December 2007

It’s been a while since we’ve had a great interview with Weiner, but worth the wait for this one from the Baltimore Sun.

“I will not lie and pretend like I’m not trying to say something about American life,” Weiner said. “The real story of the show is about assimilation and upward mobility.”

“The story of upward mobility is that you are going to have to give up something that is very important to you if you want to succeed – and giving that up is going to be very painful at some point,” he said. “We don’t talk much about the painful part in our popular culture.”

There was a scene cut. From Episode 1: 13; the Wheel. Cut!

I remember saying something to Deborah after the original airing about the scene with Trudy and her diaphragm. And Deborah hadn’t seen the scene. I had watched the 10pm airing (the one with no commercials, if we all remember) and Deb had DVR’d the 11, (because she was recording like three shows that night), and so she and I discovered this disconnect between the two showings.

So now I’m working on the full recap (which I will finish someday), basing it off of the recent rerun, and I suddenly remember the scene, and how it’s not in it.

And I feel so dirty. (more…)

In Salon’s year-end wrap-up, they link their favorite stories from 2007. There, among stories on weapons of mass destruction, global warming, and Jerry Falwell, is a story on Mad Men; a three-page study of the American Dream’s dark side as lived by Don Draper.

You know what? I haven’t read it yet. I just found it and I can’t wait, but I wanted to share it with you all first.

Check it out.

A second Toronto paper adores the Mad Men. After the Globe and Mail‘s list comes the Toronto Star, and Mad Men is not just number one, it’s the headline.


This one tickles me, because it is a list of top ten “cultural events” of 2007, and Mad Men is not only on it, it is the only television show on it. The rest are movies, theater, museum exhibits, and classy stuff like that.

A startlingly good show, on AMC, of all places, turned its patient, telling scrutiny on the world of New York advertising in 1960. Creator Matthew Weiner (“The Sopranos”), an ideal cast and a team of designers who rendered every suit lapel, martini glass and suburban party scene in rigorous detail searched out the anxieties and pockets of poison lurking beneath the carefully guarded surfaces of the American dream.

And why wouldn’t they? You’ve got Salvatore, you’ve got (sigh) Jon Hamm, you’ve got a greek chorus of guys whose girl-watching drool veritably intermingles, and you’ve got Joan, an icon bursting at the seams.

So it makes sense that Mad Men be given its props in an all-gay-year-end-wrap-up entitled Withering Glance, written by Rick Nelson and Claude Peck for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

Here’s what Rick Nelson had to say about our Joan:

…the divine Joan Hendricks as the secretarial sexpot…steers her apocalytpic bust through the steno pool like Gen. George Patton’s Third Army slicing through the Ardennes.

Claude Peck (best name ever since Roberta Lipp) on Sal:

The gay character (Salvatore, played by Bryan Batt) is closeted, but that’s actually a bit refreshing in the new era of gays exploding all over the small screen.

To me, the brilliance of Sal’s gayness is that there is no one in 2007 who would possibly mistake him for straight, while there is no one in 1960 who would possibly consider that he is gay. Except for other gays. People notice something is off, but no one is identifying it. (Joan certainly picked up on something in Nixon vs. Kennedy.) So to the contemporary viewer, it is shocking to see. He might as well be walking around the office naked. And each time he refers to a woman he finds attractive, you kind of… stare at him. And the camera stays there so we can. stare. And then a a big group Huh?

(And yet, at times in our lives, we have met that guy. Worked with him. He’s all married or dating women and singing show tunes and befriending, well, me. ‘Cause he knows a sistah. And you kind of… stare at him.)

Check out the article; it’s a fun read. Mad Men is mentioned at the end, but notably as the only TV these guys found worth calling out. Their devotion is clear.

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