"Mad Men" is the first original television series brought to the AMC channel. It takes place in 1960 in New York City. The show revolves around the creative department of an ad agency. Specifically, around one creative director named Don Draper.
The pilot episode opens with these words:
Mad Men: A term coined in the late 1950's to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue...They coined it.
The show is brilliant. The characters are interesting and complex. The main character is charismatic, caring and a jerk all at the same time.
The show nails the era with everyone drinking and smoking, pretty much all the time. A time before equal rights, sexual harassment lawsuits, etc.
I rented the first season on Netflix (second season isn't out yet). It was driving me nuts at first because a lot of the actors looked familar, but I couldn't place them right away. The wife of the main character was one of the American girls in "Love Actually." The young guy trying to work his way up in the company is the uber-annoying son of Angel in Joss Whedon's series "Angel." I knew the head of the secretaries as one of the con-artists in one of my favorite series "Firefly" and the big boss was a union organizer from a 90s series called "Homefront."
The show deserves all of its awards and nomination and all the gushing that NPR does over the show. More people should be watching it.
I highly recommend!