View Full Version : Mad Men

August 1st, 2009, 10:23 AM
Mad Men (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/07/28/2009-07-28_details_key_to_how_mad_men_pans_out.html) is a fabulous series. One of the best shows on TV in a long time. The makers have captured the time and the status quo perfectly. It can only be frowned upon retrospectively, of course, but, boy, women were downtrodden back then (PS I hate feminism, but still, fair suck of the sausage (http://www.babylon.com/definition/Fair_suck_of_the_sausage/All) ...so to speak...in the spirit of the show).

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/galleries/a_first_look_at_the_third_season_of_mad_men_premie ring_aug_16/a_first_look_at_the_third_season_of_mad_men_premie ring_aug_16.html

August 1st, 2009, 10:30 AM
Where is this fair?

August 1st, 2009, 11:05 AM
Where is this fair?
:confused: :rolleyes:

August 1st, 2009, 11:57 AM
Mad Men (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2009/07/28/2009-07-28_details_key_to_how_mad_men_pans_out.html) is a fabulous series. One of the best shows on TV in a long time.Terrific. My favorite.

When I was little, this is how I thought the adult world was going to be. My uncle had a girlfriend who was an executive-secretary at an insurance company - a carbon copy of Christina Hendricks (Joan). I went nuts when they showed up at backyard bar-b-q's.

While in high school in the 60s, she got me a summer job at the company, but by that time, the business world was changing quickly.

August 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Terrific. My favorite.

When I was little, this is how I thought the adult world was going to be. My uncle had a girlfriend who was an executive-secretary at an insurance company - a carbon copy of Christina Hendricks (Joan). I went nuts when they showed up at backyard bar-b-q's.

While in high school in the 60s, she got me a summer job at the company, but by that time, the business world was changing quickly.

‘Mad Men’ Strains to Stay as Button-Down as Ever


Retrospective winks at past ignorance are what makes “Mad Men” so funny and, at times, so chilling.

“Mad Men” mocks and celebrates forbidden vices, the drinking, smoking and promiscuity that in the advertising business of the 1960s flowed heedlessly, without health warnings or the sour taint of political incorrectness. From the start, the show has mined hindsight for wicked humor: a child playing dangerously with a dry-cleaning bag is chided only for messing up the clothes inside; a pastoral family picnic ends with the mom tossing the entire basket of trash onto lush, pristine park grounds; the presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon is marketed as a young, handsome Navy hero.

Even more than in the first two years, this new season, which begins on Sunday on AMC, stresses the less amusing side of that innocence, leading viewers to look back, aghast at, and enthralled by, a world so familiar and so primitive. Characters on “Mad Men” struggle in shame and secrecy with the very things that today are openly, incessantly boasted and blogged about: humble roots, broken homes, homosexuality, unwed motherhood, caring for senile parents.

In the early ’60s space was for conquest; the social order was overripe for exploration. And in this age before chat rooms, support groups, confessional talk shows, self-help books and 24-hour hot lines became commonplace, each crisis, from the Cuban missile to the midlife, seems encountered as if for the first time, uncharted and befogged by bewilderment and fear.

It’s not just that everyone has a secret; each character feels so alone in guarding it.

The first episode begins with the show’s star ad man, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), at a stove, heating milk, wrapped in a plaid bathrobe and haunting memories he tried to smother long ago. Staring into the darkness, Don conjures scenes of the sordid, poverty-stricken way he came into the world, images accompanied by faint, sad strains of “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Those first fugues into Don’s hidden past are not the most inviting way into a new season, however. “Mad Men” is essentially one long flashback, an artfully imagined historic re-enactment of an era when America was a soaring superpower feeling its first shivers of mortality.

In contrast, Don’s daydreams about his deprived childhood seem incongruous and hokey — less a look into his psyche than a re-creation of a comedy skit from vintage programs like “The Garry Moore Show.” Only when the camera returns to the offices of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency are things right — and deliciously wrong — in this mad world.

A British company bought the agency at the end of Season 2, and now Don and his colleagues are supervised by Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), a supercilious financial officer from the London headquarters, and his insufferably pompous male secretary, John Hooker (Ryan Cartwright), nicknamed “Moneypenny” by his American co-workers.

Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) has risen to copywriter but still can’t command the respect of her own secretary, who ignores her boss and instead moons over John’s clipped British accent. “I could listen to him read the phone book,” she says dreamily to Peggy.

“Well,” Peggy snaps. “When he gets to S, I need Howard Sullivan at Lever Brothers.”

The show’s period clothes, cocktails and allusions to Hitchcock, Bob Dylan and Frank O’Hara are no longer new. Neither are the narrative feints that spike suspense by deflecting it — though the trick continues to work. There are still mysteries to even the most closely examined lead characters. Peggy; Joan (Christina Hendricks), the office manager; and even Pete (Vincent Kartheiser), the weaselly account executive, are so familiar, yet they remain enigmatic — protected by a thin, exotic veil of weirdness.

And, most of all, so does Don’s beautiful wife, Betty (January Jones), who is in the last stages of pregnancy with their third child and worried about her increasingly senile father, Gene (Ryan Cutrona). Betty is even more concerned that her brother and his wife have designs on their father’s property.

Don, an incorrigibly unfaithful husband but a loyal spouse, decides that the old man can live with them. Gene repays the hospitality by instructing his granddaughter to read aloud to him from Gibbon’s history of the fall of the Roman Empire. When Don comes home, Gene asks acidly, “How’s Babylon?”

Gene’s generation, forged by the Depression and Prohibition, finds an unlikely ally in youth, the would-be beatniks who despise their parents’ conformity and decadent consumerism and yearn for change. At Sterling Cooper change comes slowly and ambivalently; some ad men smoke marijuana and quote T. S. Eliot while fretting about nuclear war; others drink and dance the jitterbug at a Derby party at a segregated country club. Don Draper smoothly works in both worlds and belongs to neither.

At this moment in 1963, John F. Kennedy is still president; the most imminent threat of mutually assured destruction has ebbed; and Don is still restless, knowing and unknowable.

Over dinner, an eager stewardess chirps to Don about her travels. His reply is typically inscrutable. “I keep going to a lot of places and ending up somewhere I’ve already been,” he says.

It’s the third season, and we still want to go with him.


AMC, Sunday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.
Created and written by Matthew Weiner; directed by Phil Abraham; Mr. Weiner and Scott Hornbacher, executive producers; Lisa Albert, supervising producer; Dahvi Waller, co-producer; Dwayne Shattuck and Blake McCormick, producers. Produced by Lionsgate.

WITH: Jon Hamm (Donald Draper), January Jones (Betty Draper), Vincent Kartheiser (Peter Campbell), Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson), Christina Hendricks (Joan Holloway), John Slattery (Roger Sterling), Jared Harris (Lane Pryce), Ryan Cartwright (John Hooker), Bryan Batt (Salvatore Romano), Michael Gladis (Paul Kinsey), Ryan Cutrona (Gene Driscoll), Aaron Staton (Ken Cosgrove), Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) and Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper).


August 14th, 2009, 09:17 AM
and his insufferably pompous male secretary, John Hooker (Ryan Cartwright), nicknamed “Moneypenny” by his American co-workers. HAHA.

Dr No

British influence on American culture

August 14th, 2009, 12:12 PM
Excellent, huge fan here too. It's been fun catching up again with the reruns these past few days.

But my random thought is about how hard it is - so much harder than it used to be - to deal with Friday at work after a big, late Thursday night. Yikes.

August 2nd, 2010, 10:27 AM
Mad Men is a fabulous series. One of the best shows on TV in a long time. The makers have captured the time and the status quo perfectly.Are you still watching, Merry?

August 2nd, 2010, 10:58 AM
^ I would if I could. The new series hasn't made it Down Under yet :rolleyes:. Seen quite a bit about it on the www, though.

How about you?

August 2nd, 2010, 11:11 AM
You can probably...um...."find" it somewhere.

The hard part is stopping because of scheduling and then trying to remember where you left off.... (I think I am somewhere near the Buisness Guy toking with the Beatnicks and his mistress......)

August 2nd, 2010, 11:13 AM
Yes I have.

I won't throw out any spoilers.

In episode #2, I was getting a little tired of a standard plot development, but it didn't go the way I expected. One scene was as well performed as any so far in the series.

August 2nd, 2010, 11:16 AM
The hard part is stopping because of scheduling and then trying to remember where you left off.... (I think I am somewhere near the Buisness Guy toking with the Beatnicks and his mistress......)You've got a long way to go. That's Don Draper.

August 2nd, 2010, 11:42 AM
According to this (http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/madmen/episodes/detail/episode/3032/season/2#join_the_discussion), we're getting Series 2 on August 15th :confused:. It's been so long since it was on that I honestly can't remember what I saw last. The schedule got messed up too, IIRC, and I missed a bit.

Can't be bothered with torrents anymore.

December 25th, 2010, 10:20 PM
Creepy but cool :cool:. Very clever.


March 19th, 2012, 11:46 PM
I got seriously buzzed tonight watching the Rangers-Devils game.

March 20th, 2012, 09:02 AM
^ LOL! Hadn't heard that term before (:rolleyes:).

Really like the first one :):


March 20th, 2012, 10:08 AM
A different sort of buzzed today.

Maybe I should have had a boozy soiree (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/20/mad-men-new-york-premiere-jon-hamm-january-jones-creator-matthew-weiner-more.html).

Mad Men is back for a fifth season this Sunday on AMC. Mid 60s. Miniskirts.

Newsweek (http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-all-of-the-vintage-ads-for-newsweeks-mad-men-themed-issue-2012-3?op=1) magazine latest issue has retro ads.

March 20th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Ahh, yes, America is aching for a return to the supposedly simple + innocent age of 1965.

Women and others should be thrilled to re-live those years when the back alley entrance was the main option.

Welcome to the dream world of Sick Rantorum :cool:

March 20th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Don't you me Rick Rectorum?

March 20th, 2012, 10:51 AM
Ahh, yes, America is aching for a return to the supposedly simple + innocent age of 1965.The most intense decade measured against anything that followed.

I remember when I was in high school, the senior girls had a petittion to the principle to be allowed to wear pants instead of skirts during the cold winter months. Stuff like like was mixed in with an incredible landscape of social upheaval.

The only time the world actually stood on the brink of nuclear war.
A president, a presidential candidate, and a major figure of social change all assassinated.
A war like no other in the American experience.
Creativity and a sense of style that was impossible for the 70s to live up to.

March 20th, 2012, 07:30 PM
You think the 60s were wild, wait till the 2040s roll around and Humanity tries to adapt to changes due to global warming and Martians demands their rights. :p

March 21st, 2012, 10:22 AM
Lots of things were aching to explode in the 1960s. It was time.

It's only "simple + innocent" comparatively speaking and in retrospect. Technology hadn't infiltrated our lives to such a scary extent then and political correctness hadn't been invented. I'm really curious to know how we would've done without the feminist movement. I reckon we would still be where we are now without it...Sick Rantorum notwithstanding.

Sigh...life was just so much more stimulating back then, even without the "rights" we all take for granted now. Being an individual was fast becoming de rigueur :cool:...sadly, it didn't last :(.

