Mad Men

For discussions of subjects relating to television and music.
User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5855
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:54 pm

From CNN:
'Mad Men' remains a show full of secrets

NEW YORK (AP) -- Let's twist again like we did last summer!

"Mad Men" fans remember how things were really hummin' last summer, the first for that glorious drama series set in the Manhattan advertising world of 1960. There were lots of twists at the Sterling Cooper agency: Peggy's unsuspected pregnancy, Roger's heart attack, the double life of the man we thought we knew as Don Draper.

"Mad Men" returns Sunday on cable's AMC. Now it's February 1962, and as the season premiere gets going, Chubby Checker proclaims "twistin' time is here."

Here's an interesting twist: "Mad Men" is being welcomed back with a whirlwind of attention, accelerating what had been a steady build. Critics' raves and the small but ecstatic audience a year ago were followed by a pair of Golden Globes and then a Peabody.

In recent weeks the show scored cover stories in Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times Magazine, while popping up in GQ and Vanity Fair.

The attention was crowned last week, when the show received 16 Emmy nominations, including a nod for best drama.

It's a saga unfolding nearly a half-century ago, with a genre-busting absence of doctors, lawyers, cops or superheroes. And yet "Mad Men" -- as contemporary and relatable as anything on TV -- seems game to become a mainstream hit.

"It's not really 'an advertising show,' " says Jon Hamm, who won a Golden Globe for his performance as Draper, the agency's creative sage. "It's a show about this guy and the problems he has in his relationships, his job, his life and his past -- which are problems everybody has."

As envisioned by series mastermind Matthew Weiner, it's also about secrets, big and little, in the modern world -- like the WASP patriarchy Draper occupies with his fellow "Mad Men" denizens (played by a gifted cast that includes John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, January Jones and Robert Morse).

The 13-episode season dawns on Valentine's Day, which is celebrated in various ways. But most of the characters also tune in first lady Jackie Kennedy's tour of the White House -- a TV special aired that Valentine's evening by not one but two networks and watched by most of the nation.

This is a nation where things are in flux. Younger people are starting to call the shots. Satisfaction is assured for "those who think young" (in the words of a popular Pepsi-Cola campaign).

And it's a problem for Sterling Cooper, which, instead of cola to advertise, has landed a coffee account.

"No one under 25 drinks coffee anymore," says account man "Duck" Phillips. "Just Pepsi. They pour it on their Frosted Flakes." Phillips wants to hire younger writers for the coffee campaign.

"Young people don't know anything," Draper scoffs, "especially that they're young."

At 36, Draper is old school, a cool traditionalist thinking whatever the opposite of young is. So he's under even more pressure than last season.

"One of the big questions this year is: What makes this guy happy?" says Hamm. "What makes him relaxed and comfortable? The beautiful wife, the mistresses, the job success and the booze and the cigarettes aren't the answer. They're just a kind of balm, with temporary relief."

During a recent interview, Hamm appears happy, relaxed and comfortable. His leading-man-handsome face is freed from Draper's nearly constant mask of guardedness. Similarly, his jeans, open-collared white shirt and baseball cap (for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals) are in marked contrast to his character's sartorial style: the Brooks Brothers suits, the wingtip shoes, the sheen of Draper's slicked-back hair.

Even so, "the role was a perfect fit," says Hamm, who, at 37, lends Draper the authority of someone significantly older than his years. "I don't know why it is: I looked old when I was 16!"

Not surprisingly, when he arrived in Los Angeles in his early 20s, he couldn't snag the teen roles other actors his age were snapping up.

He was cast in "The Division," a cop show, episodes of "Providence," "The Unit" and "What About Brian," and the film "We Were Soldiers," as well as appearing in two films written by and starring his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt: "Kissing Jessica Stein" and "Ira & Abby."

As Draper, he says, "I guess I caught up to my aspect, a persona I could naturally play. It was easy for me. And since I was relatively unknown and didn't come with a ready-made identity, it was easy for people to see me as a guy who's mysterious -- an unknown quantity."

Hamm thinks it's "incredibly fun to play a guy who has a lot of secrets" -- while in the position of not always knowing what those secrets are.

