May 9, 2014

Your Next Box Set: Mad Men
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Your Next Box Set: Mad Men

On the lookout for a new boxset to spend your evenings devouring? Each week, will be recommending you a series that you will have wishing those cold nights would go for a good while longer…

This week, we recommend Mad Men, a show that has truly changed the face of drama on television…


What it is?

Set firmly in the 1960s, the show starts life at the

Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York. The show principally follows the many, many exploits of Don Draper, creative director at Sterling Cooper, who is brilliant at his job, but distracted by womanising, drink and a complex family life…

Who’s in it?

Jon Hamm plays the aforementioned Draper, with Elisabeth Moss playing Peggy Olsen, Draper's secretary. Vincent Kartheiser plays Pete Campbell, a young account executive with big ambitions, while Christina Hendricks plays Joan Holloway, head of the secretarial pool at Sterling Cooper.

John Slattery plays Roger Sterling, Draper's one time mentor, with January Jones playing Betty, his long-suffering wife.


Why should I watch it?

There are so many reasons, firstly the attention to detail shown by the production designers in recreating the period is impeccable, taking you right back to the 60s, secondly, the writing, it's just supreme. Showrunner Matthew Weiner and his writing team will have you under a spell from the second you sit down; it's witty, sharp, cutting and utterly compelling.

Then there are the performances, much like Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, it's unlikely Jon Hamm will ever inhabit or shine in a role as much as he has as Don Draper. His supporting cast are also superb, with Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery and Vincent Kartheiser consistently turning in performances of the highest quality, episode after episode, series after series.

Mad Men has fundamentally changed the way TV shows look at characters and the importance of period setting in how shows are framed. There was a point when every new show being commissioned seemed to feature an office full of smoking, suited up men. That was Mad Men's fault…


Describe the show in three words…

Dapper, dramatic and damn addictive…


Mad Men is available as part of hmv's US TV promotion in stores, which features discounts on many of US TV's finest shows. To find out more, visit your local hmv store. 

Mad Men - Promo - Season 1

More Articles

View All

Your Next Box Set