Writer Talk

The same episode where Harry says of Don “That guy could be Batman for all we know,” is the episode where Don runs into someone on the train who calls him “Dick Whitman.”


It’s hard to watch well-written television. Catch the subtext, foreshadowing, and motifs. Honestly, having this blog helps me do the thinking I need to do to fully appreciate the genius and subtlety of the show. Oh my gods I sounded like I was giving Matt Weiner a blowjob, didn’t I? But it’s just that good.

Anonymous person, telling me he liked reading the New York Times Magazine article:

Matthew Weiner sounds like he’s Aaron Sorkin minus the drugs.

Two different commenters found this for us: The New York Times has an extensive interview with Matt Weiner, behind-the-scenes at auditions and other production, and general article. It’s too amazing to pull out a quote.

Okay, here are the quotes that hint at season 2, but please, read the whole thing, because otherwise I’ll just quote the whole thing (Nothing is spoilery, because Weiner wouldn’t allow that, but I’ll put the quotes below the fold for those of you averting your eyes):

Roberta and I found 3 phrases we thought were anachronisms. Commenter latenac did the research and none of them are, in fact, anachronistic for 1960. This isn’t the first time we’ve discovered this sort of thing.

Here’s an interesting question: Why did they sound as if they were?

I think it’s because people in the movies and TV of 1960 didn’t talk much like the real people of 1960; certainly not to the extent that realistic dialogue exists (or attempts to exist, depending upon the skill of the writer) today.

This is one of Weiner’s themes, of course, that the people in Mad Men aren’t people in movies; they’re people who watch people in movies. 1960, I am so over you.

This is a delightful piece about the screening the other night of 2:01 written by Pat, the former college roommate of Linda Brettler, better known to us as Matthew Weiner’s wife. Yeah. There were five seats reserved. Matt, Linda, Pat, Roberta and Deborah. What? Oh, I’m sorry, there were only three. Anyway, enjoy!

Before I know it, I am linking arms with Jon Hamm, smiling like I’d died and gone to Heaven. Next thing I know, there I am, squished between Christina and January, the two most beautiful women I’ve ever been physically close to (apologies to Linda, my other college roommates, and all my female friends and relatives). And did John Slattery actually touch my waist (if it can still be called that)?

An article in the Montreal Gazette provides this juicy Matthew Weiner quote:

The culture views the ’60s as this kind of golden glory. The election of John F. Kennedy is memorialized as a time of great innocence. And yet, reading the New Yorker from April 1960 and reading the movie reviews in there of Psycho and The Apartment, I thought to myself, ‘This is not a particularly innocent society.’ We forget that the wave of youth and enthusiasm that swept the country then was decided by about 100 votes.

Psycho and The Apartment? Where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. Here’s a Mad Men conversation about The Apartment:

Aw, Red, that’s not how it is. Look, it was crude. That’s the way pictures are now. Did you see that ridiculous Psycho? Hollywood isn’t happy unless things are extreme.

Roger Sterling to Joan Holloway, Long Weekend

What were the big movies of 1960? (more…)

A note from Roberta. Deb’s coming home soon; I swear! But she left me this one too.

I can’t remember where I read this or heard this. Maybe…probably…at the Burns Center event about which we’ve written so much, but maybe not.

When Matthew Weiner is telling a writer they’re going in the wrong direction, what he says is, “I’ve seen it on TV.” He went on to explain that Mad Men isn’t people on TV or in the movies, it’s people who watch the people on TV and in the movies.

I think that’s so brilliant.

Next Page »