AMC’s “Mad Men,” currently airing its fifth season, is pretty good to put it lightly. Since its premiere in 2007 it has received boundless praise from fans, critics and award shows alike. Reportedly, Netflix even paid up to $100 million to bring the show to their streaming service. Despite what the title says however, this is not an article about “Mad Men” the show. In this writer’s opinion, it’s an incredible work that deserves all of the praise it gets from fans of both indoor smoking and rich character development. No, what this article is about, ironically enough, is the inundation of “Mad Men” articles on the internet.
The echo chambers created by blogs, Twitter and everything else that makes up the social media ecosystem always have a habit of making things seem more prominent than they really are. But what is it about this show in particular? It’s one thing to post reviews and analytical essays or even create a clever fake Twitter or two. But what other show would inspire legions of Tumblists to freak out when Bugles show up for a few seconds or when Mitt Romney is not-so-casually name dropped?
Some of the answers are pretty obvious. First of all, white people love “Mad Men.” Why else would AMC bother putting out Jessica Paré/Megan Draper’s cover of “Zou Bisou Bisou” on vinyl. (I’d explain more but this glorious website does a far better job than I ever could.) There’s more to it than that, though. Part of it is due to the 17-month gap between this season and the last and patient fans have now finally been given the chance to unleash their pent up enthusiasm all at once.
However, that still doesn’t fully explain the sheer volume of articles we’re currently facing especially if one looks at the show’s consistent but relatively low ratings. The real answer, at least in this writer’s opinion, is that the small yet devoted following is mostly made up of young, media-conscious, tech-savvy, urban liberals a.k.a. the people who more often than not tend to be bloggers, entertainment writers and the kinds of folks who dominate our current social media landscape. Not that many people may watch “Mad Men” but, as this article demonstrates, literally everyone who does like it is writing online about it.
It’s a fascinating situation that inadvertently puts a spotlight on collective media bias, even in its most subtle and ultimately harmless form. Don’t let this be the end of your “Mad Men” media consumption though. For more disproportionate coverage check out:
And everywhere else.