Mad Men premiered on the cable network AMC on July 19th, 2007. The series was created by Matthew Weiner, produced by Lionsgate Television, and the American period drama will release its final season in 2014 and 2015. The last season consists of two parts which contain seven episodes each. The second half of the season premiered on April 5th, 2015, and May 17th, 2015 is when the series finale is scheduled to air. The term “mad men” is explained in the pilot of the series. According to that episode, advertisers who were at work on Madison Avenue used the slang phrase to refer to themselves in the 1950s. Since that point the trivia has been argued and disputed.
The main characters of Mad Men are Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell; Jon Hamm as Don Draper; Rich Sommer as Harry Crane; Elizabeth Moss as Peggy Olson; Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper; January Jones as Betty Francis; John Slattery as Roger Sterling; Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris; Michael Gladis as Paul Kinsey; Aaron Staton as Ken Cosgrove; Jay R. Ferguson as Stan Rizzo; Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper; Jessica Pare as Megan Draper; and Christopher Stanley as Henry Francis.
The series takes place during the 1960s and is anchored on an ad agency in New York, following the business as it struggled to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive world. The executive, Donald Draper, is at the focus of the stories. Donald had a considerably difficult childhood which shaped him into the man he is in the series, but he would rather not talk about the things he experienced except for with those he is closest to. He is the brilliant genius whose mind is behind the company. Despite being confident Donald actually struggles with a number of insecurities and vices, including smoking, drinking, and taking advantage of women, even though he is actually a family man.
Rotten Tomatoes gives Mad Men an 87% approval rating, Metacritic gives it 77%, TV.com gives it 8.8/10 stars, and IMDb gives it 8.7/10 stars. Most of those who viewed Mad Men found themselves enjoying the series. After so many seasons it is also true that it has a formidable fanbase. For the most part the audience for Mad Men has grown throughout the years. Season one began with an average of 0.90 million viewers, then to 1.52 in season two, then 1.80, 2.27, 2.70, and the last couple of seasons have dropped slightly, from 2.49 to 2.01. Reviews called the series introspective and interesting, many commenting on the unique and intriguing spin on a world that existed decades ago. Some viewers admit that it may take a little time to get into the groove of Mad Men, but after several episodes it is a worthwhile experience. Fans say that the acting is beautiful and spot on, and the writing is superb. Critics say that the concept of an ad agency is dull and boring even though a series which is set in the 60s seems like a good idea. Some call it depressing like the characters of Mad Men. There is also some debate about whether the series might be sexist and racist, and there is a lot of alcoholism and smoking seen.