"Matt talks about keeping things secret, even from the cast until each script is ready," says Hamm, chuckling at Weiner's not-infrequent lapses. "He's the WORST secret-keeper -- all he wants to do is tell you about the secrets he wants you not to know about. So I knew quite a few things about where the first season was going. And it does help.

"This season started with the same promises of 'I'm NOT gonna tell you anything,' and then, of course, two weeks in, you hear: 'I have this great idea! Let me tell you about it!' "

Now that 1962 is just around the corner with a new "Mad Men" season, so many viewers are eager to be told.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5855
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:36 am

Wednesday, July 23 on The View: Jon Hamm and John Slattery ("Mad Men").

Not that I watch the show regularly, but I'll DVR anything that has even a passing glimpse of Jon Hamm. Grr.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5855
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm

Info for this Sunday night's premiere of the second season is up on my TiVo:

"For Those Who Think Young (2008), The second season opens with Don butting heads about personal matter with Duck, who wants "younger creative talent"; the staff is up in the air about its approach to an airline-company account.




Edited By flipp525 on 1216681691
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Mike Kelly
Temp
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:59 pm
Location: Melbourne, FL, USA

Postby Mike Kelly » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:54 am


User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:59 pm

From the Style Section of the NY Times:

July 13, 2008
A Day and Night Out With | The Cast of ‘Mad Men’
It’s an Easy Sell
By ALEX WILLIAMS

AS the black Cadillac Escalade lurched through Manhattan traffic on a recent Monday morning, Matthew Weiner, the creator of “Mad Men,” was recounting the moment that he first realized his television series was gaining cultural cachet: when an episode turned up in another producer’s pocket.

“I went to the Emmys last year for ‘The Sopranos,’ and J. J. Abrams came up to me and showed me that he had it on his iPhone,” said Mr. Weiner, a former producer on “The Sopranos,” referring to one of the creators of “Lost.”

“I said, ‘Oh, my God!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it’s happening.’ ”

A year later, “it” seems to be happening for everyone involved with “Mad Men” at an increasing clip.

On this day, Mr. Weiner and Jon Hamm, the show’s main star, were being driven together to the Waldorf-Astoria to receive a Peabody Award, along with five other cast members.

Later, they were all due at a premiere party for the show’s second season (which will begin on July 27 on AMC) at the Museum of Modern Art.

This sudden rush of approbation is doubly welcome, they said, since the show — and its unflinching portrayal of Eisenhower/Kennedy-era sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and Scotch before 5 p.m. — was considered a long shot to get made, especially after HBO and Showtime turned it down.

“It was a long shot to cast me, that’s not an unfair statement,” said Mr. Hamm, 37, who was still playing characters like Cable Guy on “The Sarah Silverman Program” before he became known as Don Draper, the creative director at the fictional Sterling Cooper agency on “Mad Men,” which is about the advertising world of the early ’60s. Now that the show, which eventually landed at AMC, is a hit, the whole team must quickly learn to act like stars.

As the Cadillac pulled up to the Waldorf, Mr. Weiner and Mr. Hamm disappeared into a throng of reporters and photographers, where their co-stars were eagerly seeking one another out.

Some, like Christina Hendricks, with her fiery red hair, were not hard to spot. For Ms. Hendricks, 30, who plays the sultry office manager Joan Holloway, that has been an increasingly frequent occurrence, and the sudden attention she gets from strangers in her daily life can be disorienting.

“I’ve been stopped in the shoe department in Nordstrom by salespeople who say, ‘You’re on the best show in television,’ ” Ms. Hendricks said. “I say, ‘Thanks, but how do these look?’ ”

Today, Mr. Hamm abandoned Don Draper’s Brylcreem for a floppy haircut and a black Moschino suit. January Jones, who plays Don Draper’s prim wife, Betty, wore a Jetsons-esque red Miu Miu pouf skirt that seemed more appropriate to the year 2260 than 1960.

Elisabeth Moss, who plays the mousy secretary Peggy Olson, seemed especially pleased to ditch the Alpha Chi bangs and Nancy Drew sweaters she is saddled with when the cameras are rolling.

