Free Agents vs. Mad Men

My Mad Men Obsession

During the past two months, I have sped through all 4 seasons of the show Mad Men. Needless to say, I may be a bit obsessed with little explanation as to why. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it is a drama set in the 1960’s in New York about an advertising agency on Madison Avenue. During the sixties, these men in advertising on Madison Avenue were referred to as “man men.”

Maybe, it is Donald Draper’s dashing good looks and his mysterious dark side. Maybe, it is the horrifying sexism and racism and watching select characters beat the odds. Maybe, it is the glamour of New York. Maybe, it is watching the creative process of advertising and persuasion. Regardless the specific reason, Mad Men has garnered countless Emmy Awards and developed a loyal following of fans.

Free Agents: A Comedy in a PR Firm

NBC premiered a new comedy this fall called Free Agents about a PR firm in Portland, Or. When I read about this in PRNewser, I was so excited to see PR represented on television. Little did I know, the show would not be worth the time I spent watching the four episodes.

Free Agents vs. Mad Men

The success of Mad Men and failure of Free Agents have little to with the genre of show or the type of profession represented. Free Agents lacked the character development in Mad Men as well as the intriguing process of wooing clients. There is a lot of potential for drama, comedy and intrigue in the middle of a public relations firm, and Free Agents does not highlight it well.

Although, both shows have strong sexual motifs. Mad Men is alluring while Free Agents seems a bit flippant. Both shows have dysfunctional characters, but as an audience member, I do not care about the dysfunctional characters Free Agents. Their issues seem overdramatized with little depth.

Free Agents also fails to play on its surroundings in Portland. There is such an interesting culture to be explored there right now, and that is left to the imagination unlike the glamorized sixties setting in Mad Men. There are so many comedic possibilities with the hipster movement and coffee snobs populating the hip, big city.

What do you think of Free Agents or Mad Men?


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