i guess this is the arrested development of television drama.
it's not that great. and being a smart show made for adults is no more credentials for greatness than a description for what they were trying to achieve. it's the kinda show, like AD, that gets mad following for what it's trying to do than what it's actually achieving. the problem is not so much attention span, but that i disagree with the premise that anything is better than nothing.
there are heaps of OK and decent shows, and a shitload of CRAP of course, but the best things that can be said about mad men need to be qualified.. for example that it's kinda original (in that there don't happen to be TOO many other shows like it at the moment), and that it's got a great deliberately paced plot (in that nothing much is happening and what does happen is quite repetitive but at least it looks pretty and there's nothing else on at the moment that would warrant my attention), and that john hamm is hot (in that he's a bit rough but suave and has lots of sex.. but i would hav to take chicks word for it cos i don't see it, he's about as appealing as his wife, bland city).
the kinda shows i would praise are ones that push the boundaries of what can be done with television. most recently the sopranos, which brought a calibre of story and character that is actually seldom seen, to which mad men is only a dim comparison (as far as complex characterisation). so there's that. it's just like i prefer my comedy to be poopingly hilarious, endlessly quotable, but also revealing of the human psyche.. which differs AD from prime Curb.