Lots and lots of news, so I’m posting before the holiday weekend eats all our brains.
I just found this great interview with Christina Hendricks from June 28. My favorite part is that she doesn’t realize that Joan speaks in a higher voice than she does in real life. How funny!
When we return (or by the second episode, at any rate), it’s March 1, 1962, the day that John Glenn got a ticker tape parade in lower Manhattan and an American Airlines plane with 70 people aboard crashed after takeoff into Jamaica Bay…
(So my fervent prayer is that they work in one of the singularly worst advertising campaigns of all time – a 1960s airline commercial with singing wives begging, “Take Me Along If You Love Me.” Legend has it that many husbands took the opportunity to get free tickets for their mistresses and secretaries instead. Tragically, the airline then wrote thank you notes to the wives for being taken along… )
Without giving anything away, we also learn that the dreadful Peter wasn’t thrown into the street for trying to blackmail Don and we learn what happened to Peggy’s pregnancy …
Jossip has a funny post up called When Will the Mad Men Backlash Commence?
Critics, too, loved Lost; then they spent a year beating the crap out of its writers before finally coming around again. Rinse and repeat for Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy and Prison Break.
No backlash from Newsweek, which calls Mad Men “must-see TV.”
More high-profile DVD reviews come from The Washington Post, which understands the series, and uses the word “wanton” (which is one of my favorite words), and from Variety, which calls Mad Men an “unguilty pleasure.”
Brandweek gives us more details of some innovating advertising. I particularly like…
TV ads will make up the bulk of the marketing for Mad Men, AMC’s first original show, with a mix of network and cable buys. A 30-second spot also will run in Landmark Theaters, which cater to art house devotees who’ve been the Mad Men early adopters.
There will be some high-profile stunts and outdoor ads that look to spur water cooler chatter. The shuttles between Grand Central Station and Times Square in New York will become Mad Men set pieces, with the interiors decorated to evoke Draper’s early 1960s world of men in fedoras and martinis with lunch. The cars will have “chandeliers” on the ceilings, snappy lines of dialogue on the walls and life-size images of Draper himself appearing on the commute.
People in period costumes (think: lots of pencil skirts) will roam around Grand Central Station vogueing with cigarettes and handing out cards that say Sterling Cooper, the fictional ad agency on the show.
Television (and Mad Men) blogger Alan Sepinwall has a cut-above-the-rest DVD review in the New Jersey Star Ledger. This is one of the few reviews that goes past being excited and thrilled, and digs into exactly what works and doesn’t work about the commentaries, extras, and packaging.
And after a while, all the talk of the show’s brilliance almost gets in the way of the actual brilliance, as if Weiner and company are giving you the hard sell for a product that doesn’t really need it. Weiner’s mentor, “Sopranos” creator David Chase, always hated doing DVD commentaries, or in any way attempting to explain what was there on the screen for people to interpret. While that approach could be frustrating for the most hard-core “Sopranos” fans who might have occasionally liked a clarification, there’s so much information and praise overload on the “Mad Men” set that I began to understand Chase’s less-is-more approach.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also points out that the tie-in commercials and the original “Making of” features from AMC would have been nice extras to include.
Vue Weekly gives us, in the guise of a DVD review, a thoughtful look at the women of Mad Men, and the way that the show distinguishes itself from boy’s clubs like The Sopranos and The Wire (don’t shoot me—I’ve never seen either one, I’m just quoting the article) by having a strong female focus.
A gossip piece in Forbes is smarmy and strange, but is interesting about the “real mad men”—George Lois, Della Feminia, et al.
Here’s an interview with Elisabeth Moss in IF Magazine on her Fear Itself role (it airs tonight at 10 on NBC). They promise Part Two will be about Mad Men.