The Emmy award winning American period drama Mad Men begins its next phase as it prepares to enter season 7. Fans of the series are left wondering what season 7 has in store for them after critics found season 6 flat and passable.
Mad Men, set in the 1960s, mainly focuses on a fictional advertising agency on Madison Avenue, New York City called Sterling Cooper. The series follows the life of Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, who works at Sterling Cooper as the creative director. The plot outlines character interaction in and out of office and the ever changing social mores of the Unites States during the 60s.
Much of the events that occurred during the later half of the decade where incorporated in the sixth season of the series. These included the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, the Tet Offensive and the presidential race during the election of Richard Nixon.
Reviewers of the show, however, felt that the sixth season lacked the charm earlier seasons had and found it disconnected. Slate’s Hanna Rosin called it strange as it proposed a great deal of interesting plot ideas, but then quickly lost interest in them. Matt Zoller Seitz of the New York magazine described the sixth season of Mad Men as lumpy, unfocused and sluggish.
Needless to say, creators of the show made every effort to ensure viewer enthusiasm stayed strong. The latest season did raise a lot of questions to which the audience will be waiting for answers. What is the future for Don’s marriage? Can he repair his relationship with his daughter? How will he fare against that General Motors account? Fans will finally find out this Sunday as to what season 7 of Mad Men has in store for them.
Overall, the show has been lauded by fans and reviewers alike. Mad Men has been the recipient of a number of awards and nominations from various organizations. These include the American Film Institute, Academy of Television Arts & Science and British Academy of Film and Television Arts among others.
Style consultant and beauty expert Rachel Weingarten shed some light as to why the show has gained immense popularity. She said that when Mad Men first premiered in 2007, there wasn’t anything that compared to the show’s look. Modern television did not have the stylized look and the way of speaking that Mad Men had. To top it off every one felt sophisticated just by talking about it.
Despite the overall praise, Mad Men has had its fair share of critics. Many believed that the series had oversimplified a complex era and that modern media was doing the same. Art director and ad man Gorge Lois recently stated, in a CNN opinion piece, that claiming the show represents the 60s is like trying to show ‘Dynasty’ on the History Channel.
The criticism, however, does not come as a surprise for Weingarten, who says that television tends to be stylized and that it is not real. The series creator Matt Weiner had the same to say. Weiner said that it may all sound like a joke but ultimately it is not real.
Fans no doubt will be eager to find out where the next season picks off from. Will it resolve the questions left by previous seasons or will it set a new plot to resolve? Will the show stay true to its predecessor or will it divert into a different tone and style? All of these are questions that will most definitely be answered on Sunday as the show begins to launch its seventh season. What indeed will season 7 of Mad Men have in store, fans will just have to wait and find out.
By Hammad Ali