There’s just been so much going on, so I figure it’s time for a little roundup.

Interesting (and by interesting I mean, thematically confusing) article in today’s the Independent (London), featuring Mad Men. Peter York has a few thoughts on the media’s (and its consumers) obsession with nostalgia.

There’s always been a re-model urge in the sampling culture – right from Run DMC and Aerosmith walking that way, with its coarsely ironic mock-the-rocker sub-text. But increasingly there’s the urge to get it right too, to catch the shimmering moment and recreate the mindset. Before destroying it. In ‘Madmen’, everything looks lovely and everyone behaves appallingly, they’re snobbish, racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, the works.

Mad Men wins a Peabody. And while many other fine shows won as well, the article by Maureen Ryan over at the Watcher (Chicago Tribune) features a photograph of Mad Men. Maureen Ryan who, as it turns out, thinks Basket of Kisses is The Shit.

It was announced that Mad Men will be coming to Blu-Ray. Whatever that means. But the Season One DVD release date of July 1st was confirmed. You know, the date that we announced awhile back to the sound of much skepticism.

TV Guide’s Matt Roush brags about his insider status at the Paley event, where the cast and Matt Weiner spoke (hey this article features an awesome video clip montage from the event). Matt (Roush, not Weiner) misspells Sterling (as in, Stirling Cooper/Roger Stirling).

AMC’s Mad Men blog features a Q&A with Aaron Staton, who plays Ken Cosgrove, and one with Andy Umberger, who plays Dr. Wayne.

They’ve also done a fascinating piece on Peggy’s weight transformation.

We told you all about how Mad Men’s fashions were featured in the Huffington Post.

And in some ways the most exciting, BoK anonymously received a description of the planned opening sequence of Season Two, Episode One.

Not gonna lie, we are busy busy busy for a blog about a show that’s only on in repeats!

The accolades keep coming in! The Chicago Tribune’s television columnist, Maureen Ryan, gives her list of the best shows of the year, and as we’re coming to expect, Mad Men is number one.

Ryan writes with particular insight about the show (emphasis added):

“Mad Men” (AMC): In interviews, “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner has talked about how, in his experience, people rarely say what they really think. That’s true in any era, and the intelligent exploration of that core idea meant that this enormously impressive drama was far more than just a pitch-perfect period piece about men and women in the Manhattan ad game of 1960. The characters in this extraordinarily well-acted “Mad Men” ensemble not only don’t say what they think — they often don’t know what lurks in the corners of their own hearts. And it’s frankly easier (and more fun) to have a round of highballs than to try and figure that out. Don Draper (the masterful Jon Hamm), is an expert at excavating emotion for the purposes of ad campaigns, yet he has purposely tried to erase the wounds of his own heartbreaking past. But even the apparently perfect life of Don and his wife Betty (January Jones) is full of frustration, evasion and suppressed anger. Yet when these fascinating “Mad Men” characters do connect — with each other, or with their own deepest longings — the impact recalls the best of “The Sopranos,” which Weiner used to write for. They’re a mystery, the people of the Sterling Cooper ad agency; their actions are frequently surprising yet never seem arbitrary. And I for one can’t wait to see what they do next.


These are things I wish I saw more reviewers acknowledge; that, as fabulous as the style, fashion, and zeitgeist of the period piece are, MM is fundamentally about people who cannot communicate and long for more. Longing is the heart of MM, and perhaps it is best set in a more repressed era because we can see the longing more clearly, more poignantly. In the women, especially, they long for a freedom they don’t know is available; “They want what they haven’t seen,” to quote Peggy in a particularly telling moment. That might be harder to portray in the present-day, when people have seen so much. Yet longing is universal, and not confined to those hairstyles and all that smoking and drinking.

This one from the Chicago Tribune:

As Weiner learned from Chase and demonstrates so beautifully on “Mad Men,” what makes us sit up and take notice are those moments when preconceptions are subverted with compelling plot twists or digressions that delve into unexpected emotional territory.

“I don’t fight for your attention,” Weiner says. “What I’m trying to do when I draw [viewers] in is say, put your checkbook down, turn off the phone, watch it on TiVo when you know the kids won’t be around. And really let yourself go into this world, but take it seriously.”

Actually, it’s not just an interview. Author Maureen Ryan is thoughtful about the show:

Hamm has brought an indescribable charisma to an ambiguous, complicated role.

We learn that this inscrutable ad executive had purposefully left behind everyone he’d ever known in his youth and had even given up his real name — and it is that heartbreaking personal history that has made him an advertising genius. Draper understands the longing for a past that never was, and he is deeply familiar with unquenchable desire (which fuels his frequent infidelity).

As he well knows, advertising is the business of catering to — and creating — desire, and he has few equals in that department.

And here’s a question many have been asking, and one ripe for discussion:

As for the second season, Weiner says he hasn’t decided yet what year it will be set in.

“We will come in at a place where there is more story to tell,” he says. The show, which ends its first season just after the election of John F. Kennedy, won’t start up again “where we left off, that’s for sure.”

It’s really long. Read the whole thing.