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Old 12-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #1
Maui
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Mad Men - When Does It Get Interesting?

Okay, so on Black Friday I found a deal to pick up the first three seasons of Mad Men on Blu Ray for only $9.99 a season. I had never seen the show but it seemed like a no-brainer. It seems to be well regarded series here on the forum and friends and family have said they love it.

So, I have finished the first 5 episodes (disc 1) and I find myself struggling to find the motivation to even put in the next episode. I just am not getting into it. I recognize that the acting is good and the setting is interesting but in the end it seems like a soap opera set in the past. Mainly it seems to be unlikable characters doing unlikable things, mostly cheating on their wives, fiancées and girlfriends.

So should I keep at it? Does the show kick in to gear a little later? Or, is it just more of the same from here on out?
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:13 PM   #2
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If that's the way you feel about it after 5 episodes, you probably won't enjoy the rest. Just my opinion. There were times that I struggled to watch, and I'm a fan of the show.

(I got the same deal on the BD sets).
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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I also bought the Black Friday set and just went through the first season again after not having seen it in a couple of years. The tone of the show doesn't change very much from what you have seen. If anything, the acting gets better with certain characters going through more soap opera drama. Don's past does open up things, but in future season's they go more into family drama and away from Don's job as a brilliant pitchman. It's worth watching the rest of Season 1 to see the last couple of episodes which are good payoffs.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:27 PM   #4
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The latter half of the first season is what got me hooked. But it's not startlingly different from what you have already seen.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:16 AM   #5
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Mad Men is all about the slow burn and its intensity, if you're 5 in, it's not going to seriously change, but as others say, you really should slog through to the end of season 1, if at the end of the season you're not hooked, then as others have said, it may not be your cup of tea.

I was hooked at the end of episode one, so I can't add much more than that.

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Old 12-15-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Mad Men is a character study - not a lot of "action", but a lot of depth.

It's about the writing, the acting, the sets, the costumes - the whole package is just outstanding TV, IMO.

I don't think you are going to like it any better if you aren't already hooked...I will buy your DVD's from you if you want to get rid of them!
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:16 AM   #7
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Whenever the busty redhead is on the screen.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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I watched disc 1 of the first season and quit. I just didn't find the show very interesting.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:23 AM   #9
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This sounds like me back when I first started watching.

http://tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/sho...d.php?t=441406

I'm not sure it took me as long but I'd stick with it if I were you. It's now one of my top 5 favorite shows.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:32 AM   #10
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What happened to the OP is why I rarely, if ever blind buy...no matter how great a show/movie is hyped.

I'd rent way before I'd drop $$$ to actually own more discs.

If you're not liking it, I'd just sell the set(s) to a used DVD store.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyny523 View Post
Mad Men is a character study - not a lot of "action", but a lot of depth.

It's about the writing, the acting, the sets, the costumes - the whole package is just outstanding TV, IMO.

I don't think you are going to like it any better if you aren't already hooked...I will buy your DVD's from you if you want to get rid of them!
I don't mind character studies. I usually like them but I just am not that interested in any of the characters on this show. As I said, I do recognize that the acting is good and the setting is interesting.

I'll probably watch a few more as there is not much else on for the next few weeks.

As for selling the discs, I will keep you in mind if I decide to do that.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:33 AM   #12
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I watched the first two of season one, and liked them well enough. But that was September, and I haven't been compelled to watch more. Let's see what two four day weekends do for that.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:48 AM   #13
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I remember feeling similarly through the first several episodes of season one. I knew I respected the show, I knew I even liked it reasonably well, but it was hard to feel compelled to keep going. But I did, and somewhere in the back half of season one things changed. I actually think the show does change subtly around that point as it settles in, and as a viewer you too adjust to it. And there are some downright riveting episodes in every season. I agree with the counsel to get to the end of season one. Don't quit now.
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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I didn't love it at 1st, and still stock pile them on my DVR before I watch them. (Tho watching 2-5 episodes in a row is great)

That being said, I did like it enough to keep watching,so maybe it's not your cup of tea.
Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui View Post
Mainly it seems to be unlikable characters doing unlikable things
Seinfeld was the most popular show on television following this model.

I was hooked a few minutes into episode one, but if it's not your cup of tea, so be it.

The last episode of the first season is particularly cool, I have to say.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #16
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I think I still have every ep stored on the tivo...but we just haven't started watching since we have SO much other stuff to watch (especially after being gone for two weeks on vacation). I keep saying we need to at least watch the first few eps to see if we like it...so then we can go full-steam ahead or just delete the whole shebang. Though, part of me just wants to delete the whole thing so I can stop fretting about it. I mean, it shouldn't be stressful to think about watching a TV show, right?
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #17
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i think it becomes compelling once don's "reveal" is out there. don't remember when that is however.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
I think I still have every ep stored on the tivo...but we just haven't started watching since we have SO much other stuff to watch (especially after being gone for two weeks on vacation). I keep saying we need to at least watch the first few eps to see if we like it...so then we can go full-steam ahead or just delete the whole shebang. Though, part of me just wants to delete the whole thing so I can stop fretting about it. I mean, it shouldn't be stressful to think about watching a TV show, right?
Personally, I think it is one of the best shows on TV.

