I watched the TV show Mad Men over Xmas, the first 3 seasons of it (13 episodes each). Season 1 and 2 on DVD and season 3 from a friend who TiVoed it and made me a copy.
The story revolves around an ad agency in the early 1960s on Madison Avenue in New York. Everybody smokes and drinks all day long. Men are entirely chauvinistic and women have to put up with it. If you happen to have brown skin, then you can count on being an elevator operator, a waiter or a maid. And don’t ever let anyone know you’re gay. Every character seems to have their own story that reflects a certain aspect of the times. The show is renowned for its historical authenticity. Not just the look of the show, but the details of social behaviour, the mentality of the men and the women at that time — it’s all kind of illuminating, like stepping into a time machine.
The first season of the show is solid all the way through. Just to see how people acted back then is fascinating, incredible at times. The show is compelling, dramatic, entertaining — all of it. It’s worth checking out. The 2nd and 3rd season, not so much. The writers ran out of ideas and put too much focus on one character; there are plenty of other compelling characters in the ensemble cast who could have easily been given more attention.
You can skip all of season 2 and most of season 3 and just read the Wikipedia episode synopsis for everything up to episode 10 of season 3. You won’t miss much. Only the last few episodes of season 3 are on par with season 1. Maybe that means season 4 will be better. I’ll wait for the DVDs.