As for that psychedelic Spam...:eek:.

March 24th, 2012, 04:52 AM
I've always wondered why sports aren't mentioned more on Mad Men

Thank god for small mercies :).

Bad Cocktails and Lousy Baseball: What Mad Men Won't Tell You About New York in 1966

by Tony Sachs

Beyond loving Mad Men for the excellent writing and acting, a whole lot of devotees love the show for its slavish, uber-geeky dedication to accurately recreating the era in which its set. You'll never see a bottle of Grey Goose, or hear a character call someone "Dude," or see wide ties and bell-bottoms in the office (at least not yet). My father worked in advertising on Madison Ave. during the Mad Men era, and the only quibble he has with the show is the amount of in-office drinking -- "We'd rarely drink in the office. We went out to lunch and got bombed, and that usually held us over until dinner."

The Drapers and the Sterlings and the Campbells may not be the happiest folks in the world, but the way they dress, smoke and drink looks like the epitome of retro-cool. That is, until you scratch the surface. There's a lot about the New York trod by the real Mad Men back in 1966 -- the year in which we assume season five will be set -- that would send even die-hard Mad Men retroheads scurrying to set the time machine back to 2012.

For starters, let's check out a local watering hole near the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices at the Time & Life building on 6th Ave. in midtown -- perhaps the Monkey Bar on East 54th, or Jilly's on West 52nd. Try ordering a Macallan on the rocks, or a Knob Creek Manhattan, and even the most sophisticated barkeep won't have any idea what you're talking about. Small-batch and single-barrel bourbons and ryes were still unheard of. So were the micro-distilleries and artisanal spirits that cocktail fashionistas hold dear today. Even single-malt Scotches were a couple of decades away from breaking into the U.S. market -- if you drank Scotch, you drank it blended, and if it was aged for more than five years, that was some pretty high-end stuff.

OK, no single malts or single-barrel whiskeys. How about an Old Fashioned, Don Draper's favorite drink? Don has been known to have his Old Fashioneds with rye, but by 1966 that'd be very out of step with the times. Both rye and bourbon are in the midst of a decades-long downslide, supplanted by lighter Canadian blended whiskeys (Draper himself is a Canadian Club man). That's anathema to a lot of today's drinkers, who like their whiskeys robust and flavorful. And what's the bartender pouring on top of your Canadian Old Fashioned -- club soda?! Hey, that's how Old Fashioneds were made in '66. In fact, that's how Draper himself made one in season three.

How about a martini instead? OK, but if you're thinking of having it with gin -- as any self-respecting 21st century cocktailian would -- you might as well write "square" on your forehead. Vodka is all the rage in martini-mad Manhattan in '66, and in fact it's about to supplant gin in U.S. sales for the first time. Hey, if a vodka martini is good enough for James Bond, it's good enough for Roger Sterling, who's gone so far as to score a case of then-unavailable-in-the-States Stolichnaya a couple of seasons back.

Well, maybe the cocktails aren't so great, but how about the food? Well, it's not much better. The iconic New York restaurant The Four Seasons already exists, and there are other noteworthy NYC eateries such as the over-the-top Forum Of The Twelve Caesars. But you say you want some Szechuan food? Sorry pal, that's still a decade in the future. Nobu? How about Benihana instead? Maybe some tapas? Nouvelle cuisine? Northern Italian? No, no, and no. Also no pan-Asian, pan-Latino, or pan-anything-else cuisine, unless pan-fried counts. More oysters? Another steak? I guess so....

I've always wondered why sports aren't mentioned more on Mad Men. I mean, a good chunk of the cast are men, after all. But for season five, there's no need to wonder why Don and Roger don't go out to more ballgames. 1966 is the worst year for New York sports franchises since the NBA came into being twenty years earlier. Not one of the city's six teams (Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Rangers) made the postseason, and only one, the Jets (of the upstart American Football League, featuring a young quarterback named Joe Namath) so much as finished with a .500 record. Even the mighty Yankees, who'd won 14 pennants in 16 seasons from 1949-64, finished in last place for the first time since 1912. At one home game in September, they drew a total of 413 paying customers. Rest assured that nobody from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce would be among them.

But hey, surely you can't quibble with the music scene, right? 1966 is remembered by rock fans as one of the greatest in pop music history, if not the greatest. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and too many others to count were all at their peak. But can you imagine Don Draper digging Revolver, or Pete Campbell getting into Blonde On Blonde? (OK, I can see Peggy Olsen getting into Dylan...). Back then, all that long-haired stuff was for kids. The over-30 crowd was into decidedly different sounds, like Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, whose peppy, quasi-mariachi instrumentals made them far and away the top selling act of the year. Or Frank Sinatra, who scored three Top Ten albums along with a brace of hit singles including "Strangers in the Night" and "That's Life." Or Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Mantovani, Percy Faith, or any number of adult-oriented easy-listening artists who still hit the charts regularly even in this legendary year.

I could go on -- I mean, I haven't even mentioned New York City's soaring crime rate, the transit strike, racial tensions, or other woes that beset Noo Yawk during 1966. But I won't. Just because Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner tries to recreate the Mad Men era down to the tiniest detail doesn't mean we, the viewers, have to. He and his staff get paid to do it, after all.

Unless you're getting paid to drink crappy Old Fashioneds, it's better to recreate the '60s the way it was in our fantasies, with the best elements of back then combined with all the stuff we love today. So pour a snifter of that 18-year-old Glenlivet, order in some General Tso's Chicken, and enjoy the season premiere of Mad Men on your computer or your HD TV. Not everything was better back then, after all.


March 25th, 2012, 10:37 AM
This is as maddening as it is laughable. With each pic I thought holy crap!

Sexist (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/television/sexist-ads-mad-men-era-gallery-1.1050013) ads from the '60s.

But apparently we really haven't come a long way, baby. When you toggle over the pic on MSN, the caption reads "Woman washing windows"

http://col.stb01.s-msn.com/i/10/294B8091807DBC5AE92F1325ABD94C.jpg (http://living.msn.com/home-decor/cleaning-organizing/27-spring-cleaning-tips-1)
27 Ways to Spruce Up Your Spring Cleaning (http://living.msn.com/home-decor/cleaning-organizing/27-spring-cleaning-tips-1)From changing the smoke detector batteries to washing the windows, these simple tips will help you make your place as clean as a whistle (http://living.msn.com/home-decor/cleaning-organizing/27-spring-cleaning-tips-1).

March 26th, 2012, 11:28 AM

I have been seeing this for YEARS.

Just look at who is in most ads. Women are still cooking and cleaning, while guys will mess up any household task unless it is easy. Men are mowing the lawn and doing anything with tools, and women are smiling with kids in any childrens ad.

Toys? They always feature kids that are 2 years older than the target age for the item (kids want to be older).

The problem is simple. It works. They TRY advertising men doing cleaning and 75% of the people out there just reject what they are seeing. It does not matter if that is the truth, for some reason the American People are still controlled by subconscious learnings from their own childhood on what they experienced OR what they were told (by TV/society) was right.

And those ads were a hoot. One or two tread on the line (like mom getting mad from being worked hard all day... like soap is going to cure it) and the worst are things like the Van Heusen ad and the Coffee.....

Little things people STILL do that are not niticed are simple.

A lot of women still call each other (as well as are called) "girls" instead of women.

Rarely do guys call themselves "boys". They are almost never called that in a relationship. "Do this for your Man" not "for your Boy" while "Show your Girl you love her" is more than common.

Whether this is from Sexism, or a secondary holdover from the desire for a young woman (which has its own roots), it is still rather pervasive and subliminally derogatory.

Well, whatever. People do what people do. I just hope that the change is still proceeding....

March 26th, 2012, 05:39 PM
The first one for Mr Leggs is wrong in any era. The Kenwood Chef food processor & the Messagic shoes (The author failed to understand that one. It meant she should be at his feet) are also enraging. While the other ones weren't exactly "meh", it was more like holy crap that's the way it really was. But I think we as women don't need to get in a snit these days at every little ad that may put us in a traditional role, such as the window-washing woman above. A woman I read about in a similar article something like twenty years ago put it best: "I won't ask him to do laundry and he won't ask me to fix the car."

Some gender roles are always going to be the way they've always been either because of environment (He works, she doesn't) or there's just an unspoken understanding that the man takes care of certain things & she takes care of the others. And unfortunately there will always be the double standard regarding sex. That's just biology & you can't stop that. The only thing you (men in general, & some women too) can do is not express those feelings publicly but I don't see that happening in my lifetime.

March 26th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Well.... I do the laundry in my house.... :p

March 26th, 2012, 06:49 PM
I think Don will lose his new wife.

June 11th, 2012, 09:19 PM
A subtle and well crafted last scene in this season's Mad Men final episode. Questions posed without a cliffhanger.

And perfectly matched closing music. It was in my head all day.

June 11th, 2012, 09:38 PM


June 11th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Up to his bad habits again -

June 12th, 2012, 10:08 AM
I gotta start subscribing.... I got about as far as the affair with the artist and then got distracted.

I still have:

GoT S2
Breaking Bad S2+ (I think I am 2/3 through S2)
Mad Med (S2.5?)

There are others, like The Wire that may be good as well, but I just don't have the patience to sit down and watch sometimes......

Yeah, pity my situation later... ;)

June 12th, 2012, 10:56 AM


Ahhh, that's our Don :cool:.

My favourite James Bond theme :).

Kudos to the Mad Men team. It's brilliant.

June 12th, 2012, 12:15 PM
My favourite James Bond theme :).Mine too, although that film wasn't high on the list for me.

Kudos to the Mad Men team. It's brilliant.From what I've read, many people were disappointed in the finale; but to me, it's another example that the program isn't formulaic. Instead of ending on a big dramatic cliffhanger, it pulled back from the turmoil of the previous episodes. Happens in real life.

When Don visited Lane Pryce's widow, she was hostile and said, "How could you fill a man like him with ambition?" Then she showed him a picture of a woman she found in Lane's wallet. It brought to mind an event from the season premiere , when Lane found a man's wallet, and kept the picture before returning the wallet, with the thought of contacting the woman, which he never did. It showed what had been under the radar before his suicide - how lonely and unappreciated he was.

There was another James Bond moment - when Don goes to a movie in the afternoon to clear his thoughts, and finds Peggy there. During the conversation he says, "That's what happens when you help someone; they succeed, and move on." Peggy probably thought he was referring to her leaving for another agency, but it was about Megan. The theme music is heard in the background - Casino Royale.

Peggy finally gets to board an airplane and go on a business trip. When she looks out the hotel window and sees the two dogs, it could mean that no matter how happy you are in the moment, the world at large is an ugly place. I think maybe something else - the price of a career. Her boyfriend is not with her in the hotel; the dogs show that everyone in the world is having sex except Peggy.

Don is clearly in conflict about his wife. He seems to want to be the center of her orbit; but when she asks him to intercede with a client and get her an audition for the commercial, he says, "You want to be somebody's discovery, not somebody's wife."

The last scene was expertly crafted. The commercial is a fairy tale. don is center in the foreground, but in shadow; the set behind brilliantly lit. As he walks away with the camera, her world fades away. The bar has subtle Japanese touches.

