ve seen, the show centers around two people: Don Draper, the man in charge of creating such memorable slogans as “Lucky Strikes: They’re Toasted”, and Peggy Olsen, his newly hired secretary. Don is having an affair with a beatnik greeting card writer, Peggy has just moved into the city and prompty went on the Pill. Don also has a murky past that will likely be uncovered as the show goes on.
The show sometimes goes out of its way to show us how much attitudes have changed: Women smoke while pregnant, everyone is half-cut on cocktails before climbing into their pre-Ralph Nader cars where nobody wears seatbelts, and Don’s daughter is seen playing “Spaceman” with a plastic drycleaning bag over her head (I assume she survives the series). It also hits us over the head with clumsy lines like “Well, unless there’s some machine that magically makes copies of documents, I’d say you took this report from my office.”
In any case, it’s a particularly well-crafted series and it’s worth catching (CTV also helpfully streams full episodes online if you want catch the first two).