The best surprise of the year was “Mad Men,” a 1960 period piece created by “Sopranos” alum Matthew Weiner. Hidden away on AMC, this new drama about a crew of hard-selling Madison Avenue ad men was exquisitely designed, but more importantly, exquisitely told. The stories of these hollow men and frustrated wives and secretaries were fascinating, emblematic, and, finally, moving. As Don Draper, on the run from past shame, Jon Hamm was a brilliant lead. He was ice cold and yet, secretly, burning up. Like FX’s entertaining “The Riches,” about a family of con artists in suburbia, “Mad Men” took on the American Dream in all its fraudulence and materialism.
The North County Times (Sand Diego and Riverside, CA):
Summertime and the television is great: “The Closer,” “Damages,” “Rescue Me, “Mad Men.” Who needs the network or new fall shows when cable aired the best television during the dog days of summer…Shows not to miss in 2007 were on cable: “The Sopranos,” on HBO and… the premiere seasons of “Mad Men” (AMC) and “The Riches” (FX) gave us something to look forward to in the new year.
The Raleigh, North Carolina News and Observer surveyed readers for favorite shows of the year; Mad Men tied for fifth.
New York Newsday points out that broadcast networks have the cheese while cable has the class acts, a reversal of traditional views of television:
Even AMC and Sci Fi are doing it. When it came to water-cooler series in 2007, people were talking about “Mad Men” (AMC), “Damages” (FX), “Dexter” (Showtime) and “The Closer” (TNT).