The music so well fits the entire five season story arc, that I wonder if it was put into the bank from the beginning, until it was released in 1967. Don has literally had two lives.

June 12th, 2012, 02:35 PM
Zip... Spoiler warning please.... :(

June 12th, 2012, 02:51 PM
The spoiler was advised a few posts back. I would think you'd assume any further discussion of an ongoing series would contain plot elements.

June 12th, 2012, 03:13 PM
No. I wouldn't.

June 12th, 2012, 03:31 PM
At 2.5 years behind, I question your interest in this, other than to be a pain in the ass.

Read at your own risk.

June 12th, 2012, 05:03 PM
I was not trying to be a PITA.

That hurts Zip.

June 13th, 2012, 05:02 PM
Peggy finally gets to board an airplane and go on a business trip. When she looks out the hotel window and sees the two dogs, it could mean that no matter how happy you are in the moment, the world at large is an ugly place. I think maybe something else - the price of a career. Her boyfriend is not with her in the hotel; the dogs show that everyone in the world is having sex except Peggy.

See how she sort of furrowed her brow then shut the window? Maybe the writers wanted to show that no matter how cosmopolitan she becomes, Peggy still has an inability to become cynical and jaded (like Joan) even though she has wallowed in the mire of male office politics.

June 13th, 2012, 05:29 PM
Joan has arrived. A stereotypical secretary-office manager of 1960 has become a partner in the company. She had been running the firm day to day for most of the season; she
arranged for the expanded office space on the floor above. The writers could have worked the season end around this shot:


June 13th, 2012, 06:54 PM
I'm hoping they spin off a new series about Don's daughter.

June 14th, 2012, 12:40 AM
Good shot. I wonder if Roger's lsd trip (I really wish they hadn't shown him naked) portends heavy drug addiction.

June 14th, 2012, 01:35 PM
Roger had only one of his wisecrack lines in the last episode, when he was talking to Megan's mother on the phone: "I've used up all the French I know."

June 14th, 2012, 01:44 PM
Season 1 finale: "The Wheel"

Don learns of his brother's suicide, and decides not to spend Thanksgiving weekend with his in-laws.

The Wheel is the Kodak Carousel.

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right is from the 1963 album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.


June 15th, 2012, 06:49 AM
Love this stuff... Unfortunately, I only got to see one season, and then it never came back.

June 15th, 2012, 09:31 AM
I'm hoping they spin off a new series about Don's daughter.Kiernan Shipka already seems to be a good actress. Both in character and real life, she'll be 13 next season.

June 15th, 2012, 09:51 AM
The irony of the season 1 finale (post 45) is that in an earlier episode, Don pitches to client Kodak, and uses his own family slides in the presentation.

Mad Men is a melodrama.


June 15th, 2012, 12:45 PM
I always watch this series alone; so does my wife.

A counterpoint to Ray Bradbury

'Girls,' 'Mad Men,' and the Future of TV-as-Literature

By Michael Agresta

How television is struggling—and often succeeding—at becoming a mature literary form

It's become commonplace lately to talk about the serial television show as the novelistic medium of the 21st century—The Wire as a modern-day Dickens novel, Mad Men our Cheever, Friday Night Lights our Steinbeck. One could continue down the line, with Lost as our Michael Crichton and Desperate Housewives our Jacqueline Susann, but the lowbrow serial has been entrenched for decades now; it's the higher-quality stuff that's new. Whereas feature films were always limited in comparison to literary novels by their brief and rigorous story arcs, TV is free, theoretically at least, to use a broad canvas and unfold over tens or even hundreds of hours of screen time. The medium has been held back only by its historical lack of niche venues for challenging but well-financed work and its reliance on advertising for revenue. From the turn of the century on, thanks to a fortuitous array of new technologies and market forces, TV showrunners have finally been set loose to try to match in light and sound what their 20th-century literary heroes wrought in ink and paper.

Their success has been remarkable. Over the 15 years since the debut of The Sopranos on HBO, in the categories essential to any narrative medium's claim to broad cultural relevance—holding up a mirror to society, conveying characters' internal lives with depth and integrity, achieving new expressive styles that reflect the consciousness and felt reality of the time—TV has, quite suddenly and alarmingly, arrived. Critics and audiences have followed. Consider: the birth of the TV recap as a critical form, Salman Rushdie's 2011 interview with the Observer (UK) wherein he announced his move to TV and equated the work of a showrunner with that of a novelist, the Hemingway-esque stature of showrunners like The Wire's David Simon in the media, and the increasing space given over to television in highbrow publications like the New York Review of Books. If, ten years from today, Simon were to win a Nobel Prize for Literature for his "visual novel," the cultural prestige thereby conferred on creators of high-end television would scarcely be greater than what we've witnessed in the past decade dating from The Wire's debut in 2002.

By now, perhaps, the time has come to close the book on the question of whether a great TV serial can be the equal of a great novel and to open a discussion of whether it ought to be. The troubling fact remains that TV shows are not like books. By the time a reader sets eyes on the first sentence of a novel, the novelist has not only already written the ending but has also revised that first sentence many times to better plot the way towards resolution. On the other hand, Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, by Academy consensus the best drama on TV throughout its run, admitted in a 2011 interview with Grantland that an ending for the series didn't occur to him until the middle of the fourth season, halfway through the show's arc. If you're one of the millions of people who look to the narratives of Mad Men as a touchstone to think about your own life and the world around you, consider this: You've been watching a first draft. Our preeminent storytellers in this new, TV-dominated era are, quite literally, making it up as they go along.

Weiner can't be blamed for his approach. The modern-day TV showrunner is locked in an improvisatory dance with studio executives and producers to keep the money flowing. If problems arise with a cast member, be it death, professional differences, or a public outpouring of tiger blood, the trajectory of the narrative must be radically altered. Week-to-week ratings are the primary measure of success and the lifeblood of the show; these are typically increased by introducing exciting new conflicts or buzz-worthy displays of action, flesh, or gore. Resolution is of necessity a secondary priority, often deferred.

This flaw at the heart of serial storytelling is catalogued by Heather Havrilesky in her New York Times Magazine rant "Clues That Lead To More Clues That Lead To Nothing." In Havrilesky's extended metaphor, lazy serial TV writers treat viewers like lab rats addicted to "mystery pellets," eager to run any maze just to find the next one, regardless of substance or meaning or even a way out of the labyrinth. Havrilesky goes too easy on the top tier of showrunners, though. Every TV show, even the best, has its smoke monsters, its unresolved and discarded storylines, its foreshadowings papered over when the plot went a different way. (The Wire is perhaps an exception because of its unique and self-limiting structure of single-season arcs.) These shows are not visual novels, nor are they 50-hour films. They're an entirely different kind of animal, infinitely more reactive and spontaneous, that has learned to imitate novels, to ape novelistic virtues, to give a hint of an expansive vision or definitive statement that isn't really there. Often through outright allusion to literary forbearers, these shows labor to create an atmosphere of "novelishness," but in the end the mirror is held by an illusionist. Smoke gets in your eyes.

Into this breaking dawn of TV-as-literature wanders Lena Dunham. Concerned with the adventures of a protagonist just embarking on adulthood and craving experience of any sort as grist for her artistic ambition, Dunham's show Girls enters the literary imagination less as a wannabe novel than as a half-finished book of essays, a memoir written uncomfortably soon. New York's Emily Nussbaum adroitly describes it as "a show about life lived as a rough draft." Dunham, for one, is not afraid to admit that she's making it up as she goes along.

Louis C.K. and Larry David are available precedents for Dunham's autobiographical style, and she has acknowledged C.K.'s influence. C.K., however, is a different brand of showrunner from those discussed above--his roots are in stand-up, a jazz-like, improvisatory art, and in his show he's happy to carry on the thin artifice of a man under bright lights charged with entertaining you. Dunham is after something different, fuller and more dramatic.

Dunham grew up in the era of great TV and embraces its literary possibilities—subtle character writing, high production value, and big themes. But she lacks the chip on her shoulder that has defined the last decade of high-end TV, as showrunners have struggled to achieve respect alongside novelists and feature film directors. She was 14 when A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius came out, and she studied creative writing as an undergraduate at Oberlin in an era when Anne Carson and Roberto Bolaño commanded the utmost literary cache. It's only natural that she should have different literary pretensions than Weiner, Simon, and others of their generation, who still remember the towering figures of Hemingway and Mailer, or that she should see opportunity in the very limitations of serial storytelling that her predecessors are so eager to hide.

Dunham is likely aware of an emerging canon, championed by critic David Shields, of semi-novels and lyric essays that mix personal narrative and artifice, relying on reality, not fictional conceit, as the prime leavening agent. Her own feature film debut, Tiny Furniture, featuring Dunham's mother and friends acting out scenarios dangerously close to their own lives, fits nicely in this category. In his book Reality Hunger, Shields writes: "The books that most interest me sit on a frontier between genres. On one level, they confront the real world directly; on another level, they mediate and shape the world, as novels do... What I want is the real world, with all its hard edges, but the real world fully imagined and fully written, not merely reported."

A problem with Shields's vision for a literary movement, however, is that it's not ideally suited to either books or films, which are so static in form. Television is perhaps a better fit. On TV, for example, a memoir can never be written too soon, because it can always just go on and on as the writer lurches into adulthood.

The sense watching Girls is of Dunham as a kid playing with this incredible new toy—an HBO show—and seeing what it's capable of. Every episode or two, the viewer gets the stomach-drop feeling that she's somehow learning how to fly this thing that we thought up until now was a car. That feeling is, one hopes, a glimpse of the future, a sense of what television-as-literature could turn out to be. It may not look like the great narrative works of the 20th century. It might feel messier, more contingent on the world outside the box, which shapes the onscreen narrative in unpredictable ways. The authorial voice may feel less, well, authoritative, less able to pass judgment—because, after all, this is a story being lived more or less in the moment of its telling. But it will also be exhilarating, because it will mean that high-end television is no longer trying to measure up to the achievements of other media. It's learning how to be itself.

This article available online at:

Copyright © 2012 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

June 15th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Then you have the inherent irony of series that were originally books... like Game of Thrones.....

June 15th, 2012, 01:47 PM
Did not like Girls, gave up on it.

November 21st, 2012, 08:58 AM
I'm now very dizzy...


April 8th, 2013, 12:22 AM
Who was that woman in bed with Don Draper toward the end of tonight's episode? It was not his wife.

April 8th, 2013, 12:41 AM
The doctor's wife.

April 8th, 2013, 03:01 PM
Damn that Joffrey!

wait a sec.......

April 8th, 2013, 04:42 PM
Damn doesn't he ever give it a rest? They'll probably do a thing with the doctor too, because he was drinking before he went off to surgery, even though he looked fine.

April 9th, 2013, 02:02 AM
When they're in his office, you can see the Pan Am Building (which recently celebrated its 50th birthday) in the background

And shout-out to St Mark's Place. Not too far from Don's old bachelor pad on Waverly Place, but seemingly a world away.

April 9th, 2013, 10:26 PM
I thought many scenes from the season premiere were poorly directed and stagey.

