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What Is The Best Season of Mad Men?

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Mad Men is a period drama series that has shaped the landscape of television with its meticulous depiction of the 1960s, creating an immersive world characterized by the interpersonal dynamics of the advertising world, evolving social norms, and the aesthetic ambiance of the era.

Set in the golden age of advertising, Mad Men explores the professional and personal lives of the individuals working at the prestigious Madison Avenue advertising agency, Sterling Cooper. The narrative is heavily centered around the charismatic yet enigmatic creative director, Don Draper, whose polished exterior hides a plethora of secrets.

The show luxuriates in the not-so-distant past, presenting an absolutely gorgeous, amber-tinted vision of the early 1960s. The series is detailed with enough 1950s-era accoutrements to seem authentically Camelot, and it offers an unsentimental portrayal of complicated ‘whole people’ who act with the more decent 1960 manners America has lost, while also playing grab-ass and crassly defaming subordinates.

Critically acclaimed throughout its run, Mad Men has found a permanent place on critics’ lists of the greatest television shows of all time. Its first season scored 77/100 on Metacritic, with subsequent seasons maintaining high scores, peaking at 92/100 for its fourth season. The series was regularly selected as one of the top ten television programs of its airing years by the American Film Institute and was named the best television show of 2007 by the Television Critics Association and several national publications. The Writers Guild of America named it seventh in a list of the 101 best-written shows in the history of television, while Rolling Stone ranked Mad Men as the seventh-greatest TV show of all time in 2022.

Despite a few criticisms about the show’s pacing and approach to historical storytelling, Mad Men has largely been praised for its visual style, character development, and especially for its historical accuracy. It has been lauded for its depictions of gender and racial bias, sexual dynamics in the workplace, and the high prevalence of smoking and drinking.

Spanning the entire 60s, Mad Men meticulously highlighted the mammoth social shifts happening in an ad agency, capturing the creation of modern America one iconic advert at a time. The Guardian ranked the show 3rd on its list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century in 2019, praising it as a profound meditation on the making of modern America.

While Mad Men is clearly one of the greatest TV shows of all time, what is the best season of the show? Let’s vote.

Season Number Year Metacritic Score
1 2007 77
2 2008 88
3 2009 87
4 2010 92
5 2012 89
6 2013 88
7 (part one) 2014 85
7 (part two) 2015 83

What Is The Best Season of Mad Men?

Season 1

The first season of Mad Men serves as the introduction to the world of Sterling Cooper, a prestigious advertising agency located on Madison Avenue, New York, during the 1960s. We follow the life of Don Draper, a charming yet mysterious ad man, juggling his complicated personal life with the demanding expectations of the ad industry. The season explores themes of identity, gender roles, and American cultural norms while setting up the lush atmosphere of the era.
  • Year: 2007
  • Metacritic Score: 77

Season 2

Season 2 continues the story in 1962, amidst the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing a backdrop for the personal crises the characters undergo. The season delves deeper into the complexities of Don’s life, his past, and his relationships, while also showcasing the subtle changes beginning to occur in society and the ad industry.
  • Year: 2008
  • Metacritic Score: 88

Season 3

Set in 1963, Season 3 of Mad Men deals with the pivotal events in American history – the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The shocking event mirrors the personal upheavals in the lives of the characters, leading to dramatic transformations in their personal and professional lives.
  • Year: 2009
  • Metacritic Score: 87

Season 4

Following the fallout from the previous season, Season 4 introduces the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The season explores the struggle and determination of the characters as they navigate through a new business environment while also dealing with the ramifications of their personal choices.
  • Year: 2010
  • Metacritic Score: 92

Season 5

Season 5 ushers in the mid-60s and a new era of change and revolution. Amidst this change, the characters deal with their internal battles and relationship dynamics. The season is renowned for pushing the boundaries of storytelling and exploring darker, deeper themes.
  • Year: 2012
  • Metacritic Score: 89

Season 6

In Season 6, the tumultuous events of 1968 play out, mirroring the personal turmoil in Don’s life. The season also provides a deeper exploration of other characters, emphasizing their growth and change as they navigate through this critical year.
  • Year: 2013
  • Metacritic Score: 88

Season 7 (Part One)

The first part of the final season begins the process of wrapping up the story arcs of the characters. Set in 1969, it explores the changing dynamics of the ad industry and the impact of these changes on the characters’ lives and careers.
  • Year: 2014
  • Metacritic Score: 85

Season 7 (Part Two)

The second part of Season 7, and the finale of Mad Men, beautifully wraps up the decade-long journey of the characters. Culminating in 1970, it delivers satisfying conclusions while keeping true to the essence of the show, highlighting the profound impact of the era on its characters.
  • Year: 2015
  • Metacritic Score: 83
2 Comments
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James
James
8 months ago

In what season did Draper get Lane to fire all of them?

Mike
Mike
Reply to  James
7 months ago

End of 3. That’s why it’s #1.