Media Talk

A good TV Guide interview with Elisabeth Moss (hat tip to Basketcase Peter G.): 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. 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. 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.

And Basketcase Oaktown Girl let us know about Tim Goodman’s SF Gate article:

“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.

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.

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).

Nanuet, N.Y.

The other letters they published about Mad Men were fascinating as well. Go read.

For the absolute spirgins among you, this will all go below the fold. (more…)

Comment on this post at our new digs!

Deborah quoted this section from the Brandweek piece:

There will be some high-profile stunts and outdoor ads that look to spur water cooler chatter. The shuttles between Grand Central Terminal 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.

So I was too busy at work to even read this part. But this morning I get a message from a co-worker’s blackberry (I’m telling you, I have a whole Mad-Men-crazy-girl reputation at work) about the times square-to-grand central shuttle, how it’s plastered with Mad Men.

I’m psyched, because I don’t typically take the shuttle, but I totally can; it gets me where I’m going. And I have been impressed in the past with the amazing wraps that I’ve seen on the S; I do love good advertising.

It was funny, because I get there after work, and I look inside the train, and I don’t see any Mad Men. The co-worker had described it as all over, so I was confused, until I realized there are two trains, and it was probably in the other one. So I actually let the train go, with me not on it, because I must see this thing today.


It is majestic.

Here is what a subway car looks like normally.
Here is what a subway car looks like normally.


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!

The New York Post has a cloyingly written, but highly favorable, review of the first couple of episodes of season 2 (hat tip to Basketeer dansj).

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 …


On the corner in front of my office building; I kid you not. A co-worker told me about it. A) I don’t often come that way and B) it faces the street, so unless I was coming back from Hale and Hearty Soup (yum) I would never have seen it.

I miss the sillouhette look, but S2 needed its own campaign.

by rkl

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