April 10th, 2013, 12:49 AM
Such as? I thought it was sumptuous.

April 11th, 2013, 04:35 AM
Many of the two person conversations, especially in the first episode.

April 11th, 2013, 08:28 AM
Do you mean the scenes in Hawaii? I guess they weren't outstanding, but they didn't bother me.

I liked Betty's scenes with her teenage step-daughter, and Don's failed sales pitch. 1967: He doesn't seem ready from the times, but few were.

April 11th, 2013, 08:59 PM
We have different tastes.

April 11th, 2013, 09:55 PM
The only scene I think was badly directed was Betty in the St Marks Pl tenement. Too long.

I think the opener was brilliantly directed. Starts with a heart attack. The scene shifts to the beach at Hawaii, where the lighting is especially harsh, almost washed out. Looks a bit surreal. Don is speaking in voice-over (where is he?), and doesn't have dialogue until he meets the vet at the bar.

April 12th, 2013, 01:11 AM
Proving Stache's point -- Betty's tenement visit was one I had in mind.

I love this series. After watching one year (season 2?) on public television here, it was dropped, but I have recently watching all the episodes over some months. It is the best TV I think I have ever seen. I love the characters, the attention to the times and material culture. Among its many virtues is an entirely fresh perspective on the social and political upheaval that we all know through revision and hindsight. These characters are experiencing these moments as they occur free from the "truths" we have grown up with. MM is about as artful as television can be.

I wonder what MM's main demographic is. One of the things I love most about it seeing the world of my young childhood. That can't be true for most of the audience, can it?

April 12th, 2013, 06:12 AM
Don't get me wrong, I also like Mad Men, but I like the writing in the early years of Breaking Bad even better.

April 12th, 2013, 11:19 AM
It is the best TV I think I have ever seen. I love the characters, the attention to the times and material culture.It's gratifying that in a world that seems to have little attention span, the series was presented without any bells and whistles and just let itself unfold, and managed to attract a large following.

Among its many virtues is an entirely fresh perspective on the social and political upheaval that we all know through revision and hindsight.[/quote]I'm pressed for time right now, will get into this later, but the series isn't based as much on plot development as character analysis. We know what happens during this time span; even narrowed down to Madison Ave, it begins with advertizing at the top in the late 50s and falling out of favor in the 70s.

I like how it avoids cliffhangers. It seemed that the season 5 ending was a cliffhanger, but whichever way it turned out would have been logically ordinary.

I wonder what MM's main demographic is. One of the things I love most about it seeing the world of my young childhood. That can't be true for most of the audience, can it?I suspect it has great appeal to people in their mid-20s. It's not that far in the past to be completely detached; it's modern, but still very different from today.

April 12th, 2013, 11:26 AM
I just like the series that AMC has been putting out... I hope they keep them coming.

WD, BB and MM are three of the best out there, especially when compared with Wipeout, Wife Swap, The Voice, Survivor, Amazing Race, Dance-whatever and all the other pablum out there.

I hope they are getting the message, as they did not get in time for Firefly or Arrested Development, that GOOD series sometimes take time to develop a devout following.....

Ah well, back to topic!

April 12th, 2013, 06:07 PM
In addition to the feeding the public's appetiite for gratuitious tabloid pablum, I would think that at least some of the networks' motivation for promoting reality-based tv is cost. I would imagine they are relatively inexpensive to put on the air.

April 12th, 2013, 06:17 PM
but the series isn't based as much on plot development as character analysis.

I think that is a great observation. Historically many of the great television series were made great bu focusing on character analysis, development and chemistry. Even comedies. For example, All in the Family featured great writing and interesting plots, but it was the character analysis and development that made the show. Same with Mash and even Seinfeld.

Of course this is different because it is a serial and plots run through the episodes - hence plot development. Still, I would make the same claim about The Sopranos, and even some of the mini-series like Rome, although I get the feeling I am going to get mocked for those two.

April 14th, 2013, 10:11 PM
A few thoughts before episode 2.

The question at the end of season 5, "Are you alone?" has been answered. But I don't think it's about sex, since we never find out if he left with those two women. The answer is that he realizes he doesn't have a loving relationship with his wife, although it appears that Megan loves him, and he spent a lot of time last season trying to make it work.

Think back to how he came to ask Mega to marry him. At the time, he was seeing Faye, the psychologist that the ad agency hired. His daughter left home and traveled alone to Manhattan. Don asked Faye to watch her, but she wasn't good with children. Sally ran out of his office and down the hall, and tripped and fell on her face - embarrassing for a young girl. Everyone just stood there, but Megan, who was a receptionist, picked her up and said, "Don't worry, I fall down all the time." Sally hugged Megan, and Don was hooked. Don took his kids to California' Megan went along to watch them, and that sealed the deal.

Megan was a replacement for Betty, or a second chance for Don to rectify his first marriage; Faye wasn't. I guess Don found out that isn't enough.

Is "The Doorway" an entrance or an exit? In the last scene, Don opens a door - to the Rosen apartment - and that question is answered. But there's something different. Don says, "I want to stop doing this." Also different is Don's screwing up a presentation to a client. Everyone else but him saw the "jumping off point" footprints in the sand as death.

Peggy is much changed, and I'm sure she'll cross paths with Don this season.

Don finally has a real friend (not counting Anna Draper, who was much more). Don seems to have a man-crush on Dr Arnold Rosen. Arnold is unlike Don, ordinary looking, a man of duty who skis to a medical emergency on a snowy New Years Eve. At one point, he says:
“The whole life and death thing doesn’t bother me, never has. You get paid to think about things they don’t want to think about. I get paid to not think about them. People do anything to alleviate their anxiety.”And Don is sleeping with his new friend's wife, Sylvia. Was the friendship a result of the affair, or the other way around? Sylvia looks a little like Elizabeth Taylor.

Then there's Betty. She's an important character that receded last season, but she's front and center again - her bizarre joke about raping a fifteen year old; her make-over to dark hair. I guess she also is trying to look like Elizabeth Taylor, but to me she looks like a younger version of her mother-in-law. They still have Betty in chubby-clothes, but in a few shots in the Village, you can see that January Jones now has slim legs.

In the St Marks Pl scene, she says to the guy throwing insults at her, "You're very rude." This neatly sums up the world of women and how it was changing during the decade. The episode ends in the early morning of Jan 1, 1968. Charles Dickens could have been referring to 1968 when he wrote:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair

April 14th, 2013, 11:38 PM
Watching Yankee game. Taping Mad Men, so I won't visit this thread for awhile.

May 20th, 2013, 12:56 AM
Holy amphetamines, now it starts. They've already had sex and drugs, now it's time for rock & roll, but I hope Don doesn't unravel over this woman. All I could think when Peggy was trying to disentangle herself from that guy was ew ew ew!

May 31st, 2013, 04:35 PM
Betty was right. The worst way to get to Don is to love him. He'll never be satisfied with any one woman.

Btw it looks to me that Peggy was more - and I can't think of a better way to put it - ballsy last season. Peggy from last season would have told him to flip off.

May 31st, 2013, 05:38 PM
Flip off who, Don or Abe?

Peggy is caught in a difficult time for talented women in the business world. The societal pull to settle down and have a family is still very strong. Abe had to go. I knew it was coming. He finally degenerated into the prototype for Mike Stivik. The Meathead helped give liberals a bad name in the 70s.

The richest episode of the season.

Did you notice how old - compared to the modern 1968 city - the gas station on the way to Bobby's camp appeared? A sepia quality to the lighting. The ESSO sign. An again gorgeous Betty - out of the chubby suit - holding an antique looking map. This took me back to season 1 episode about the Kodak Carousel, Don talking about family and nostalgia. Happiest I've seen Don was singing "Father Abraham" in the restaurant.

BTW, at that time, it was more common for rural towns and villages areas near large metros to lag well behind their big brothers in appearance. Now, although they are still very much smaller, there are modern similarities with suburbs.

Glad the social media quickly picked up on Megan in the Sharon Tate T-shirt.

Sharon Tate was brutally murdered in 1969. She was an extremely beautiful woman.


May 31st, 2013, 07:52 PM
I agree, but it's odd. Sometimes she didn't photograph well.

May 31st, 2013, 09:13 PM
Flip off who, Don or Abe?

Peggy is caught in a difficult time for talented women in the business world. The societal pull to settle down and have a family is still very strong. Abe had to go. I knew it was coming. He finally degenerated into the prototype for Mike Stivik. The Meathead helped give liberals a bad name in the 70s.

Actually I was talking about Don, but now that you mention it, Abe too. I also was wondering how long she would stay because after a while, it seems he was always banging his head against the wall because something was always wrong. Something will always be wrong but he wanted to carry the weight on his shoulders and was pissed because she didn't.

Happiest I've seen Don was singing "Father Abraham" in the restaurant.
Me too and I was completely surprised when he joined in, especially because he didn't do it begrudgingly.

The rural area stores and service stations always lag behind. Even now I can go into rural central PA and see places eons behind what's here, and others right in line with what's here. In 2001 I was in rural Illinois and saw a live bait vending machine.

Maybe the writers did that whole scene to plant a seed of things that might happen, but the way they wrote Betty, it doesn't look like she actually wants him back.

June 1st, 2013, 01:04 AM
Actually I was talking about Don, but now that you mention it, Abe too.Peggy would have gotten the worst of the breakup - the ache in your stomach when you're dumped - if not for the knife in Abe's belly.

June 1st, 2013, 01:17 PM
I thought he was going to die in that ambulance. But after being dumped, she didn't seem as surprised as I thought she would be.

June 1st, 2013, 01:40 PM
I think she was just taken off guard that she wasn't the one who tossed him first. Even if she didn't stab him, that episode with her cowering behind the window with a homemade spear would have been the end of it.

What surprised her is the reaction of Ted after she told him she was unattached again. The guy comes on to her while she's with Abe, and now tells her she'll find someone else.

Worse than anything Don had ever said to Peggy.


More windows into Don's childhood.

June 3rd, 2013, 08:39 PM
Ok what was the significance of Don's hallucination of his wife and the dead soldier?

Michael Ginsberg's got to go. His angst is becoming everyone's problem. He thinks the more you rant and rage, the more you care and you're a fascist if you don't.

June 10th, 2013, 01:56 PM
Ho-ly-sh**! No spoilers here, but I actually flinched and said holy crap when I saw the scene. Hopefully the writers will let this unravelling unravel slowly, and by the series finale next season it will have paced out well: That slow fall from the top as shown in the opening credits.

As assertive and modern - for the '60s anyway - that Peggy is, she still needs a man for the practical things, and unfortunately is willing to give away a little bit of herself depending on the circumstances. In this case it was a trapped and dying rat in her apartment. It ended up not happening, but that's her mindset.

"What if I lift up the couch and it starts flopping around?" That was an lol moment.

June 21st, 2013, 05:40 PM
The ending that was supposedly "leaked" about a year ago, which I think is a red herring, was that they show Don in the present day as an old man, retired from the business. Didn't say how his life or the others' lives played out. Probably sitting at the bar saying things like "These ad men today..."