“Imagine how I feel,” said Ms. Moss, 25. “I get: ‘You’re so much prettier in person. What do they do to you to make you look awful on the show?’ ”

Vincent Kartheiser, who portrays Pete Campbell, an ambitious young account executive, was doubling as armchair sociologist today, and explained the popularity of a series that depicts America’s optimistic New Frontier era as rotten at its core. “There is a large portion of America that doesn’t feel about America the way we did in 1960, and I think we want to know why we don’t,” said Mr. Kartheiser, 29. “We want to know what went wrong.”

After accepting the Peabody in the Waldorf’s Grand Ballroom, Mr. Weiner herded the cast into a press room, where they faced down a fusillade of camera flashes alongside fellow winners like Stephen Colbert, the star of “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, and Heidi Klum, the “Project Runway” host who teetered on five-inch heels.

John Slattery, 45, the ubiquitous character actor who plays Roger Sterling, a silver-haired agency partner, joked that he would gladly trade his statuette for a drink to perk himself up during this long day.

As reporters for gossip Web sites leaned in, begging for tidbits, one recognizable fan, Tim Gunn of “Project Runway,” rushed over to pay his respects to the male cast members, who were posing for a shot. “I’m rapt when it’s on,” Mr. Gunn said of “Mad Men” afterward. “I DVR it and watch it over and over and over again.”

Mr. Gunn is not the only one who finds the midcentury-modern style of the show mesmerizing. Mr. Weiner, 42, recalled how he used to wear his grandfather’s narrow-lapel suits and cardigan sweaters to class at the Harvard School in Los Angeles. “I wasn’t beaten up for it, but, you know, it was the ’80s — skinny ties were in,” he said. “I also wore eyeliner.”

“Your grandfather’s eyeliner?” Mr. Hamm asked, in deadpan.

After the ceremony, the team hurried over to the hotel’s Bull & Bear restaurant for a quick lunch. (In the spirit of their show, some ordered Waldorf salads and Bloody Marys.)

The female cast members discussed how spending their working hours encased in pylon-shaped bras and die-cast hairdos has helped them connect with women who worked in the real-life equivalents of Sterling Cooper.

“I’ve had some women come up to me and say, ‘I was a secretary in that office,’ ” Ms. Hendricks said. “And by five minutes, when I’m sitting there talking to them, they’re so worked up and angry.”

By the time the team showed up to the MoMA for the premiere at 6:45 p.m., they looked immaculate, radiant — and utterly exhausted.

At a cocktail party at the museum afterward, only Mr. Weiner continued to crackle with energy. He spoke about carrying on the show for many more seasons, maybe six, like “The Sopranos.” Even as the party emptied and the clock inched toward 11 p.m., he was not ready to call it a night.

“I woke up this morning,” he said of his desire to savor the experience, “and it felt like my wedding day.”
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5855
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:07 am

barrybrooks8 wrote:January Jones's peak for me in the show is the episode titled "Shoot." Something about her misery and confidence mix so well and she should have been a top ten contender for the emmy.

January Jones is impressive in "Shoot", but I also really liked her in "Indian Summer". Her restlessness is palpable and when the air conditioning salesman is in her house, there's an element of danger you feel the character is only just discovering about herself. Great performance. In fact, the entire female cast is uniformly excellent (including Elizabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks who work really well off each other).

I love watching Mad Men while having a couple cigs, too (yes, I'm an occasional smoker all but in the closet about it!).

Can't wait for July 27th!!




Edited By flipp525 on 1215790207
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

barrybrooks8
Temp
Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Milwaukee

Postby barrybrooks8 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:03 am

Mad Men makes me want to smoke. A lot. To the point that the other day at the liquor store (taking care of one vice), I bought a pack of cigarettes. I smoked one immediately in the parking lot with the window down, dreaming of being in a muted suit with a full head of hair and a gorgeous wife waiting on me at home and a career that I was successful at.

January Jones's peak for me in the show is the episode titled "Shoot." Something about her misery and confidence mix so well and she should have been a top ten contender for the emmy.
"Jesus! Look at my hands! Now really, I am too young for liver spots. Maybe I can merge them together into a tan."

