Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mad for Mad Men

"People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who WE want them to be." These were just some of the words uttered by ever elusive Don Draper on the most recent episode of Mad Men.


Mad Men is easily the best show on television right now. We usually watch it on the dvr and I find myself rewinding certain scenes multiple times just because I have to watch them again or to listen to the dialogue again because once is never enough, or to study the clothes because the wardrobe reminds me so much of what I found and played dress-up in in my grandparents' attic. It's just so smart and detailed and honest. I feel really invested in these characters and what they have to say and how they feel.










Check out this excerpt from an article in Rolling Stone magazine and of course aren't these photographs from the set just incredible.


"In the opening scene of the new season of Mad Men, an interviewer asks Draper, "Who is Don Draper?" Rather than confess the truth — that he's a flimflam man who fabricated his whole identity from a dead Korean War officer and built his entire life on a lie en route to a Madison Avenue advertising career — Draper merely takes a drag on his cigarette. "I'm from the Midwest," he says. "We were taught it's not polite to talk about yourself."

In a sense, Mad Men is Weiner's attempt to figure out this question for himself. He has created an elaborate pageant of American fantasies — guys and dolls who look like they have it all, even when their private worlds are complete frauds. The advertising wizards of Mad Men swagger through the office, knock back cocktails, knock back lovers. They live out JFK-era America's tawdriest dreams, almost as if it's a professional code — to sell these dreams to America, they have to experience them from the inside, with all their inherent betrayal and manipulation. After three seasons on AMC, a basic-cable network previously known for endless reruns of second-rate movies, Mad Men established a hold on America's fantasy life like no show since The Sopranos. "The big question the show is trying to answer through Don has to do with identity," Weiner says. "Who am I? — It's only the biggest theme in all of Western literature."

To make it happen, Weiner assembled a cast he could relate to — veteran actors who had spent their careers toiling in relative obscurity. Jon Hamm, who plays Draper, had a few scenes in We Were Soldiers. January Jones, who plays his brittle and ethereal ex-wife, Betty, showed up in the third American Pie movie as Stifler's love interest. Christina Hendricks, who rules the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce as Joan, appeared in a video for the Nineties rock band Everclear. Nobody wanted them. Today, everybody knows their names, everybody covets their careers, everybody wants to get next to them."




Photos via Rolling Stone,
The Debonaire and The Beauty File.
Text via Rolling Stone.
Photos by James Minchin.

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