If you watch nothing else on television this year, watch the Mad Men Marathon, Sunday August 31st on AMC starting at 5:00 p.m. EST. You can catch the entire first season in one night!
I've blogged about Mad Men before, and I can't help myself from doing it again. I think it is one of the most well done, thought provoking shows I've ever seen. It's set in the 60s and they pay serious attention to detail - the costumes, the furnishings, the personal habits - fascinating! Plus advertising is an exciting world and this is set in an ad agency. You have the thrill of going after a big account, the struggle of creative genius, and all the drama of a workplace where you now have women.
I also like the struggles of the characters - they just unfold and you're really not sure what's going on in the character's head. Peggy, one of the only women to rise out of the secretarial pool, was impregnated by a co-worker. She never told him and "went away" to have the child. He is now struggling with his wife to have children. Peggy seems to have no emotional connection whatsoever to the child which is being raised by her sister. Our star Don Draper is a notorious womanizer who struggles to be a family man. You want to hate him, but he's so human (and yet inhuman - you have to watch the show to know what I mean) you can't.
What does this have to do with motivation? Everything. The show is about how all of us hide, defend, pretend - do anything to hide our deep need for love and connection. The characters joke, lie, drink, have sex - do just about anything to either hide or fulfill their needs. They try to fit into roles prescribed by society that don't always fit them. And they don't know how to be outside of those roles. It's a terrific show - and it makes you realize how needy and mysterious all of us can be.