October 2007


Chicks dig the MM. First Amanda Peet, then that Kristen person from E Online, now Sarah Silverman. In a 20-Questions style interview with Exclaim!, the following exchange took place:

What are your current fixations?
I love the new show Mad Men on AMC. It’s so, so great.

Notice that, although Sarah Silverman is very strange, she is clearly smarter than Amanda Peet, in that she knows what channel her favorite show is on.

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The first season begins it’s rebroadcast this Thursday night at 10pm.

Just in case you missed anything the first time.

EOnline’s “Watch With Kristen” has high praise for MM:

If you haven’t seen Mad Men yet, you’re missing out, because it’s one of the wittiest and most interesting shows to grace TV in a long time. Think Deadwood but with better outfits and much better manners.

In addition, there are interview snippets with Matt Weiner and most of the stars. From Jon Hamm, we learn:

“Don’s journey is trying to figure out where he is in his job and in his relationships, and where he is in the the history of the U.S. I wish there was one answer, and I think we’ve seen with the several women in his life that he’s trying to cover something different with each one. He’s maybe looking for one that covers all the bases, and maybe he hasn’t found it yet.”

Read the whole thing.

Our commenter grinbear has written an interesting blog about some advertising history, inspired by our favorite show.

This TV series from the producers of The Sopranos has certainly succeeded in providing an opportunity for one former Austin ad man to reflect on what was happening in our little part of the advertising pond in 1971 (which is like 1960 in Austin years).

There’s lots more…

Roberta and I have been tossing around this interview for two days. We both really love it, but neither of us have blogged it because we’re not coming up with anything much to say about it. Now I’m starting to worry that the newspaper website will take it down, so I’m just throwing it up there for you all to read.

Here are my two favorite quotes:

Creativity is “a process, and you can’t force it,” Weiner said. “Creative people need some leeway. They do drink. They do show up late. And they do have deadline problems. And you see this over and over.”

Weiner said he felt rewarded for his observations when a consultant on “Mad Men” “confirmed my suspicions about advertising – that it is exactly like television.”

And:

So much of his own experience and observations are in the show that friends assumed he must be Don. He said he really is Peggy.

“I am the new girl. I’m always surprised. I’m always a step behind. I’m always doing what I’m told. And being sorry for it.”

Roberta is obsessed with Betty, but for me, it’s mostly Don (although all of the characters have their fascinations).

What I learned in Episode 12 was that Don is improvising, and he’s operating out of panic. We know a bit about his childhood; “I’m a whore-son” he said matter-of-factly in Episode 8. My thoughts at first was that he had an intense (and justifiable) urge to get away, that he was full of rage, and that he was a social climber. Dick Whitman couldn’t have the home in Ossining, so Dick Whitman had to be over.

But in Nixon vs. Kennedy I saw something different: Terror. Don fears he can be dragged back to “Dick Whitman, Whoreson” at any time. His escape hangs by the thinnest of threads. And all he really wants to do is run. He wants to run with Rachel. He wants to drown in the comfort that Rachel offers, and he wants that comfort to be a running away of a kind.

All of it is improv. He had no master plan when he became Don Draper, no plan when he buried his past, no plan when he didn’t get off the train. It’s all a little boy running away from home with his meager possessions tied in a bundle and resolutely refusing to cry.

Francine. She is a wonder, always. But she’s married to an asshole. Conrad/Cornelius/whatever her husband’s name is (it’s Carlton—to ring your bell, he is the guy who hit on Helen Bishop at the birthday party in episode 3; the Marriage of Figaro). (That episode, which I promise to post about, is the one that got me off the fence. I was pretty sure that the show was a pure winner, but that one blew my mind. Right off my head. Or something.)

I have been curious for awhile what the friendship is between Francine and Betty. Betty is more formal and guarded with Francine than she is with Don, so it is her vacuous side that is more often exposed, and I have been curious as to how Francine perceives that. She certainly stood up for her over the slapping Helen thing. Francine feels kind of gutsy as a character, but she hasn’t noticed what a creep her husband is, and she hasn’t noticed how shallow Betty is (or comes across), OR how fragile she is. (more…)

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