Mad Men

Why It’s Impossible to Hate Roger Sterling, ‘Mad Men’s’ Silver Fox With a Silver Spoon

It’s stating the obvious to say that the point of Mad Men isn’t for viewers to like the characters — they all have their flaws, be they obvious (like one D. Draper) or more subtle (like pretty much everyone else). Still, there’s something infinitely affable about 1960s New York City’s foremost aging bon vivant and silver fox, Roger H. Sterling, Jr. … Read More

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Work Won’t Save You: The New Season of ‘Mad Men’ Changes Everything

I am not supposed to reveal the specifics of Don Draper’s “romantic life” in the second half of Mad Men Season 7, as per creator Matthew Weiner’s notoriously rigid instructions to critics. And that’s just as well, because what’s more important is the less literal way in which Sunday night’s mid-season premiere conflates Don’s women with his work. Women, we’re given to understand, drift in and out of his life like actresses at a casting session. Or ghosts. These metaphors aren’t shocking, or even necessarily new; what’s surprising is that they say more about Don’s relationship to work than his relationships with his wives, girlfriends, and one-night stands. … Read More

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10 TV Events to Look Out For in April

There are a handful of promising new shows premiering everywhere in April, from FX to Netflix to Showtime, and it’s also the month of our returning favorites on HBO (time for Game of Thrones to take over television and the Internet once again!). But let’s be honest, there’s only thing everyone will be talking about: the end of Mad Men. The second half of the seventh and final season begins this Sunday and, after only seven more episodes, the show will be off the air. Even if you’re not a Mad Men fan, April might be the year’s best month for… Read More

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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

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Why ‘Mad Men’ Is Comfort-Food TV for Viewers Who Didn’t Live Through the ’60s

Mad Men is, at its essence, a show about terrible things happening to occasionally terrible people. Its characters are adulterers, careerists, alcoholics, and liars; they’re prone to selfishness, sexism, racism, and exploitation. Set in a period of massive social shift, they’re often (and often proudly) on the wrong side of history. The country’s in a shambles, relationships are falling apart, children are being damaged, lives are being destroyed. Even in this antihero-friendly pop culture environment, such grim goings-on risk alienating even the most intellectual audience — and yet Mad Men has done anything but that, drawing a viewership that ravenously consumes the bad behavior of its subjects. What pulls them to the show? Here’s one theory: in an odd, schadenfreude-tinged way, Mad Men is comfort television. … Read More

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Stop Blaming Megan for Don Draper’s Mistakes

Perfection is a terrible premise for a character. But in the charred emotional landscape of Sterling Cooper & Partners (& spouses), Megan Draper is as close to it as one gets. Beautiful, talented, and self-assured, Megan seems devoid of the tension that creates dynamic, believable fiction in the abstract and fan favorites like ambitious, unsatisified Peggy Olson in particular. On the surface, in fact, the only thing she appears to share with the other women at the center of the Mad Men universe — Peggy, her former colleague; Joan, her onetime boss; and Betty, her bitter predecessor — is the man who’s impacted their lives in various, mostly negative ways. But over the last three seasons, Megan has slowly grown into a figure almost as compelling as she is underrated. … Read More

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Peggy Olson Is the Most Accurate Depiction of Women in the Workplace TV Has Ever Seen

Since the days that Mad Men depicts, blatant workplace sexism may have retreated, but it’s in no way been eradicated. In fact, a woman can go through a long career feeling like she’s been squeezed into being a Megan, then a Peggy, then a Joan, even taking a detour into being a Betty when she has kids. Yet Peggy Olson is perhaps the most predictable focus of identification for the female fans of the show, because her journey is so painful, and feels so real. From the first-episode moment when she tries to comfort Don Draper with a flirty hand-squeeze and that habitual secretary seducer essentially laughs her out of the room, we knew her story would be different. … Read More

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Jon Hamm’s ‘Mad Men’ Contract Prevented Him From Playing Ben Affleck’s Role in ‘Gone Girl’

Ben Affleck’s trademark doofy smile has skewed impressions of him: despite being one of the smarter forces in Hollywood, his characters can seem ineffectual… Read More

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“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

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“People Want to Be Whisked Away”: ‘Mad Men’ Exhibit Illuminates the Ideas Behind the Iconic Show

Early on in the Museum of the Moving Image‘s Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit, there’s a framed display of three pieces of notebook paper. It’s from 1993, dated “1 a.m.” in the corner, and it’s a bunch of chicken scratch from Weiner’s journal that, taken together, forms the very beginning of Mad Men. “Got an idea the other day,” he writes, “my horoscope said I’d have a great one and although it had been a passing thought a few days before now, it is suddenly real.” … Read More

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