Mad Men: was it overhyped shit that did nothing but inspire Don Draper wannabe dickheads?

WHAT was Mad Men? It was the moment before you needed to binge-watch more episodes of Mad Men. Also it was overrated shite. Here’s why: 

It inspired Don Draper wannabe dickheads

Don Draper isn’t a role model. He’s a womaniser, a problem drinker, a dickhead boss, and an emotionally-repressed wreck. Unfortunately for people who take their media at face value, he looks cool. If your colleague gives rambling, pretentious speeches about bollocks products or your boyfriend drinks Canadian Club, that’s this show’s fault.

You’re not supposed to love adverts

Adverts are the infuriating, manipulative bursts of bullshit that crop up in front of stuff you’re trying to enjoy. You should not be made to sympathise with the creative process that goes into them, even if Peggy worked really hard and came up with a killer idea at the eleventh hour every single week. Her basket full of kisses can suck a dick.

It was historically accurate until it wasn’t

Mad Men was renowned for being a stickler to historical accuracy. Everything from the pens to the furniture to the clothing was meticulously researched in order to transport the viewers back to the Sixties. Except this slavish attention to detail is ignored in the very first episode when Don brainstorms a Lucky Strike slogan years after it existed.

Big boobs are not a character

Joan had big boobs, and that’s Joan. She attempts to use them to get a good marriage, proves capable despite them, is pimped out to a client because of them, and eventually quits because nobody respects her due to her big boobs. It’s a powerful lesson that you can’t overcome your own voluptuousness and a great example for women.

Season six

Even freaks who enjoy Mad Men agree that season six was its nadir. Don’s faltering steps to self-improvement come crashing down as he bangs the neighbour, Pete’s marriage falls apart and Peggy stabs her boyfriend. The show was running on bourbon fumes until it returned to its strength: boring scenes in wood-panelled rooms.

Nothing fucking happens

Some praise Mad Men for its subtle character revelations and novelistic progression. These people have read no novels. Nothing ever fucking happens in Mad Men; it’s just men walking on and out of offices, getting pissed and being sexist. Occasionally a minor character is caught up in a subplot that has no consequences, then it’s back to lingering shots of Jon Hamm’s beautiful face looking mildly troubled. For 92 punishing episodes.

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Let's move to a drugs-and-knife-crime hellhole masquerading as magical Harry Potter dreamland! This week: Gloucester

What’s it about?

FOUNDED by the Romans in the first century AD, and still retaining ruins from its time as Glevum, Gloucester’s pretty historical.

Though St Oswald’s Priory, dating to the 890s, is of less interest to most visitors than the inside of the cathedral, built in the 14th century and filmed in the 20th as various parts of Hogwarts. Yeah. It’s one of those unfortunate Harry Potter places.

Around the cathedral there are pretty cobbled streets and the shopfront that inspired Beatrix Potter to write The Tailor of Gloucester, and that’s where the picturesque tweeness abruptly ends and the charity shops, vape shops and branches of Greggs begin.

With the highest crime rate in the county, coming 20th in a review of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in England and Wales – and that’s post-Fred West – it’s no wonder Harry needed a patronus.

Any good points?

The aforementioned cathedral is spectacular, even if you aren’t a fan of JK Rowling’s overprivileged teenage magic pricks, and the Victorian warehouses at the docks retain old-fashioned charm.

On the outskirts of town is the incredibly diverse Barton Street where 70 different languages are spoken, which is either an excellent place to go food shopping or a den of crime and inequity, depending on how racist you are. Many locals would happily tick ‘very’.

Beautiful landscape?

No. The city sits on a flood-plain on the eastern side of the River Severn, so the landscape is as flat as a pissed-on pancake, though if you really squint you might be able to see the Malverns in the distance past the soulless housing estates and retail parks. No wonder everyone’s so obsessed with the cathedral.

Hang out at…

Gloucester Quays, as the docks have been rebranded, has a few decent restaurants, and hosts foodie events and a tall ships festival. These allow you to feel you’re somewhere metropolitan and interesting rather than the arse-end of the West Country.

Teenagers have the option of multiple rundown shopping centres to terrorise, including the Eastgate Market which hasn’t been updated since 1982 and is disturbingly redolent of fish, raw meat and toffee.

There are plenty of pubs where you’ll get called a pussy for ordering a half, but the safest bet is the Wetherspoons, which has retained the facade and name of the old Regal cinema while everything else around it has been developed into a generic architectural shithole.

Avoid Eastgate Street. It tends to get fighty.

Where to buy?

If you don’t mind being woken up by pissed-up shouting rugby louts every weekend, you can snap up a two-bed flat right in the city centre for a measly £73k. However, if you’ve got more money to spend, it’s worth looking somewhere a bit further out. Like Cheltenham.

From the streets:

Jack Browne, aged 16: “The Cathedral cloisters are so quiet and tranquil. The perfect spot for a weed deal.”

Lucy Parry, aged 23: “I can’t believe this is where Harry Potter went to school! It’s a shithole!”