Matthew Weiner has already heard your 'Mad Men' ending

June 21, 2013, 1:03 PM EST
By Tim Molloy
http://entimg.s-msn.com/i/150/News/March12/Matthew_Weiner_150.jpg© AP/ Matthew Weiner

TheWrap (http://www.thewrap.com/)"Mad Men (http://wirednewyork.com/tv/series/mad-men/)" creator Matthew Weiner says people have approached him since the show began to tell him how it should end -- and many of them have the same idea.
Maybe we can hazard a guess: Do they suggest someone jumping out a window?
"Yes," he laughed. "They do. People think it would be just an amazing rhyme to have that in the opening every week -- and then in the last episode have it happen."
Bing: 'Mad Men' conspiracy theories (http://www.bing.com/search?q=Mad+Men+conspiracy+theories&form=msnena)
Weiner has a different ending in mind, and whatever it is will conclude seven seasons of glasses half-empty, flawed men in flawless suits, and that poor silhouette falling, at the start of each episode, through a Manhattan that will shine on without him.
As "Mad Men" prepares to wrap its penultimate season Sunday, the end weighs heavily on viewers' minds. And with the death of James Gandolfini Wednesday, so do thoughts of "The Sopranos." Weiner was a writer and executive producer on the show under David Chase, whose cut-to-black final scene remains television's most debated.
We spoke to Weiner earlier this month about his favorite TV endings, drugs, and whether "Mad Men" will be his last show.
More: Memorable moments from 'Mad Men' Season 6 (http://tv.msn.com/mad-men-season-6-best-moments/photo-gallery/feature/)

Tim Molloy: Who on the show are you rooting for at this point? Are you in Don Draper's corner, or have your allegiances shifted?
Matthew Weiner: My allegiances? I hope it should be clear that I am not in judgment of the characters. Don is the protagonist of the show. He does a lot of unpleasant things, but he also does a lot of good things. This season is kind of about him being in a crisis. Even though I see him doing terrible things, I feel for him. I wish he could stop himself -- and he wants to stop himself.

Everything you do in the sixth season carries a lot of weight because it's the second-to-last one. Are you planting traps and setting things up to pay off next season, or are you just putting it all out on the table?
I'm putting it all on the table for this season. One of the great things about the show is that even though we do a different show every season, the writers and myself are always calling on the history of the show. We hopefully never ignore what has happened. A lot of times, things feel like they're in reference to something a while ago, and they really are. We always try to keep in mind previous relationships, and something ends up being a setup and you don't even realize it. But I would say honestly, it is so hard to do 13 episodes of the show. I wish I were smart enough to figure out how to map the whole thing out, but I really go season-by-season.

With so many people saying the show should end with a jump out the window, that must be pretty much the only thing you can't do.
It never even occurred to me. I'll be honest with you. Never occurred to me. That jump out the window was always meant to be symbolic and internal. I never meant it literally. I think it's fascinating, though—I think people think it would be cool. But it hasn't been an option. And now that we've had this conversation, I really can't do it.

Do people suggest "retirement party" a lot? A flash-forward to a retirement? That seems like one way to go.
No, I haven't gotten that. I think the whole history of series endings is an interesting study in itself. David Chase made a joke about how "Seinfeld" and "The Sopranos" should have switched endings. "Seinfeld" should have ended in the diner, and "The Sopranos" should have ended with them in jail. It is a momentous and permanent thing, and it's hard to not have a lot of pressure on it. I sort of figured out what I wanted to do about two seasons ago now, and I'm gonna stick to it. You'll have to trust me when I get there that I thought of it a long time ago. I didn't write it down and lock it in a box.

So it's totally "retirement party."
Think I can do that better than they did on "Mary Tyler Moore"? But that was different. They all got fired.

What endings have you really admired?
I admired "The Sopranos" ending. I thought it was genius. It was such a great way to leave the rest of the show intact. I thought the "Six Feet Under" ending was very good. I thought that was a great idea. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." "M*A*S*H" had a pretty great ending. [laughs] The most watched hour of TV ever? I thought "Weeds" had a great ending. It's a tall order. I haven't really seen it done badly.

The show is getting more dreamlike, with the mysterious injections and Don's hallucination on hash. Will it become less real as it goes on?
I know this sounds like a joke, but none of it is real. We're in 1968, and drugs are becoming a bigger part of the culture. Don smoked dope in [Season 1] and had a flashback in "The Hobo Code" where he went back to his childhood and saw himself in the mirror, and that part of his life is something that we've been able to investigate sometimes under inebriation. The B12 shot, that was something that again came from the period. It was something people were doing: that hopped up sense of confidence. It's film, so you can try to create that experience. My challenge is to make sure that it's not the camera that's on drugs, it's the characters that are on drugs. But it is a moment to kind of find out what's going on inside them.
One of the great things about Don being on hash in California is that when Megan shows up, we get to find out what's on his mind. He has a fantasy, a wish for Megan: that she will quit her job, and let him cheat on her, and have a baby.
I'm not advocating drugs at all, because as a writer, and the kind of person I am, my imagination is out of control most of the time anyway.
It's something amazing that you can do with film, to show people how you experience reality, and that it is altered a lot of the time. [It's] a great way to get insight into characters. Don saw Anna Draper's ghost, he was so drunk in "The Suitcase." You know how many people came up to me after that, and said, 'I wasn't drunk, but I knew that my relative or person X had died before I heard that they died, because I saw an apparition of them'? More people have told me that than almost any comment that I've gotten on the show.
That and Joan sleeping with someone to get a promotion are the two things that have most had people from the audience saying, 'Oh my God. I've experienced that.' It's a pretty astounding thing, right? People coming up and telling you they've seen a ghost.

You're working on a film, "You Are Here." Are you done with television after "Mad Men"?
No, I'm not done with TV. I will do as many different kinds of things as they will allow me to do. The creative satisfaction, the experience I've had with this show, I never expect to repeat. But that doesn't mean I'm done with television by any means. I love television, I love watching television, I love being a part of it. And it's very different from movies.
I'm also interested in theater. Because I'm a writer and I generate my own material, for me, pushing these different forms is a very exciting thing. You want to keep trying to find ways to express yourself that are all very different from each other.

June 24th, 2013, 08:35 PM
Well a potential muscling out of Don if he doesn't get it together, or maybe even if he does. They weren't as understanding of personal issues then as now but even so, what he did in that Hershey meeting was a no no. It's the wrong time to let on you're going through a mid-life crisis, or having an epiphany.

Pete always seemed like a weasely weasel but this thing with his mother just nailed it.

Peggy will never get her life together if Joan is her role model. She's no further along now than she was at the beginning.

June 24th, 2013, 09:59 PM
Don Draper is slowly unraveling, disappearing. Not the real Don Draper - he died in Korea; the invented Don Draper we've been seeing for six years.

The Hershey presentation took me back to the Kodak pitch in season one. Back then, he used his real experiences - photos of his family life - to help sell the contract. In the present for Hershey, he makes up a story about his father; after six years, he's totally immersed in the mechanism of advertising. And he broke a primary rule of the business; he let the client see that all of it is an illusion, a lie, But was that Don Draper or Dick Whitman who broke through, finally realizing that not just Don's "birth," but his life and everything he touches, is a fantasy.

Possible redemption for Don through his children, letting them into his real self, seeing the whorehouse he grew up in.

And what's happening to Peggy. Does this look familiar?


June 25th, 2013, 01:37 AM
But was that Don Draper or Dick Whitman who broke through, finally realizing that not just Don's "birth," but his life and everything he touches, is a fantasy.

Most likely Dick Whitman, which would explain his constant revisitations to his childhood, plus the ending going to his childhood "home" with his own children. But if he's trying to get his family back, next season will be a great shock for the family when they find out who he really is. And maybe his distancing himself from anything (work, relationships) that has too great a whiff of reality was his subconcious wanting to make "Don Draper" - not just on paper but in his mind permanently - a living breathing person while making "Dick Whitman" the guy who died in Korea. Like a kid who says "If I keep repeating it I'll make it so." But he wasn't counting on these emotional mini breakdowns.

She's in Don's office. Sort of looks like Jackie O. But does she really want that, or does she want a nice easy career, stable home life, with children and a loving faithful husband? Maybe next year we'll see another example of what happens when you try to "have it all."

June 25th, 2013, 08:27 AM
Most likely Dick Whitman, which would explain his constant revisitations to his childhood, plus the ending going to his childhood "home" with his own children.If you look back at the entire season, there were lots of flashbacks to his childhood, the last one so strong that he wound up in jail.

But if he's trying to get his family back, next season will be a great shock for the family when they find out who he really is.I think a bigger shock for his co-workers. Draper belongs at the agency; Whitman doesn't.

Getting his family back doesn't necessarily mean he has to get back with Betty. He can have a normal ex-married relationship. During the phone call about Sally getting beer, he called Betty by [I forget what it was] a nickname.

She's in Don's office. Sort of looks like Jackie O.How about...?


June 25th, 2013, 10:25 AM
Originally this was supposed to be the last season, way back when this series began.

June 25th, 2013, 11:50 AM

June 25th, 2013, 05:20 PM
Well now that he's revealed a bit of his real self, his past, to his children, they are going to start asking questions. Especially Sally. And when they finally find out who he really is, just about the time he's realizing how important his family is to him (not necessarily Betty), they will be shattered and may not want anything to do with him. As far as the woman in his life who knows who he'll be happy with. The grass for him is always greener on the other side; look how he was raised.

As far as the agency, of course he's finished if they find out, and what if they find out during his hiatus? Pete knows and if Don pisses him off enough he'll spill, and Don will either end up in prison or start a new agency, depending on the magic of television.

About the picture, that's what I was explaining abeit in an offhand way: Does she want to be that guy? The one at the top with all the power and all the perks? She's having the classic inner struggle most women have. You can't have both sides without something getting sacrificed. "Having it all" is a fallacy, or an oxymoron.

June 25th, 2013, 06:58 PM
everyone at the agency knows his real background. Bert Cooper already told Pete "who cares"

June 25th, 2013, 08:26 PM
As far as the agency, of course he's finished if they find out, and what if they find out during his hiatus?It really doesn't matter. The entire business is built on lies. Don is finished (maybe) if he can't come back as Don.

Does she want to be that guy? The one at the top with all the power and all the perks?Peggy was wearing pants in the office.

Throughout the season, she's made no decisions. Not about where to live. Not about her relationship - Abe is the one that breaks up with her. All she got to do was stab him, but that was an accident, not a decision. In a final indignity, Ted makes the decision to move to California, telling her she would someday realize it was the best decision.

Peggy finally sneers, "Well, aren’t you lucky, to have decisions."

Yeah, I think she wants the power.

June 26th, 2013, 01:32 AM
They couldn't have picked a better song to go along with that last scene...it was perfect!

June 27th, 2013, 05:09 PM
That was a good song, not only the lyrics but the melody, too. Very appropriate for the scene and the closing.

