Don Draper

The ‘Mad Men’ Cast’s Most Fascinating Insights About the Series Finale

The Mad Men finale is over, and as we wait for comment (or more silence) from creator Matt Weiner, insight is trickling in via post-finale interviews with cast members, as well as some pre-finale conversations that mean more now that we’ve seen the curtain fall. … Read More

  • 0

In ‘Mad Men’s’ Finale, Joan and Peggy Switched Places and Became Complete

Peggy and Joan’s first encounter in the Mad Men pilot appears to set them up as opposites. In her conservative skirt-and-sweater combo, Peggy is an energetic do-gooder who wants merely to succeed. In her slinky green number, Joan has men on the brain. A secretary’s job, she instructs Peggy, is to anticipate men’s needs, to be “in between a mother and a waitress,” with two other possibilities thrown in: mistress and suburban wife. To Joan, the latter is the dream, the prize at the end of the struggle. Of course, Peggy takes Joan’s advice and runs it right into the wall, including a failed attempt to be Don’s “girlfriend” when she touches his hand and a very poor decision to accept Pete’s drunken advances. … Read More

  • 1

Feminist Writers on the ‘Mad Men’ Moments That Made Them Cheer and Broke Their Hearts

Whether or not it was a “feminist show,” Mad Men broke ground by zooming in on the experiences of women, specifically experiences related to misogyny. From office hostility to restrictive roles in suburbia to power dynamics on dates and in marriages, the show left no stone of sexism unturned. As a result, recaps, essays, and water-cooler discussions about the show became an entryway to talking about all kind of gender-related issues. For a large group of writers — one that included but wasn’t limited to TV critics — Mad Men helped fuel discussions on sex, rape culture, harassment, internalized sexism, race, class, reproductive rights, sex work and more. So, as the show draws to a close, we asked some of our favorite feminist writers to name a moment or plot arc from that resonated with… Read More

  • 6

How ‘Mad Men’ Used Music to Recontextualize ’60s Pop Culture

For a TV show to be as instantly canonized as Mad Men has been throughout its seven-season run, nearly every aspect of it needs to serve a distinct purpose, to be thoughtful. For that TV show to be historical in nature, the details need to be meticulous. And for that TV show to be about the 1960s, one of the most controversial and turbulent decades in American cultural history, it needs to walk a very specific tightrope — one that carefully navigates the generational divide that defined the late ‘60s. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, one of the most influential players in the music-on-TV revolution of the early ‘00s, have achieved all of this — and with plenty of irreverence, humor, and hidden meaning to boot. … Read More

  • 0

‘Mad Men’s’ Characters Know the American Dream Is a Lie — But That Hasn’t Saved Them From Buying In to It

If seven seasons of Mad Men have taught us anything, it’s this: advertising doesn’t sell products. It sells a way of life. And, perhaps more importantly, it sells consumerism: the idea that there’s always more, and that you shouldn’t only aspire to those things, you deserve them. In this respect, it’s the oil that greases the wheels of capitalism — it creates demand out of desire rather than need, encouraging people to spend money on an ongoing basis. This much, of course, we know already. But as Mad Men comes to an end, it’s become clear that virtually all of its characters have bought into variations on this idea — and, ultimately, that is what’s responsible for their enduring unhappiness. As Leonard Cohen once wrote, “You are locked into your suffering/ And your pleasures are the seal.” … Read More

  • 0

Critics of ‘Mad Men’s’ Workplace Sexism Are Picking the Wrong Fight With Matthew Weiner

For years, Matthew Weiner has been hearing two different reactions to the casual workplace sexism depicted on Mad Men — with men saying it was unrealistic and women saying it nailed their experience, he told Larry King this week. The gendered split remained just as pronounced after this month’s mid-season premiere, “Severance,” which featured an excruciating scene in which Peggy and especially Joan are the targets of blatant sexual harassment. After it aired, Weiner said, the reaction was as expected: “As usual, a bunch of men get on and say, ‘This is outrageous. You went too far, it’s too unbelievable,’ and all the women are [saying], ‘You’re nuts. It’s still like this. You have no idea.’” … Read More

  • 9

Watch a Seven-Season Recap of Drinks Poured, Cigarettes Smoked, and Punches Thrown on ‘Mad Men’

In great anticipation of the final seven episodes of AMC’s award-winning series Mad Men (the first of which premieres this… Read More

  • 0

“It’s About Class”: Matthew Weiner and ‘Mad Men’s’ Cast on the Show’s Final Episodes

“It’s about the malleability of American culture,” said Mad Men creator, writer, and showrunner Matthew Weiner on Saturday night. Weiner was at a sold-out Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center to toast “Mad Men: The End of an Era,” a special panel celebrating the show in its final season. The event was set up like a clip show, with Weiner joined by Jon Hamm, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, and John Slatter. The actors introduced their favorite clips featuring their Mad Men characters — Don Draper, Betty Draper, Joan Holloway, and Roger Sterling, respectively — and reminisced over how these scenes came to be and what they learned from them. It was a night of celebration and remembrance — there was nothing as close to a hint about what will happen when Mad Men‘s final seven episodes start next Sunday on April 5, but still plenty to learn about one of finest shows of our time. … Read More

  • 0

Let’s Stop Telling Women They Can’t Love Misogynist Art

Norwegian journalist Ellen Sofie Lauritzen loves Philip Roth despite being a feminist, she writes at TPM’s The Slice today. She loves his deeply sexist characters, and the filthy things that come out of their mouths. She loves Lil Wayne and other misogynist MCs. Does this make her a bad feminist, or is there a feminist case for her taste? … Read More

  • 0