I would not delete...
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:28 PM   #19
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i think it becomes compelling once don's "reveal" is out there. don't remember when that is however.
Late in S1.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:45 PM   #20
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Late in S1.
Wife and I just watched that ep....one of the best in the entire series so far.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:55 PM   #21
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Whenever the busty redhead is on the screen.
Whenever John Hamm is on the screen.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Personally, I think it is one of the best shows on TV.

.
I disagree . I feel it is the best show on TV.
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:17 PM   #23
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Mad Men is on NetFlix
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:15 PM   #24
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After watching the first three seasons, and recording the fourth, I almost bailed and deleted the last season because I couldn't remember why I like the show. Tonight I watched the first episode of the fourth season and it all came back to me.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:54 PM   #25
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I watched the episodes that occured around the time of "Come in. shut the door." (no spoilers; the end of last season) and really enjoyed them I guess because something was happening. I really tried to get into it again this season but repeatedly fell asleep so I deleted the SP.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:59 PM   #26
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I wonder how closely the "like it/don't like it" line falls with the age of the viewer. Are there many more "like it" people among those that have lived through that era and many more "don't like it" among those that were born well after that? That would be my guess.

Having said that, I watched and somewhat enjoyed the first season but kind of got bored with it after that. I was born in '61.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #27
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I wonder how closely the "like it/don't like it" line falls with the age of the viewer. Are there many more "like it" people among those that have lived through that era and many more "don't like it" among those that were born well after that? That would be my guess.

Having said that, I watched and somewhat enjoyed the first season but kind of got bored with it after that. I was born in '61.
I think it's one of the top 3 shows on TV and I was born in '72.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:19 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by nyny523 View Post
Mad Men is a character study - not a lot of "action", but a lot of depth.

It's about the writing, the acting, the sets, the costumes - the whole package is just outstanding TV, IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLucPicard View Post
I wonder how closely the "like it/don't like it" line falls with the age of the viewer. Are there many more "like it" people among those that have lived through that era and many more "don't like it" among those that were born well after that? That would be my guess.

Having said that, I watched and somewhat enjoyed the first season but kind of got bored with it after that. I was born in '61.
I was wondering the same thing. I would guess that people who have childhood memories about aspects of the era of the early 60s have more reason to relate to the show than youngsters who were born in the 70s and later.

Part of the background stuff that I enjoy about Mad Men is the silliness of acceptable behavior of the 60s compared to today. e.g., Outrageous sexism, drinking & smoking at work, drinking & smoking while pregnant, drinking & driving, no child restraints in vehicles, blatant littering, letting kids run around with plastic bags over their faces, adults disciplining other people's children, etc. It's all stuff that would get people arrested or sued today, but was acceptable behavior in the early 60s.

Then there is the fashion, the furniture, the cars ... all quite entertaining if you can relate to it from childhood memories.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
I think I still have every ep stored on the tivo...but we just haven't started watching since we have SO much other stuff to watch (especially after being gone for two weeks on vacation). I keep saying we need to at least watch the first few eps to see if we like it...so then we can go full-steam ahead or just delete the whole shebang. Though, part of me just wants to delete the whole thing so I can stop fretting about it. I mean, it shouldn't be stressful to think about watching a TV show, right?
For me, the initial episodes were ok but not spectacular. It was toward the end of season 1 when I started to find it compelling.

Like Sheryl says, it's really about characters and relationships, so it takes a while to get those developed to the point where you can't wait to see what happens next. Character stories and back-stories are rolled out slowly.

It's also extremely accurate to the time period in attitudes and behaviors, so it's also interesting to see how different society was 50 years ago.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:01 PM   #30
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I was born in 1980 so I have no attachment to the era but still like the show. It did take about half a season for me to get into it.

In the first half of season 1, Don Draper kind of seems like a smug a**hole, but then something happens and it's revealed that he's actually a very flawed individual that actually means well.

This is where I think some people love it or hate it. If you enjoy character studies, or enjoy reminiscing of the era then you'll love it, if you have no attachment to the era and aren't interested in this type of show then you'll probably be bored to tears.

The show is about Don Draper, a man that means well but is so flawed and damaged that he makes really bad decisions, usually based on the promise/idea of temporary feeling of being loved.

He is also a genius when it comes to marketing a product. The episode where he pitches the carousel slide projector almost made me want to buy one in the age of power point and laptops.

The show is not meant for all audiences. Stomach through season 1 and if you're still bored then just quit there.
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