I was slow to join the Mad Men crowd, mostly because I thought entering a time warp of sexism would make me want to spit fire or cry or both. But I heard enough wonderful things about the show that I decided to give it a try, and thank goodness I did. Yes, it has made me want to spit fire, and it has made me cry. But this show—oh, this show. It is beautifully written. It is simultaneously a story about a group of flawed people who garner sympathy even though they don’t deserve it and a time capture of a very significant period in American history. The show is a marriage of the two—reality and symbol— in which the characters are both themselves and emblems of their time.