If there is such a thing as a previous life, mine was in New York City in the 1960s. The thing about Mad Men is, it’s just so, so sexy! Just like its protagonist Don Draper – womaniser, alcoholic, advertising whiz and seemingly sex god. (Oh, Jon Hamm!)
Madison Avenue’s advertising firms and their ads were sexist. Admen drank like fish (and still do, in case you’re wondering). Everybody smoked. And there were many, many affairs.
But these were the Swinging Sixties: it was the decade of the sexual revolution and the second wave of Feminism. And you’ll see the changes as Don’s secretary Peggy Olsen goes on to climb to the top of the advertising ladder (and not by sleeping with the boss).
And one-time secretary Joan Holloway carves a space for herself in what is really a man’s world. You’ll see the fight for equality for women in the workplace. It has great lines – and its characters give great advice. You’ll learn lessons. Here are some:
Advertising tips, which work well in life too:
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.”
Things you need to remember at work
“It’s your job. I give you money, you give me ideas.”
“And you never say thank you.”
“That’s what the money is for!”
“This isn’t China. There’s no money in virginity.”
“Men don’t take the time to end things. They ignore you until you insist on a declaration of hate.”
“Maybe every generation thinks the next one is the end of it all. Bet there are people in the Bible walking around, complaining about kids today.”
“I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.”
Part B of season 7 starts airing on April 6 (Monday) at 10PM on Star World Premiere HD. If you’re new to the show, watch the reruns every weekday on FX at 10PM.
From HT Brunch, March 29
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