Mad Men

10 Funny Film Parody Advertisements

The pop culture ouroboros demands that everything old is new again. In a climate of mashups and remakes where nostalgia is king, it’s only natural that advertisers would turn to the annals of cinema for their next big idea. After spotting the latest in a series of film parody ads promoting Wisconsin tourism (featured after the break), we searched for the funniest spoofs that blend movies, marketing, and laughter. And, well, there might be a few we’re laughing at, not with. … Read More

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Why Can’t TV’s Beloved “Difficult Men” Make Good Movies?

Considering the kind of dancing in the streets that greets every new season of Mad Men (particularly now that we’re in the home stretch), you’d think Are You Here, the feature filmmaking debut of Mad Men creator/mastermind Matthew Weiner, would be accompanied by a bit more fanfare. But it’s getting a muted, multi-platform, limited release today, after a Toronto Film Festival premiere under a different title, to decidedly mixed reviews. If you see the film — and this is not much of an endorsement to do so — it’s easy to see why; Are You Here is a bit of a mess. But there’s an odd and interesting trend at work here, where genuinely gifted television creators, with distinctive voices and unique styles, try their hand at filmmaking and whiff that transition completely. … Read More

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Fuck California, You Made Me Boring: How Don Draper Avoided an American Cliché

California. It has always lingered in the background of Mad Men, the ultimate symbol of rebirth, a place where Don Draper could go when he needed another chance — where he could shed his identity and become another, better man. In this first half of the show’s final season (thank you for forcing that awkward wording, AMC), which concluded on Sunday night, Don tangoed with Los Angeles as a permanent possibility. It glittered in the distance, a city on a hill. He had his chance to take it. But it didn’t quite happen. Why was that, and what does it mean? … Read More

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Happy Birthday John Cheever! Where to Start With His Work

John Cheever may have been known as the “Chekhov of the suburbs” — Chekhov being an appellation applied to any superlative short story writer — but what he was best at was a sort of tight, realistic look at life’s mundanities, a hyper-awareness of all the posturing and jockeying that goes into our daily interactions, and how it can all be blown up by moments of transcendence and magic. He was an original, and there’ve been few writers since who have figured out how to apply the strangeness and grace that makes his best stories sing. … Read More

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Dream Sequences, Repairing Relationships, and Saying Goodbye: Consoldating Matthew Weiner’s Post-‘Mad Men’ Finale Interviews

Matthew Weiner had a busy Memorial Day weekend. The midseason finale of Mad Men aired (the last episode of Season 7A, as they say), and Weiner spent the rest of the weekend writing the actual series finale (i.e the finale of 7B), and giving interviews to seemingly every entertainment publication out there. Most of the interviews cover the same ground — Bert Cooper’s death, hallucinations/flashbacks, Don and Peggy’s relationship, Don and Joan’s relationship, Ginsberg, ending a show — so we’ve pulled together Weiner’s best quotes here to help you avoid reading the same thing four times and have a more productive Tuesday. … Read More

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Why ‘Mad Men’ Fans Want Megan Draper to Die

It is the dumb Internet theory that won’t, well, die: in the sixth season of Mad Men, Megan Draper (played by Jessica Paré), Don’s second wife, wore a T-shirt that was the same T-shirt worn by the late actress Sharon Tate in a 1967 Esquire shoot. This led people to theorize that, like Sharon Tate, who was one of the victims of the Charles Manson murders in 1969, Megan was not long for this world. … Read More

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‘Mad Men’ Season 7 Episode 6 Recap: “The Strategy”

What makes up a family? Is it a sense of longing, of reaching for something you can’t have, a legal bond, the happenstance of blood? The bonds fray this week, elegantly, as we watch the Mad Men definition of family (spoiler: it’s the workplace, of course). But the workplace is a choice that leaves a… Read More

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‘Mad Men’ Characters Star in Vintage Ads for Emmy “For Your Consideration” Campaign

The ad execs of Mad Men are stepping through the looking glass for the show’s “For Your Consideration” Emmy campaign. Released to The Hollywood Reporter, a new campaign shows the stars of the series in a set of characteristically relevant vintage advertisements in a clever and appealing bid for nominations. Joan Harris hawks hair dye, Betty Francis goes for gold, and Don Draper, “a complex and unpredictable man,” hides his true self behind a pair of sunglasses. Noticeably absent: Michael Ginsberg plugging Band-Aids… or straight-jackets? … Read More

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‘Mad Men’ Season 7 Episode 5 Recap: “The Runaways”

Forgive me for sounding ancient, but maybe this season of Mad Men is a carousel of sorts? I’m not sure, really, but I feel like we keep circling around issue after issue, coming back to characters and dramas that feel sort of familiar, repetitive, where the goal posts have been moved just one inch. Which is to say, I had been convinced that after the sex and breakup of “Field Trip,” that Don and Megan were done, finito, never to talk again. But they do, and there’s a reason: Don’s “niece,” Stephanie Draper calls. … Read More

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