After hearing about the show's focus (advertising heavyweights in the 60s), I said a polite "no" to Mad Men. I like to consider myself an open-minded gal, but boy, I didn't see the enjoyment of watching a show like this one. You see, I have a tendency to gag in the presence of douchebags. Now picture those douchebags in fancy suits, cheating on their housewives, belittling their secretaries, and earning a lot of money by selling things you don't need.
Yep. That's what I thought Mad Men was all about.
"I have nothing to gain from that show!" I told everyone who recommended it to me. "It is sexist and bigoted and lame! I don't care how many awards it's been nominated for! LAME!"
Then I caved in.
I watched the first episode last Monday. As of today, I'm one episode away from finishing the first season.
My initial instincts about the show weren't 100% wrong. The show does contain the sexist/bigoted/lame elements I scoffed at. But, holy wow, it is so much more than that, folks. SO. MUCH. MORE. It's basically a tutorial on character depth, conflict, dialogue, and pacing. The show wrote the book on unlikeable protagonists (even more than The Sopranos). Mind you, I'm still on Season 1, so I have no clue if it jumps the shark later on or not. *crosses fingers*
Here's the thing Mad Men taught me: the minute you think something has nothing to offer you as a writer, you're wrong. There's always something you can learn. Whether it's from that thing's awesomeness or suckiness. Sure, I also learn things about myself on a personal level, but as a writer, Mad Men forces me to see the craft in unlikely ways.
Never say never, folks. You'll be robbing yourself of greatness.
Now tell me: have you ever said LAME! at something, then ended up swallowing your words???