I say at least a year until the final season starts. I don't know why all the recent shows are doing those extended hiatuses but that's the way it is now. There also seems to be a trend for shows with a definite shelf life, such as West Wing, Breaking Bad (starts in August) and this show, among others. I don't know if it's party because they want to go out on top and also after the big climax, there's no where else to go with it, or just one or the other. I think "Sopranos" may have gone on but Gandolfini didn't really see anything more groundbreaking going on with it, and the only other groundbreaking thing to do was death or life in prison which would end the show anyway. Wonder if other genres will follow suit.

July 1st, 2013, 10:07 AM
Dexter is on its last season too...

July 1st, 2013, 12:10 PM
Originally this was supposed to be the last season, way back when this series began.They could have ended the series on the last episode; it would have worked.

If the writers have an outline of the entire series arc, I wonder how they cast a 7 year old character, knowing she will become a pivotal character down the road. It's like a roll of the dice.

She could be a spin-off.


Sally Draper is the only non-adult character to have a central role; she's the one with the most influence on Don. When he calls to tell her she has to appear in court to testify about the robbery, she says, "Why don't you just tell them what I saw." Obviously not about the robbery. Don goes to a bar, and winds up in jail. Sally gets beer, and is suspended from school. Superficially, she seems like her mother, but she's closer to her father.

See how differently Don and Betty react when Sally cuts her hair.


July 1st, 2013, 12:12 PM
Sally is the reason Don and Megan came to be married.


Kiernan Shipka is a fine actor.

July 1st, 2013, 06:54 PM
I love Sally. I think it would be great to have a series about her, into the 1970's.

July 3rd, 2013, 04:57 PM
Regarding the haircut video, what's actually more disturbing is that she thinks that every female who knows her father might be "doing it" with him. He has a lot of work to do with his kids.

The video where she throws a tantrum shows what every male subconciously,or biologically does: He looks for a female who will be suitable to raise his offspring. Of course she has to be a hot babe with a reasonable amount of intelligence, but Megan made the other women look like Stepford zombies in that scene. Like something out of "Twilight Zone".

September 17th, 2013, 04:50 PM
Just plain dumb I don't care how they explain it. Though I'll admit I'll be going through worse withdrawals after 'Breaking Bad' ends than with 'Mad Men'.

'Mad Men' final season to air in two parts
http://entimg.s-msn.com/i/150/News/June13/DonDraper_150.jpg© AMC/AP -- Jon Hamm as Don Draper in "Mad Men"

Sept. 17, 2013, 2:41 PM EST
By Tim Molloy
TheWrap (http://www.thewrap.com/)
Don Draper is going to take his time saying goodbye: "Mad Men (http://tv.msn.com/tv/series/mad-men/)" is splitting its final season into two seven-episode installments airing in 2014 and 2015.
The AMC show is going out the same way as "Breaking Bad (http://tv.msn.com/tv/series/breaking-bad/)," which split its final season between last year and this one, the network said on Tuesday.
Bing: 'Mad Men' fashion (http://www.bing.com/search?q=%27Mad+Men%27+fashion&go=&qs=n&form=msnena)
The move means AMC will get to keep its first big show on the air a little longer as it looks for replacements for "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men." On Monday, it announced it was creating a spin-off of "The Walking Dead," to go with a previously announced "Breaking Bad" spin-off.
The split may also increase AMC's long-term Emmy haul. If "Mad Men" had ended its run next year, its final season would have had to go up against the final episodes of "Breaking Bad." This change means Emmy voters won't have to choose between the final episodes of two of television's most-praised shows, since "Mad Men" will be eligible again in 2015.
Also from TheWrap: 'Walking Dead' Spin-Off in the Works at AMC (http://www.thewrap.com/walking-dead-spinoff-in-the-works-at-amc/)
The first seven episodes will air in spring 2014 under the banner "The Beginning." The final seven, "The End of an Era," will air in spring 2015.
"This approach has worked well for many programs across multiple networks and most recently for us with 'Breaking Bad,' which attracted nearly double the number of viewers to its second-half premiere than had watched any previous episode," said Charlie Collier, AMC president. "We are determined to bring 'Mad Men' a similar showcase. In an era where high-end content is savored and analyzed, and catch-up time is used well to drive back to live events, we believe this is the best way to release the now 14 episodes that remain of this iconic series."
"We plan to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience," said "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner. "The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience."


March 18th, 2014, 03:54 PM

Think I remember my mom having a dress similar to the one on the left.

'Mad Men' Season 7: The AMC drama returns for its final season

What does the final season of 'Mad Men' have in store for Don Draper and company? The critically-acclaimed show returns April 13 on AMC. Hedge your bets with these preview photos ...

http://assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pin_it_button.png (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/mad-men-season-7-preview-gallery-1.1721827&media=http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1725578.1395164389!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/mad-men-season-7.jpg&description=What does the final season of 'Mad Men' have in store for Don Draper and company? The critically-acclaimed show returns April 13 on AMC. Hedge your bets with these preview photos ...)
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1725578.1395164389!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/mad-men-season-7.jpg (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/mad-men-season-7-preview-gallery-1.1721827?pmSlide=1.1725604)Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC./ Published: 03/18/2014 1:42:03

Mad Men Season 7

Put on your mini skirts and bellbottoms: "Mad Men" is returning for its seventh and final season. Don, Megan and the rest of the gang will be experiencing 1969.

1 of 18


March 18th, 2014, 06:44 PM
Well, they got through 1968.

March 19th, 2014, 12:47 AM
They need to bring Spiro Agnew on for a cameo. Or maybe Martha Mitchell.

March 19th, 2014, 12:50 AM
Poor Martha...

March 19th, 2014, 12:58 AM
He's got Martha's garbage ...


March 19th, 2014, 01:02 AM
Can't find any vids of the real Martha. The next best thing ...

"Someone freshen Martha's drink. I think she's down a quart."


March 19th, 2014, 01:11 AM
Audio of an hour long interview, part of Tom Snyder's Tomorrow Show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Snyder), talking about Watergate and being kidnapped ...

The Inimitable Martha Mitchell - 1974 (http://crooksandliars.com/gordonskene/inimitable-martha-mitchell-1974)

A few years prior, with Julie Nixon Eisenhower July 29, 1969 ...


March 19th, 2014, 01:21 AM
NBC News Archival Clips of Martha Mitchell (http://www.nbcuniversalarchives.com/nbcuni/searchResults.do?search.type=intermediate&search.withinKeywords=&search.withinResults=&search.keywords=martha%20mitchell&filter=)

March 19th, 2014, 01:28 AM
Better than TV ...


March 19th, 2014, 01:37 AM
Right out of Mad Magazine, Martha as the Queen of Clubs in a set of fantastic Politicards put out in 1971 (http://drewfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/06/1971-politicards.html) by illustrator Peter Green for the '72 election ...


March 19th, 2014, 01:44 AM
More from 1968: Classic Agnew ...


March 19th, 2014, 05:36 AM
lol effete snobs!

April 12th, 2014, 02:26 AM

April 14th, 2015, 10:50 PM
More than ever want to see how the characters' stories wrap up, and this new arrival certainly upped the ante. Matt Weiner said he feels a responsibility to end the show on a high note, which is fine, but I hope it's not as neatly packaged as a Brady Bunch episode. These are damaged people and their lives aren't realistically going to fall into place quickly, even ever.

If Don/Dick hits bottom, and starts coming clean there's hope there. At least try to form some kind of a relationship with his kids. I don't have much hope for Roger who, btw, doesn't look like a '70s guy but one of the founding fathers of the United States. He won't change because he doesn't think anything's wrong. I think Peggy will do fine. She's the long shot nobody bets on then wins the race. I see her with her own agency one day. Pete, Harry, Joan, Betty, and especially the kids, with their screwed up parents. Hope they'll even tell us how Michael Ginsberg's doing now.

I thought it strange that Don waits until they're in the back alley to tell her his name, as if he'd just introduced himself at a meeting. For some reason that moment sticks with me. As long as they don't cop out and make it a dream sequence where nothing was real because Don/Dick was dead anyway, I'm fine with it.

Actress who plays new ‘Mad Men’ character reveals: ‘She’s a killer’ (http://nypost.com/2015/04/13/actress-who-plays-new-mad-men-character-reveals-shes-a-killer/)

By Robert Rorke (http://nypost.com/author/robert-rorke/)

April 13, 2015 | 10:43pm

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_di1a.jpg)

As "Mad Men" draws to a close, Don Draper (Jon Hamm, right) is drawn to a mysterious femme fatale known as Di (Elizabeth Reaser). But who is this stranger, and what does fate have in store for the two of them? Photo: James Minchin III/AMC

Even though the final seven episodes of “Mad Men” (http://nypost.com/2015/04/13/mad-men-pulls-the-rug-out-from-don/) intend to document Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) days as a middle-aged advertising executive with two failed marriages and many regrets behind him, the only character who has aroused both fascination and rage in viewers is a newcomer to the series.

She is Diana (Elizabeth Reaser), nicknamed Di, a hard-boiled diner waitress whom Roger Sterling (John Slattery) nicknames “Mildred Pierce,” after the heroine of the James M. Cain novel and Joan Crawford film.
And for viewers expecting a wrap-up of the show’s major characters, her prominence is a shock.

“Do I know you?” Don asks when she brings the check to a booth he is sharing with Roger and three women in the season premiere. He doesn’t, but Don goes back to the diner alone, inexplicably drawn to this stranger who reminds him of someone he once knew, maybe an old lover.

He tests out that theory in the alley behind the diner, where he and Diana have stand-up sex among the garbage cans.
“The relationship moved so fast. The meeting. The alley. He wants to start anew,” actress Reaser tells The Post of Don’s date with destiny.
“He’s in a deep crisis and he’s beginning to process his life. When you fall in love with someone like [Diana], it seems like it could be the answer.”

After a night of passion in Don’s apartment, Diana reveals her tragic past to him as they sit in his kids’ room.Photo: Courtesy of AMC

Diana is a stark contrast to some of Don’s other lovers — unimpressive, even, compared to Upper East Side surgeon’s wife Sylvia Rosen (Linda Cardellini) or accomplished career women Faye Miller (Cara Buono) and Rachel Katz (Maggie Siff).

“Diana’s invisible to people. Roger Sterling would never give her a second thought,” adds Reaser, a huge fan of the show.
But Don is curiously attracted to her, and Diana receives much more screen time in Episode 2, in which Don tracks her down at another waitressing job and asks her out. Their date doesn’t start until 3 a.m. Diana knocks on Don’s door in her waitress uniform and he answers it in a suit and tie.

For Reaser, the scenes in which Diana tells Don of the family she left behind in Wisconsin were tough stuff, and Hamm made sure she filmed them at the beginning of the day.

“This is a woman who lost a child and has left her life,” Reaser says. “She’s trying to make some sort of a life in New York. I take her at face value on that. She’s abandoned her other child, which is the bigger tragedy. In [1970], it’s so shocking.”

Diana (Reaser) and Draper (Hamm) get to know each other better in a dirty, dank location (which seems to suit them).Photo: Courtesy of AMC

The actress notes that Diana’s attitude about emotions echoes Don’s, and was encouraged by creator Matthew Weiner. “He wanted me to be unsentimental and show a toughness. She’s not indulgent,” she says. “She’s removed herself from life. She’s also falling in love with Don. She doesn’t want to at all. It’s really confusing for her.”

