Posts Tagged ‘matthew weiner’

Mad Men: “The Mountain King”

19 October 2008
by R.A. Porter

Don has nearly come through the other side of the hero’s quest. Last week’s sojourn to the desert saw him tempted by worldly pleasures which he tasted but did not succumb to. In the end, his fever broke and he sought out the one person who could guide him back onto the right path.

Turns out everyone was right guessing who Don called. It was a former wife (sort of) and it was the Real Don Draper’s™ wife. It was the woman in the used car dealership and it was another pretty blond. It was his savior and his mother.

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Mad Men recap: “The Inheritance”

5 October 2008
by R.A. Porter

The only thing anyone can be sure of inheriting from their parents is their genes. We can also be sure of keeping scars as reminders of the ways in which they failed us – ways in which their parents failed them – growing up. Those of us who are lucky have only a few, faded scars. Then there are the Petes and Betties of the world.

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Mad Men recap: “Six Month Leave”

29 September 2008
by R.A. Porter

If you ever wondered what happened to Happy Loman, he ended up pissing his pants before a big Samsonite meeting and getting kicked to the curb.

Joel Murray’s always worked in his older brothers’ shadows, but tonight he showed he has all of their skills at mixing comedy with pathos. Freddy Rumsen’s always been a joke around Sterling-Cooper, in both the show’s reality and ours. But Murray’s full range was in play tonight letting us see the most human person at SC.

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Mad Men review: “The Gold Violin”

7 September 2008
by R.A. Porter

“I saw one at the Met. It’s perfect in every way. Except it couldn’t make music.” – Ken Cosgrove

Salvatore and Kitty are the model of a modern couple. Sharing common interests and household chores in their boldly decorated apartment, on the surface they’re everything Pete and Trudy, for example, are not. But we know who Salvatore is, and no matter how hard the mama’s boy from Baltimore tries, his interests lie elsewhere. Seeing in Ken the soul of an artist, it’s no wonder his interests are drawn that way.

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Mad Men review: “Three Sundays”

17 August 2008
by R.A. Porter

My father beat the hell out of me. All it did was make me fantasize about the day I could murder him…And I wasn’t half as good as Bobby. – Don Draper.

For those viewers completely turned against Don Draper after last week’s events, I doubt three weekends in church and some time in the confessional are enough. Particularly as it wasn’t Don asking forgiveness.

The confession from Peggy’s sister was more about indicting Peggy than seeking absolution, more about a jealous older sister complaining about her baby sister is treated by everyone else. Peggy lives with remarkably few repercussions from her actions, almost unheard of today, let alone in a conservative Catholic household of 1962. Her mother is proud of Peggy’s accomplishments and never touches on her failings, though she’s too happy to apologize to Father Gil (Colin Hanks) for Anita’s overcooked chicken.

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Mad Men review: “The Benefactor”

10 August 2008
by R.A. Porter


Matt Weiner is a stickler for historical verisimilitude. Whether it’s the shade of a woman’s hair, the length of her skirt, or the night CBS aired an episode of The Defenders. “The Benefactor” aired in the spring of 1962, and its three regular sponsors pulled their ads for the night. The episode was controversial at the time as it presented an unequivocal argument for the legalization of abortion, and it set the show on a course to presenting more issues of import.

For Harry Crane – the always wonderful Rich Sommer, it meant a $25 raise and promotion to the head of the new Television Department at Sterling-Cooper.

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Mad Men review: “Flight 1″

3 August 2008
by R.A. Porter

On February 20, 1962 at 14:47 UTC, the Mercury spaceship Friendship 7 containing Col. John Glenn set off from Cape Canaveral. This was the first American orbital flight, coming after several delays while the Atlas rockets were tested and ready for safe use. The five-hour mission was a complete success and the newly minted hero splashed down at 19:43 UTC.

On March 1, Col. Glenn was honored with a ticker tape parade in Manhattan.

But tonight’s episode wasn’t about heroic moments in American history. It was about obligations and expectations. On March 1, while John Glenn was enjoying his parade, American Airlines Flight 1 crashed into Jamaica Bay shortly after takeoff from Idlewild Airport (now JFK.) All 95 souls aboard were lost, and in the world of Mad Men, one of those souls was Pete Campbell‘s father.

For the remainder of the episode, Pete tries to figure out how to behave, how to act, and what to do.

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Mad Men review: “For Those Who Think Young”

28 July 2008
by R.A. Porter

Fourteen months, thousands of cigarettes, and one beard later, we return to the offices of Sterling-Cooper and its denizens. In the first season of Mad Men, creator Matthew Weiner braced his agency against the rising tide of youth culture. But even against the backdrop of JFK’s generational campaign, 1960 was still dominated by the ways and mores of an earlier time. The few cracks that did show were personal rather than cultural.

Now in early 1962, the future is seeping through a bit more.

By making the timejump, Weiner has pulled a cover back over his characters. At the end of last season, we knew too much about these people. Less than we might know today about a stranger in a restaurant, carrying on a cellphone conversation oblivious to the people around her, but more than Weiner wants us to know about Don Draper and those around him. What we can surmise is that accommodations have been made all around:

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