Parents' Guide to

Mad Men

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Ads and anxiety in 1960s office drama for adults.

TV AMC Drama 2007
Mad Men Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

great show

I usually watch TV in the kitchen, so I just always want to make sure that the kids don't walk in in a middle of a scene, either sex, violence or etc. This show was almost absolutely 'safe' with just a few exceptions (slimming machine actually turned out to be a vibrator [the review on this website doesn't mention it]/someone has sex in the office [that was the only 'shocking' scene, but only like seconds]/some violence/cancer), but most was was merely implied...definitely would recommend. The show takes place against a backdrop of important social changes, so it's educational in a way too. There is smoking and drinking but by no mean it something that is encouraged; in fact the opposite (won't give spoilers). There is some swearing as well, but nothing that the kids haven't hear. On the other hand, the show is quite intelligent and kids may simply not pick up on its complexities but that's no reason to keep them from watching. In conclusion, maybe it isn't exactly a show to sit down and watch with kids as they may simply get bored, but it's definitely something that can be watched with kids in the room.
2 people found this helpful.
age 14+

shows a clear picture of right and wrong

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (12):

Mad Men is a fascinating and complex peek into another era that can reveal a lot about contemporary society. The women in the workplace are subject to near constant sexual harassment, from both men and women, illustrating the nebulous era between the 1950s housewife and the late-'60s feminist. But though the men are the focus in the series, the women prove fascinating and complex in their own right. There's the smart, sexually confident Midge (Rosemary DeWitt), whose self-sustaining work makes her unusual in a swarm of women looking for husbands to whisk them away to the suburbs. And Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), who finds herself pressured to be sexually available to her boss and other men in the workplace while dealing with her own sexual curiosity.

And throughout the personal and professional relationships depicted onscreen is the underlying theme of truth, lies, and what can be bought and sold with them both. Due to the near constant sexism (not to mention racism and anti-Semitism), younger viewers without the ability to see beneath the action to the critique should avoid the program. Also, constant smoking, drinking, and discussion of sex permeates the narrative.

TV Details

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