User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:39 pm

On Awards Daily, Sasha mentions that the sexond season begins on July 27th. Can't wait!

By the way, here's the website for the show, and you can read the episode synopses to reacquaint yourselves with the characters and the situations.




Edited By Damien on 1215729612
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

FilmFan720
Tenured
Posts: 3458
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 3:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:45 pm

I've been known to enjoy a cigar every now and then, but never cigarettes.
"Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good."
- Minor Myers, Jr.

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12569
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:38 pm

who actually smokes? I'm a non-smoker and always have been. My mother quit a few years ago.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

User avatar
Penelope
Site Admin
Posts: 5663
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:47 am
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Postby Penelope » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:34 pm

Heck, just look at the movies from that era. 40s movies are the worst--it seems EVERYBODY smokes, so much so, that when Myrna Loy declines a cigarette from Fredric March in The Best Years of Our Lives it shocks me--but even in 50s, early 60s movies, the smoking is so casual and matter-of-fact.

Being a movie buff really makes it hard to quit smoking.




Edited By Penelope on 1213043689
"...it is the weak who are cruel, and...gentleness is only to be expected from the strong." - Leo Reston

"Cruelty might be very human, and it might be cultural, but it's not acceptable." - Jodie Foster

User avatar
OscarGuy
Site Admin
Posts: 12569
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 12:22 am
Location: Springfield, MO
Contact:

Postby OscarGuy » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:30 pm

I've been watching a lot of old television shows and there was a lot of smoking on those shows or references to it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it were that abundant.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

cam
Assistant
Posts: 759
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:27 pm
Location: Coquitlam BC Canada

Postby cam » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:20 pm

This series has AT LAST come to Canada 10PM CTV Sunday night. So I have just seen the first show. Am not going to look below at spoilers etc.
BUT----did we all smoke that much? I probably did--the thought sickens me now!

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5855
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:08 am

kaytodd wrote:January Jones was an inspired choice for Betty Draper.

I think January Jones is a sexy little thing, too, kaytood. She also has perfected the (from a first glance) vacuous character of Betty Draper, someone whose whole psychosis is wrapped up and self-identified through her sexuality. She is formerly fat and in the back of her mind, she ties her self-worth to being able to overcome that in order to transform into the "Grace Kelly" of Manhattan. Her sexuality lured Don into a marriage. What Jones has achieved in her creation of Betty Draper is remarkable in that she balances the inner turmoil of Betty the Homemaker with Betty the Child-Wife and Betty the Inept Seductress. Because Betty has to convince herself that she has the perfect life, from the inside and in her heart of hearts she knows it's simply not, a fact which is always boiling at the forefront of her actions with her husband, children, neighbors and friends. Neither she nor Don have convinced themselves that the things they gave up in order to gain this lifestyle were, in the end, ever worth giving up.

As a sidenote, I'm reading Revolutionary Road which, of course, will be coming out as a film starring Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. It happens to be an excellent good companion piece to Mad Men. Both seem to be unflinching in their willingness to strip away the varnish from idllylic post-WWII American suburban life.




Edited By flipp525 on 1208362151
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

User avatar
kaytodd
Assistant
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 10:16 pm
Location: New Orleans

Postby kaytodd » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:56 pm

January Jones was an inspired choice for Betty Draper. I am hardly unbiased since I think she is adorable. But she is right as Mrs. Draper. Look closely and she obviously has a lot of turmoil inside of her but she also has that rather blank low key look that a man hiding important things would choose for a mate. Marriage and kids are necessary for Don to maintain appearances but that is probably the only reason he married her. Not too flashy but pretty enough for someone as handsome as Don. And I like looking at her, especially when she is in her nighty trying to get him to make love to her.

I loved January in Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada and as the coach's wife in We Are Marshall. Her scene in the motel room with Julio Cedillo was very funny and touching. Her character was sweet natured but she showed some steel as she came to realize what her husband, Barry Pepper, had done. Good actress who has made some good decisions in choosing her projects.
The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. It's faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living. Oliver Wendell Holmes


Return to “Broadcast Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest