Why Mad Men on AMC is the Premier TV Channel and TV Series Duo

Apologies for not writing a post on Saturday, for I was feeling under the weather and didn’t have the energy to think of creative ideas pertaining to the aforementioned title. On another note, May the Fourth be with you everybody!! While one would surmise the fact that this blog post is about Star Wars, I thought I’d rebel against the Force (in reality, I already made a post about my thoughts on the new Star Wars movie back on Friday) and talk about another guilty pleasure of mine: AMC’s Mad Men, which, in my opinion, is the main reason why a person would tune in to AMC (Channel 51 for all you Rogers customers out there). While the show will be airing its seventh and last season this year, here are some reasons why the duo of AMC and Mad Men work so superfluously on our television sets.

Going back to the history of AMC, it was originally called American Movie Classics. Seen as a competitor to TCM, or Turner Classic Movies (channel 45 for all you Rogers customers out there), it displayed classic movies including the Humphrey Bogarts, the James Deans, and the Marlon Brandos of the world. Much of the critical acclaim any of their movies had dealt with character development, and ability to effectively portray a character unbeknownst to the audience. Having seen The Sopranos, one of my all-time favourite prime time shows hosted on a cable network, I knew exactly what I was getting into with a writer of Matthew Weiner’s calibre; exceptional writing, plot and character development, with the occasional twist here and there. The idea of bringing together a dramatization of the turbulent era that is the 1960s, coupled with the focus on advertising men (or ad men, for short) in the mecca that is New York, was certainly a sign that Weiner did his homework on the classic movie roots of the 80s company. Making Mad Men into a full-length film wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially given the recent trend of period pieces being the new thing (see: Game of Thrones, The Tudors last decade, and movies like The Other Boleyn Girl). Just don’t tell that to Michael Bay.

It should be noted that at the time the first season of Mad Men was released, AMC was transitioning into its fourth year of original, scripted programming. Rival HBO already had two hits on their hands prior to 2007: The Wire, and The Sopranos. The company really had to take a risk with this series, and it paid off handsomely. Not only was this a revival of the AMC channel as it transitioned into the modern era, it was the revival of original scripted programming as a whole. What followed suit were shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Better Call Saul, shows which have garnered widespread acclaim. To put this into perspective, having Mad Men on AMC served as a launching platform for great original shows and, after quite some time, has finally caught on with the masses. Allow me now to give you a sports analogy here: in the early part of the last decade, Manchester City FC, a football team who were often in the shadows of everyone’s favourite team, Manchester United, spent time in the lower leagues (i.e. leagues not named the Premier League). Even after the promotion to the Premier League in 2002, it didn’t get any attention until 2008, when they were purchased by some dudes from the UAE. Then, three years later, they won their first Premier League title since the late sixties, which, coincidentally was the time frame of Mad Men. The point is this: both items of interest (the AMC channel and Man City) both dealt with rough beginnings in transitioning from one thing to another, but, after much hard work and commitment, was able to win over audiences all over the world.

Until next time folks,
Kelvin P


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