This blog is officially closed for business. But we are bigger and better (or at least, can do more tricks) at our new location of:
C’mon over and talk Mad Men with us. You know you want to.
July 8, 2008
July 8, 2008
A good TV Guide interview with Elisabeth Moss (hat tip to Basketcase Peter G.):
TVGuide.com: Previously, you had said that Peggy was in love with Pete, so why not use the child as leverage…?
Moss: I don’t know what episode we were at when I said that, but she definitely was not in love with him by the end of the first season. He broke her heart when he said, “I don’t like you this way.” That was the beginning of the end for her. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of feeling there — I mean, she had his child — but is she in love with him? No.
TVGuide.com: Does Peggy still have the same relationship with Joan?
Moss: Things with all the characters changed in a way, but Joan is still Joan and Peggy is still Peggy, and they’re never really going to be friends.
TVGuide.com: Now that Peggy is no longer suspiciously “large,” do you hope her wardrobe gets more stylish?
Moss: It definitely has gotten more stylish. She still tries to dress professionally — not like Joan — and she still doesn’t want to catch too much attention, but she gets a bit more stylish. She stops making her own clothes! And she shows a bit of “pins.”
Huh. I hadn’t realized those horrible clothes were homemade.
“Mad Men” doesn’t actually start its Season Two until I get back, but I got the first episode yesterday. It came in a black, unmarked box (seriously) about the size of a shoe box. Inside was, well, another shoe box, and the contents were: One press release saying please, please, please don’t give away what happens in the first episode (or any episode) which is standard mailing fare these days. One DVD copy of the first episode. And – swag alert – one old school “Mad Men” 3D viewfinder with three well-packaged picture discs to click through (one alone was the guy falling from the building in the opening credits). Click, click, click. Then the iconic logo of the back of Don Draper’s head as he sits in his chair.
I certainly don’t intend to link to every DVD review, but this one, at DVD Verdict, is exceptionally thoughtful and well-written.
Yet it is Don Draper, with his love for the underdog and identification with the self-made, who recognizes the talent of his secretary Peggy… The contrast between Draper’s casual chauvinism toward his own wife and principled championing of Peggy exemplify the magic at the heart of Mad Men: Instead of playing the anachronisms of the show’s period setting for camp laughs or using them to preach political correctness, the writers make them the slave of character and plot.
This DVD review at NPR is unique for mentioning all of AMC’s past original shows, including Remember WENN and On the Lot, and it includes a couple of season 2 promo shots (a portrait of Don and of Joan—no spoilers).
The Museum of Moving Image website, Moving Image Source, has a lavish and insightful article on Mad Men. This is their first ever article on a TV show (thanks to Basketcase Kate for the tip!). And is the author a lurking Basketcase? I couldn’t help but notice this line:
Riotously handsome and successful, Draper is a psychological basket case.
July 8, 2008
July 7, 2008
Here’s the part they didn’t publish:
Thank you so much for your wonderful article about the best show on television! I have rarely seen anything that even approaches the quality of writing, acting, and production that Mad Men delivered for 13 fabulous weeks last summer, and I am breathless waiting for season 2’s premiere.
My sister and I love talking about the show so much that we started a blog (Basket of Kisses) about it. There, we’ve found other obsessed viewers, and together we discuss the complexity and nuance of our favorite characters, cogitate on 1960 and the cultural mileu, contemplate what may come next, examine symbolism, subtext, the motifs of birds and trains, and the departure of the hat from men’s fashion.
…and I signed it with a link to the blog. Darn them.
July 7, 2008
We’ve talked about it in here, and they talk about it more in the ‘best of’… how Pete really does have a nose for the future. He consistently either has or recognizes a great idea. Only no one knows it but him. And, well, us, because of how we know how it turns out.
In the pilot, he suggests the ‘death wish’ idea that Don had vehemently dismissed, and everyone is horrified. But really, what do we think the symbolism behind Marlboro Country is?
He pitches the very excellent Bethlehem Steel tagline, the Backbone of America.
During a discussion about how to angle Israel tourism, Pete says, “Maybe we should try and exploit the danger, instead of fighting it. Travel as adventure.” This idea, while not being actively shot down by Don, was skimmed over.
He was the only one who liked the Volkswagen ad, which pissed everyone off. He recognizes the hip factor of Kennedy, calling him Elvis. The way I saw that, he wasn’t comparing the people, but the potential (and eventual) phenomenon of Kennedy to that of Elvis.
SEASON 2 SPOILER ALERT FROM THE PROMOS below the fold (more…)
July 7, 2008
July 6, 2008
I am both thrilled and disappointed. Disappointed, because they cut out my references to Basket of Kisses, which sucks, but thrilled to sing the praises of our show:
Most people focus on the beauty and glamour of the period setting, or the smoking/drinking/sexism that seems so ancient and yet is so recent, but the greatness of “Mad Men” (Alex Witchel, June 22) is that people are and always will be people. You can watch a Jane Austen adaptation or a Merchant-Ivory drama and get caught up in the costumes and paraphernalia, but in truth, the fascination lies in how little is different: We still hope and long, deceive and get caught. When the newlywed Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) says he thought marriage would be magical, but instead his wife is “just another stranger,” he is not some 1960 period oddity; he is speaking to all of our childish desires for fulfillment without effort.
The characters of “Mad Men” are flawed, confused and compelling. Just like real people (but better-looking).
The other letters they published about Mad Men were fascinating as well. Go read.