Don deliberately delays returning an important call from California, because he knows it's bad news about Anna. Instead, he keeps himself occupied by forcing Peggy to miss her birthday dinner to pull...
The professional and personal lives of those who work in advertising on Madison Avenue - self-coined "mad men" - in the 1960s are presented. The stories focus on those at one of the avenue's smaller firms, Sterling Cooper, and its various incarnations over the decade. At the heart of these stories is Donald Draper, the creative genius of the company. That professional creative brilliance belies the fact of a troubled childhood, one that he would rather forget and not let anyone know about except for a select few, but one that shaped who he is as an adult and as an ad man in the need not only to sell products but sell himself to the outside world. His outward confidence also masks many insecurities as evidenced through his many vices, such as excessive smoking, drinking and womanizing - the latter despite being a family man - and how he deals with the aftermath of some of the negative aspects of his life.Written by
During his March 2015 discussion with Matt Zoller Seitz at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Matthew Weiner refuted the early and ongoing fan theory that Don Draper is a secretly Jewish man who is passing as a WASP. Weiner said that when he first heard this fan theory it took him by complete surprise; he had hoped that it would be answered definitively for viewers by the episode "Mad Men: The Hobo Code (2007)," which shows Don being brought up by a stepmother who was (in Weiner's words) a "Holy Roller" (meaning that she was a demonstrative evangelical protestant), but even that does not seem to have quelled the theory for some fans. See more »
The picture of Pete's wife is different in later episodes than from the pilot. The picture in the pilot is obviously not the actress who plays Pete's wife (Alison Brie) most likely because she was not yet cast. See more »
Women were objects, the steno pool was a sexist source of jokes, and the ad men were (they thought) at the top of their game. They had the world on a string and all was well in America. Eisenhower was brilliant, Communism was evil, Tobacco was good, and drinking in the office was just creative brainstorming.
Performance by Jon Hamm, as Don Draper deserves mention. I had not seen him in prior performances. He fits the narcissistic role of a creative director in advertising very well. A conflicted character, attempting to help his child-like wife make sense of her pointless life in the suburbs. (One may also read Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" to get the actual effect of the time period on women. Also the film, "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit", with Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones, addressed the futility and role-playing of that era, particularly for women.) Vincent Kartheiser as an irritating newbie junior ad executive. John Slattery is amusing as Roger Sterling, the agency President and Sr. partner, his ego and libido running rampant. He has some amusing lines and despite being sleazy, is also a rather sympathetic character.
Overall well-written, the genre has been filmed before but certainly for a television series on AMC, this is daringly creative. It is the first non-dated, non-western I have seen on AMC in a decade. Well worth watching. 8/10.
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