Some “Mad Men” fans have drawn parallels between Diana and Don: They’re both from the Midwest and they both reinvented themselves, but Reaser thinks the connection runs even deeper. “The way she relates to Don reminds me of the way he relates to women,” she says. “The heartbreak she carries around and how she manages it.”

But even though their connection is instantaneous, on some level she remains a stranger to him, and with that comes an element of danger. That wine stain on the rug in Don’s bedroom, art-directed to look like a bloodstain and seen in two consecutive episodes, is no accident.

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_diner1a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_diner1a.jpg?w=680&h=450&crop=1“Would you like something off-menu, sir?” Diana (Reaser) and Draper (Hamm) have a moment.Photo: Justina Mintz/AMC

“Diana’s got nothing left to lose. In some ways, she’s a killer,” says 39-year-old Reaser, who was born in Milford, Mich., grew up in the Detroit suburbs and is best known for her work in the “Twilight” film series and on “Grey’s Anatomy,” for which she won an Emmy. “She can take down Don Draper and not think twice about it. To play her, I had to convince myself that I could take down Don Draper. The character does not give a f - - k.”

And her heightened presence on the show has alienated some fans, who have complained on Twitter that Diana has overshadowed series favorites such as Pete Campbell, and Sally and Betty Draper.

Modal Trigger
(https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_di3a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_di3a.jpg?w=231&h=326Diana gives Don a 3 a.m. booty call in Sunday night’s episode.Photo: Justina Mintz/AMC

Reaser sympathizes but adds, “I get being a fan and wanting to see what you want to see. Matthew Weiner says the show is not about giving people what they want. He’s just committed to the story he’s telling. If he were to cater to all the things we want, then he wouldn’t have an authentic story. I really trust him.”

Reaser is prohibited from spilling any of the show’s secrets, including how many of the remaining episodes she will appear in. Even her audition was top-secret, using a phony name for the male character she was playing against on the page.
But she always knew it was Don.

“They didn’t tell me anything about my character, but I could tell instinctively from the language where it was going. I didn’t know it was Don Draper, but I could tell.”

And when the show’s over, fans can measure Diana against Don’s other women, but Reaser thinks there’s a reason why she came last.
“I always loved him with Betty. And I loved what Megan represented for him. How human that all feels. But I think he dominated a lot of these women. Diana sees through everything the way Don sees through everything. There’s a nakedness to that kind of connection.”
Who is she? Theories about the new mystery woman of ‘Mad Men’

♦ She’s a ghost

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_ghost1a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_ghost1a.jpg?w=680&h=450&crop=1Photo: Getty Images

Diana’s otherworldly appearance — Don Draper swears he’s met her before and yet he can’t put his finger on the details — has some viewers wondering if she’s even real. But if she’s Don’s ghost, why does Roger Sterling interact with her at the diner?♦ She’s a mother figure

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_mother1a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_mother1a.jpg?w=680&h=450&crop=1
Don’s prostitute mother died while giving birth to him — a scene he imagines in Season 2. His first dalliance with Diana, a waitress, also has a transactional quality — was it in exchange for Roger’s $100 tip?
♦ She’s a female Don Draper/Dick Whitman

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_whitman1a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_whitman1a.jpg?w=680&h=450&crop=1Photo: Carin Baer/AMC

Don Draper is an identity Dick Whitman stole from a fellow soldier who died in the Korean War. He worked as a used-car salesman before moving to NYC to start a new life. Like Don, Diana also moved to the city to reinvent herself.♦ She’s an angel of death

There’s a sad aura about Diana — who’s introduced to viewers as “Di” by a fellow waitress. Then there’s that ominous red wine stain in Don’s bedroom that appears in two episodes. Could it be foreshadowing bloodshed?
♦ She’s Mildred Pierce

Modal Trigger (https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_pierce1a.jpg)https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/madmen_side_pierce1a.jpg?w=680&h=450&crop=1Photo: AP

Roger refers to Diana as Mildred Pierce — the eponymous character in James M. Cain’s cynical novel played by Joan Crawford in the 1945 film. Like Mildred, Diana is a waitress with two daughters, and has hard luck with men and family.♦ She’s a red herring

Creator Matthew Weiner loves leaving breadcrumbs that lead nowhere. Could this just be a distraction, when in fact the end will revolve around one of the characters we’ve been following for the last eight years?


May 19th, 2015, 09:41 PM

Well I liked the ending, even though I wish it had been more direct. I don't think it was a cop-out Sopranos ending, but maybe Matt Weiner didn't want to give an end-of-life type of an episode. Jon Hamm said as much when he said the episode wasn't meant to show how these people ultimately end up, just where they're at as of 1971.

With the exception of Betty's spreading cancer, and making plans for the end, no one else really is shown in a bad place, though I thought Don was going to end up dead at least once during his road trip. The kids as usual got the sh***y end of the stick, but the viewer is told they will grow up in a stable environment.

Whether Don comes clean as Dick Whitman is never shown, but we are led to believe by that famous groovy Coke commercial that, even though he's still in the industry (I know there's no proof but Peggy wouldn't have come up with that), he as a man is moving in a positive direction and one day will reveal himself to everyone he knows.

Roger and that kooky jaded doom-loving broad Marie: Perfect together. Stan and Peggy? Maybe for a little while. Pete I figured as much but good for him and his family. Poor Harry gets no respect. I thought the writers would have Joan choose career first, but that doesn't mean she'll be alone the rest of her life. Wonder who the Holloway is in "Harris Holloway".

I would have liked for the writers to show a possible future between Don & Megan, but they can't throw everything in the mix.

In general I'm satisfied with the ending. Maybe they can do a movie in a few years.

I really will miss that show, and I'm annoyed with shows that have a built-in shelf life. West Wing, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, all the good ones are married!!!

May 19th, 2015, 11:27 PM
So in your view, does Don go back to the agency and create the Coke commercial?

Note: McCann Erickson is the real company that produced it.

May 20th, 2015, 08:49 PM
Yes I think he does. At least that's what I see Weiner was trying to convey.

The way the character was written, Don/Dick went through some heavy soul searching on his road trip, hit bottom, or near bottom, and had what is called a "breakthrough in group," but he wasn't looking for it. His niece persuades him to go, then leaves without saying goodbye, and he's in this strange environment where he doesn't want to be and doesn't know what to do. But I noticed for the first time he's not running away. He would have blown that place off in the past, even though he couldn't get a ride, old Don would have started walking or handed a wad of cash to someone for their bicycle to get the hell out of there.

Then this stranger shares his anguish and not only does Don relate to it, but he has sympathy for this guy who he'll probably never see again. So when we finally see everyone all zenned out near the sunny cliff meditating, I thought Weiner blew the ending until Don smiled and they showed the commercial. Also remember, when Don called Peggy, she asked him "Don't you want to work on Coke?"
All I was thinking was how can he think of that in the state he's in? She really didn't know how bad he'd gotten at that point.

Don/Dick may have changed, but the way he was written he wouldn't have 1) Hurled himself out a window because he hated himself (He lightly pushed against the window at his old office a few episodes ago, as if it was loose, but red herring) or 2) Completely given up his entire former life for love of humanity. I think he did change greatly, but at the end I think Weiner's trying to tell us he's still an ad man, if no longer a mad man, and advertising is what he does best. I was surprised though that he apparently goes back to McCann, where he was one of many, to create the commercial.

Bill Backer (not unlike "Don Draper") created the original and I think it's interesting that Weiner melded that into the ending. I wonder how far back he thought of that ending, not only because of McCann, but their names have familiar rings to them. Maybe one day we'll know.

Do you think that commercial was made by Don? Maybe Stan, but I can't really see Peggy coming up with that. Not doubting her ability, just that her mindset wasn't really going in that direction.

May 20th, 2015, 11:43 PM
My first reaction was that Don made the commercial; later I thought it might have been sarcasm, reflecting on his former life. But then I realized that the series wasn't so complicated; it was just precise, and the characters were true to themselves. So yes, I believe he returned to the agency and made the commercial.

The problem with a long series having major story arcs is that it develops like a novel, but you can't get through it in a matter of weeks. AMC didn't help by splitting up the last season, and their promos for the final episode magnified expectations of a blockbuster ending. I found out a few years ago in reading some articles that there was a cottage industry of people searching for hidden meanings or goofs in the timeline. In the episode where Don and Peggy are at a theater in the afternoon; the movie playing on the background is a James Bond film. A poster noted that the previous episode ended near a holiday, and the actual release of the film was several months later. Someone replied the obvious: "What makes you think that this episode isn't several months later?" All I could think was, who cares? Sterling Cooper is make believe.

There were several wild memes about the ending. One had Don becoming DB Cooper. Another had Megan as Sharon Tate; there is a resemblance, and of course, the red star T-shirt. Story lines like these would have been ridiculous, but Weiner managed to tweak the adherents. Remember when Don was told that it would be difficult to hitch a ride with, "You can thank Charles Manson for that."

What helped me bring everything together was that I replayed all of season one. That and it finally hit me in all those identical opening credits, Don is falling down a skyscraper canyon, but he ends up relaxed in a chair with a cigarette. When Peggy ends her call worried about Don, Stan says, "Don't worry, Don always lands on his feet."

Peggy's "Don't you want to work on Coke" may seem an odd thing to say to someone in crisis, but Peggy knew who Don was. More "Don't you want to come back to your life." For about 10 seconds during that call, I thought something bad was going to happen with Don.

At the motel, Don fixed an old Coke machine.

Back to the series opener, when the agency is fighting to keep its one big client, Lucky Strike. Don pitches:

"Advertising is based on one thing. Happiness. Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance; whatever you're doing, it's OK. You're OK."

The client is sold, but Don's mind is somewhere else.

Don's ideas seem to come from the turmoil in his life. This is crystal clear on the season one finale, I think the defining episode of the entire series. The Kodak pitch: “It’s called a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.” Don puts slides of his own family life in the projector, while his marriage is falling apart.

Don spends the next decade circling back, searching for himself.

At the end, he's in the depths of despair. His cross-country odyssey to simplify his life, maybe become more a Dick Whitman, has netted him nothing. One of the products he helped to sell is killing Betty. BTW, that phone call with Betty was the most emotion I can remember from Don other than when Anna Draper died. What I think Don discovered is that whatever he's doing, it's OK. He's OK.

He's Don Draper. He works in advertising. He's the Real Thing, or as real as a world with advertising can be.

May 20th, 2015, 11:45 PM


May 21st, 2015, 10:40 PM
^Right down to the red ribbon.

People will definitely talking for years about this show not only for real-life references, but also plot holes and continuity issues. I didn't know that it was AMC's decision to split the last season, I thought that was just Weiner being difficult. I saw no reason for it other than being too close to the Breaking Bad finale, so in that respect AMC splitting it makes sense.

Don's ideas definitely are ripped from his own headlines, so it's fitting that the last idea is from what is a new emotion for him: inner peace. Maybe not entirely, and maybe that's like saying a woman's sort of pregnant, but old Don would never have thought of that idea. He's learning to live with himself, and not run away every time things get rough.

