I like Mad Men, but I sometimes think Jon Hamm’s acting ability varies (e.g. sometimes his smiles seem very fake, whether the character is being sincere or not) and the entire “Don Draper is an impostor” story line (which includes his “dramatic” revelation during the Hershey meeting) is one of my least favourites.
I can’t comment on how authentic the show is to the real '60s and authenticity isn’t a huge component of how much I enjoy it.
I’m honestly not sure you could have picked a worse episode to judge Hamm’s acting or the character’s actions by than this one. It is a watershed moment when 60s sleazy-sexy-alleycat-suave-sophisticate swinger Don Draper couldn’t be less Don Draper if he was a farm boy named Dick Whitman.
It would be kind of like watching “The Fly” episode of Breaking Bad and thinking the series was too claustrophobic and talky.
As woodstockbirdybird so astutely pointed out, I don’t have an opinion of Mad Men, other than that it’s extremely popular. I don’t watch it merely because I don’t watch dramas, generally. You’ll need to up your comprehension game if you want people to treat your opinions seriously.
I’m similar in that I rarely follow dramas, but I followed Mad Men for several seasons, despite this. The only other drama I remember following in the past five or so years is Friday Night Lights. It’s all subjective, I guess, but I love John Hamm’s acting and the writing has been as good as any writing I’ve seen on TV today–well, at least the first four or so seasons (I did kind of start losing interest at season five or six, but I can’t remember why.)
You can’t say that Hamm’s acting doesn’t capture the vibe of the period, because it goes through, what, 8-12 years? Also, having lived through that IRL, I can say that there was no easily defined vibe of the period.
The set, costumes, and script do a fair to good, if not great, job of capturing whatever vibe there was. The show is great, and it is not unrealistic.
Hamm isn’t meant to be Albert Schweitzer, or Mother Theresa. He is supposed to be a selfish prick, who is the focus of the show. And, a bit of a stiff in his interactions w/other people.
BTW, I didn’t know that there were more episodes to come. I am pleased.
Ya gotta admire OP’s commitment to a position based on complete ignorance of the subject. In his defense, he sounds like a snappy dresser, circa 2006 anyway; A full year before the first episode of the show aired.
FWIW, I thought the scene with the Lucky Strike pitch in the pilot episode was brilliant.
Draper had just learned of the report definitively linking smoking to cancer. And he’d dismissed the finding of the psychologist *Dr. Guttman that the filter systems were bunk, and her suggestion that the campaign should play to the “death drive”.
Instead, Draper comes up with the theme, “Lucky Strike’s tobacco is toasted”, which sidesteps the whole issue without exposing them to liability.
*Draper’s sneering reply to Dr. Guttman’s having studied Freud’s death wish under Felix Adler - "Freud, you say - what agency is he with?" - does an excellent job of portraying the absurd cockiness - and prestige - that the advertising industry had at the time.
I’ve a dysfunctional relationship with “Appointment TV”. On one hand, I want to see it when it’s new, not three days after everyone’s been talking about it. On the other hand, something in me actively resents interrupting my down time with “Shit, nine o’clock… gotta watch my show”. As a result, there’s very few shows that I make any effort to follow. And, by the time they’ve become huge “OMG this show is great!” things the backlog is large enough to feel insurmountable (Breaking Bad is an excellent example of this; the idea of dedicating that many hours to the show now feels daunting)
Naturally what I’m getting at is that Mad Men has remained appointment television for me. It’ll be of some relief to my psyche when it’s over and I never have to keep one eye on the clock on Sunday evenings but its writing, acting and visual qualities have kept it a priority for someone who rarely gets into a show. It’s too bad that it didn’t click for you but but I can’t agree with your opinions on it. Fortunately, you seem to have some idea of what you do like so hopefully you’ll find a show that suits you better.