I recently wrote an article where I looked at the TV landscape of 2015. I found out what shows debuted, what shows changed channels, what shows ended, etc. There is a show I didn’t mention in that article I could have. A major show ended its run in 2015. That would be Mad Men. Mad Men, along with Breaking Bad, turned AMC into a place for original programming. Mad Men made people like Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Olsen into stars. It won eight total Emmys, including winning Outstanding Drama Series four times. All of this is true. What is also true, to me, is an fairly unpopular opinion. I don’t think Mad Men is very good.
To what degree did I not enjoy Mad Men? I think I made it about four episodes in before I gave up on it. Yes, I can’t speak to the majority of the show’s run, other than from secondhand accounts. Simply put, I found Mad Men boring. I was intrigued by it. I even liked the pilot. The show looked beautiful. Jon Hamm is a good actor. So is Elizabeth Olsen. I just could not get invested in Mad Men. The characters weren’t interesting enough. The stories weren’t engaging. I just found myself shrugging after episodes were over.
You know what I think part of the problem was? The twist at the end of the first episode. You don’t find out that Don Draper has a wife and children until the end of the pilot. It was a surprise. It also kind of sucked. Don’s home life was the worst part of the show. Betty was not a good character. The family drama was always boring. And sometimes weird. Like, why am I watching Betty Draper babysit some creepy kid who spies on her in the bathroom? All the stuff I liked in the pilot was at the office. I wanted a show about the ad agency. It wasn’t what I got.
I have never had any interest in giving Mad Men another shot. If I want to watch the actors from the show I have other options. Jon Hamm pops up on podcasts and is funny and charming. Mad Men may have won four Emmys for Outstanding Drama. It didn’t interest me enough to even give it more than four episodes. There are bad shows that annoy me, that make me mad. Funnily enough, Mad Men didn’t make me mad. It just made me bored.