June 2008

Okay, okay, I know I’ve posted a lot today, but the DVDs got me all excited.

A long while back, we were discussing the song “Babylon” (which I misidentified as “Rivers of Babylon”). I spent all sorts of time on the Web trying to figure out what song and what version it was, and we got close, but man. All you really need is a DVD. (For the record, I also emailed AMC and SAG but they were no help at all.)

So, the Disc One feature on “Scoring Mad Men” is mostly David Carbonara talking about the musical themes used in the show, but he also talks about Babylon. Turns out it’s a Don McLean song from American Pie. (Not really, it is the traditional song we ultimately identified, but that’s where Matt Weiner got it from.) And I’m seriously bent, because I know my brother had this album (on like, vinyl) and I’ve heard it and I DID NOT KNOW. But anyway.

Weiner asked Carbonara to use the song at the end of the Babylon episode, and to be one of the three singers (he’s the one with the zither). Weiner’s instructions were to arrange the song and get two more singers.

So now we know.

The limited edition packaging is cool. I was afraid it would be cardboard. There’s an insert with a discount code for the Zippo lighter, and an insert giving a summary of what’s on each disc (but not which episode has which commentary).

Overall: My Gods, what a robust package!

Disc One opens with the 10 second JWT spot, and then an AMC commercial for Season 2. Then the menu has the famous silhouette with scenes from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes playing kinda translucent in the area that’s normally white and blank. The fade to the next menu item (such as special features or episode list) is cigarette smoke.

I expected to select an episode and then turn commentary on or off, but no! The episode starts right away. Instead, you have to go to special features to see a list of commentaries.

Details below the fold: (more…)

We heard about this recently, and now here it is.

Zippo has created two distinctive MAD MEN Zippo lighters as the perfect companion to your MAD MEN Season One 4-Disc DVD – a must-have for any MAD MEN fan.

MAD MEN Limited Edition Lighter

  • Limited production of 1,000 – consecutively numbered
  • Vibrant MAD MEN logo imprinted and chromed out on a high polish lighter
  • DVD set packaging companion Zippo lighter
  • Packaged in a Zippo velour collector’s box


Actually not much to add. I’m watching the show, in spite of myself.

I didn’t even recognize her through all the coked-out blondeness, but it’s Kate Norby playing Gail Saxton.

Mostly I just liked the title of the post.

I do a weekly movie review on my other blog, and recently, I reviewed The Apartment.

I mention this because I’m self-aggrandizing Matthew Weiner often cites The Apartment as one of his major influences in creating Mad Men. The era (The Apartment is a 1960 film) and the business milieu are obvious, but at the oft-cited Burns Center event, he also talked about the way that The Apartment starts with a lot already going on; that more of the movie shows you things that the characters already know (Baxter has a crush on Fran, Baxter’s apartment is being used by management, etc.), than shows you things that haven’t happened yet. When something new happens, it’s major.

Another very visible movie for us Mad Hatters is How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, starring Robert Morse (our own Bertram Cooper). Weiner says he didn’t have Robert Morse specifically in mind for the role, just someone venerable from the era who could hold that kind of power.

If you’re not familiar with How to Succeed…, it’s a musical about, well, succeeding in business. An ambitious window-washer (Morse) uses a book of the same title as the film to guide him up the corporate ladder. The jobs don’t matter, the work doesn’t matter, and the methods don’t matter. It’s all about success.

I compare the two in my review:

1 day to Season 1 DVD release.
20 days to Season 1 marathon.
27 days to Season 2 premiere!

Woo hoo!

We’ve been planning this for months. Hope you like it (and I’m sure you’ll let us know in comments). The new “skin” and some new features. The original idea was to launch in conjunction with the season 2 premiere: Introduce the new look on July 27. But (a) we were too excited to wait, and (b) we’ll have plenty to talk about on July 27, who’s gonna care about a little cosmetic change when we’ve got new Mad Men to discuss?

Anyway, the new layout lets us be a little more creative visually. The visuals are mostly me (I’m kinda proud of the header). Roberta’s fantabulous contribution is the new Show Bible. The page is self-explanatory; a central location for information on characters and events. Kinda the MMdb, and very much a work in progress.

Soon, of course, there will be a Season 2 Episode List page, and full episode recaps as fast as we can manage it. Recently (if you didn’t notice), I upgraded the Episode List page so that every episode has a link, not just to the recap, but to that episode’s Quotations section.

We have other plans, but if we tell you about them, then when we don’t get around to them promptly you’ll complain. This way, you’ll just be delighted whenever they show up.

And if you have a Basket of Kisses “wish list,” let us know.

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