I also thought the same thing about Don being the most emotional when Anna dies and with Betty on the phone, because he takes for granted the people he cares about will always be there and he can step in and out of their lives whenever he wants, and now the mother of his children is dying, and he may still love her even though he's no longer in love with her (yeah, there's a difference). I hate saying this because it sounds like bs film school analysis, but all the recent emotions that are coming out of him seem like an exorcism of who he used to be, at least that's what I thought. Especially when he's at the retreat's main desk, trying to get a ride out of there, and bitterly complaining about people leaving without saying goodbye. Pot meet kettle.

Btw that Carousel pitch was my favorite one.

The end of the show says Don really will be ok, no matter who he is, and no matter how many trials he goes through in his life. If he has gone through everything he's gone through and can end up fine as of 1971, we have no reason to believe he'll end up otherwise.

The show was also so well written that you can watch it several times over and each time pick something you hadn't noticed before, so I look forward to that. Not sure if this is ironic, but a TV show depicting people in advertising setting a high bar for other advertisers, has itself set a high bar for any series on any channel from now on.

May 22nd, 2015, 12:42 AM
I think Peggy's best end moment was in episode 12.

She started out in season 1 as Don's secretary.


So here she is a decade later, moving to McCann. They haven't given her an office yet, but she gets flowers, and thinks that nice until she hears that all the new secretaries got the same gift.

She runs into Roger in the now empty SC&P, and they polish off a bottle of vermouth. Roger gives her a Japanese woodcut print. Peggy asks, "What is that?"

I remember seeing it a few times in Bert Cooper's office, but I had to look it up. It's called The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dream_of_the_Fisherman%27s_Wife); Roger calls it An Octopus Pleasuring a Woman.

Peggy: "You know I have to make men feel at ease."

Roger: "Who told you that?"

She finally shows up at the new office the next day.


May 22nd, 2015, 10:29 PM
Yeah I thought that was pretty badass of her to walk in drunk looking like that, with that painting. I was pleasantly surprised at that entire scene between her and Roger, because they never had that kind of relationship and I don't remember Roger having tender moments that often.

What did Peggy really mean when she said she had to make men feel at ease? Was it because she was starting to take care of business on her own without their help, or she was becoming more assertive?

May 23rd, 2015, 12:29 AM
I don't remember Roger having tender moments that often.Roger seemed to be able to see through all the bullshit that went on, but it didn't stop his own bad behavior. I think that's what made his antics so funny.

What did Peggy really mean when she said she had to make men feel at ease?My take is that she was worried about her status as a woman at a very sexist McCann. The flowers-for-the-secretaries probably sealed it. How could she show up with erotic artwork where a man is replaced by an octopus?

or she was becoming more assertive?Yeah, when she showed up.

Peggy also cut the cord with Don during the last phone call. He had been a father-figure for her, and he saw her as a protégé. She always sought his approval, even though he was often mean, and she said things like, "Thanks for shitting on my dreams."

Nice Peggy-Don scene from last year. So very father-daughter.


May 26th, 2015, 11:27 PM
That was one of my favorite moments between them. Another was her giving him notice when she left the first time. He was genuinely shocked and hurt, but you can tell he knows what a big loss it is, not only at the office but his life.

I think that this is my favorite.


When Layne killed himself and they found his body, then Don & Roger walked in later, I'd expected a couple of Law & Order-style quips from Pete or Roger. "He got tired of hanging around," or something like that, especially after Layne kicked Pete's ass (another fave of mine). But they all played it as they should have. They were horrified and devastated. Writers had not reached the jaded '80s yet with smarmy dialogue.

It also reminds me of what you said about the Sharon Tate scenario, but I'm glad they didn't do it because it would have felt too much like Forrest Gump. No shortage of creepy Hollywood party scenes back then, but the writers didn't have to reach for their stories, and the actors didn't have to imitate anyone else. They set their own standard on a show whose period took place 50 years ago when you had to suppress certain feelings, such as Joan at the Topaz meeting with those apes, Don wanting to strangle a client during a pitch, or not control other feelings like any one of the girls crying over something. They wrote and acted excellent. Very much with the times. I can pick any scene on youtube and not be bored with it, and I know I'm not the only one, and if a show can keep its viewers from getting bored, there you have it.

May 26th, 2015, 11:37 PM
One more, can't help it. Now if this scenario actually took place in the '60s, a real Roger would have just said "Do this or you're fired," but this was a fun scene. That Trotsky line is a good one.


May 27th, 2015, 06:31 PM
How about Pete and Harry, who've developed in opposite directions?

And was Meredith Don's best secretary?

May 27th, 2015, 11:17 PM
My take on Harry was that he didn't get the respect he deserved. Maybe a little bit more than Pete, but not by much. As far as wanting the partnership, he was of no consequence, which was a shame, but I admit it was fun to watch. I always remember that scene during the Kodak Carousel pitch where he left in a hurry because he was becoming emotional. I think he should have been a partner before Pete, but wasn't it Pete's knowledge of Don as Dick Whitman that got him there in the first place?

In the end Pete went for the brass ring which was predictable, but most people would. The fringe benefits are just too appealing. He told Peggy SC was the only company he ever worked for, so he felt some loyalty, but he wasn't emotionally attached to the idea of running your own company like Don & Joan & Roger. He was pissed when he heard McCann was dissolving SC, but when he weighed that against the deal he was getting, to him it was an easy choice. I'd like to think that him getting his family back means he really is a changed man.

Meredith was both interesting and exasperating to watch (she couldn't take a hint), but I loved Miss Blankenship, and probably Peggy the best. Meredith and Dawn were maybe the most efficient. To me they didn't entangle themselves emotionally with Don's maladjustments. Peggy was efficient but she was too reactive to Don, but she ended up on her feet because she didn't let Don ruin her.

May 28th, 2015, 12:19 AM
I was looking at the whole series story arc, where Pete and Harry traded identities.

At the beginning, Pete was despicable. He got Peggy pregnant. He tried to use knowledge of Don's identity to further his career. In the first season, don told him that he would never be more than a mid level exec in a corner office, and no one would like him. and that's pretty much what happened. Even the reserved Lane Pryce punched him in the face.

Harry started out as a likeable doofus. He flirted, but was faithful to his wife, whom he seemed to treat as an equal. There was just one time at an office party, where he got drunk and had sex with Pete's secretary (Hildy?). That was funny. Then he changed as he became responsible for more business. I think the tipping point was when he agreed to assist Megan with her career, and then made it clear that he expected her to sleep with him for the favor. At the end, I think he was the most disliked character. You could see the contempt in Roger's face when they last talked at the closed agency.

If Lane hadn't killed himself, I think he would have eventually punched Harry in the face.

Pete, though, evolved during the last season. He became supportive of Joan and Peggy, tried to be a good father, and in a bit of irony, punched that idiot school administrator. He's the only character that fixed his failed marriage.

May 28th, 2015, 08:41 PM
Yeah I was surprised at Harry for propositioning Megan like that, then lying about it to make it look like she was crazy. I would have expected that from Pete, so they did switch personalities, and it's a shame because I liked Harry.

The trailer for the last half of the season sort of suggested that Pete was up to the same assholery he always was, but for the first time I wasn't disgusted by him. I was glad when he punched the administrator in the face, and he clearly did it for Trudy, who obviously appreciated it.

Every time I think of Layne challenging Pete like a gentleman, then throwing up his arms like an old-timey boxer, it makes me smile.

June 6th, 2015, 10:10 AM
I will miss this series. The writing and acting were superb. Excerpt for Bert Cooper, there wasn't a single character I didn't like, or enjoy watching, even the despicable Pete and the latterly sleazy Harry. Betty's childish anger and abuse of Sally, captured the insanity of child-rearing -- the paradox of the harsh disciplinarian streak of a culture entering a period of unprecedented permissiveness.

I don't think the character Bert Cooper added much to the world of Mad Men. I know he was a link to an earlier era, but so what? Maybe one exception to this exception is Bert's visceral opposition to the hiring of African-American staff, including Dawn: "I'm all for the advancement of colored people, but to the have to advance to the front of my office?" That nailed the unquestioned institutional racism of the mid-1960s workplace.

June 7th, 2015, 08:18 PM
I liked Bert but I don't think he needed a major role, I think it was fine as it was. He ran the company, but we didn't need to see him every day, and his quirkiness was welcome. I can't imagine a real company president like him running things back then.

His opposition for anyone other than waspy types was a reflection of the way things really were. If you remember the very first episode, Roger asks Don if they've ever hired any Jews, and Don replies "Not on my watch." That was written by Matthew Weiner. He knew Jews weren't good enough to work in those companies, but they were good enough when you or your wife needed a good doctor, or you needed a good lawyer to get your a** out of trouble, or Don wanted to sleep with the daughter of the department store president.

And they may not have wanted to hire "coloreds," but their cooking and their music sure came in handy, eh? Weiner didn't want to write a "travelogue" about the '60s, but he knew he couldn't ignore certain things and he was for the most part right on the money. I look forward to more of his work.

June 7th, 2015, 10:52 PM
That's why the Sal Romano character had to go. A lot of viewers were upset that he was dropped like that, but in the "real world" of the series, there is no way a gay man gets outed at an ad agency in the 1960s and survives.

Bert Cooper was necessary as a prequel to the story arc. Miss Blackenship was once his secretary.

Speaking of secretaries, as a group they were a big part of the story.

I think the worst case of mistreatment was Don and Allison.

Season 4 episode 2: "Christmas Comes But Once a Year"

The first Christmas after Don's marriage falls apart. Allison has been taking care of his family stuff - reads him a letter from his daughter, shops for presents for his children. Don gets too drunk at the office party and goes home without his keys. He calls Allison, who delays going out with friends to bring him the keys. She offers to cook him some food; he says no, and she says, "Well, good night," and turns to leave. He takes hold of her hand, and they have sex.

The final scene, with only the typewriter keys clacking, is devastating.

Go to 35:10


A novel that became very popular in the early 1960s - One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding (http://www.amazon.com/One-Hundred-Dollar-Misunderstanding-Corrected-ebook/dp/B004X1TJNG)

June 8th, 2015, 04:30 AM
Two episodes later Allison has a meltdown in a focus group and then confronts Don. She wants a letter of reference, and he agrees to this, but tells her to write it herself. Not a smart move.

Go to 22:07.


Don was lucky he wasn't living in a John Cheever story and that Allison was no Miss Dent (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1954/04/10/the-five-forty-eight)

Joan: "What's going on?"
Don (as he picks through shattered glass): "I'm gonna need a new secretary."

I will miss this show.

June 9th, 2015, 09:01 PM
I don't know what's going on with the youtube videos, but they keep pulling them off. I saw a recap of 4-02 but not a full episode.

June 10th, 2015, 09:18 AM
You have to search around for full episodes; like the two above, they're usually not the best quality.

Not sure if that's what the designers were going for, but Allison reminded me of a primary school teacher, way back when. I might have thrown something at Don.

The fashionista in my household told me it was a jumper dress, popular at the time.

June 12th, 2015, 01:57 PM
Peggy / Peggy

The only bigger transformation was in the world itself 1959 / 1970.