Mad Men to Seinfeld: TV's most criminally overrated shows — The Guardian's reviewers unburden themselves. [more inside]
Burger Chef was a US fast food chain, created in the 1950's, that once rivaled McDonald's. In the early 1970's it had over 1000 locations nationwide. In the 1980's General Foods Corporation gradually divested itself of the chain by selling locations to Hardee's. Some people remember Burger Chef quite fondly. [more inside]
MAD MEN INTEGRATED. (Warning: Tumblr, GIFs, digital strategy.)
With the final episode of Mad Men about to air, Consumerist takes a look at 72 real-life brands featured on the show, how they were depicted, how they were really advertised then (and how some real ads were fictionally credited to Don Draper) and how their advertising (and ownership OR existence) has changed in 5 decades...
Did you ever notice that almost every Mad Men episode ends with Don Draper staring blankly? [more inside]
An Oral HistoryOf ‘Mad Men’ - as recounted to Clickhole by Matthew Weiner and the cast. May contain spoilers and inaccuracies.
The Four Worst Types of TV Critics In all four cases—the Theorists, the Activists, the Purists, and the Partisans—we’re treating the inherently subjective fields of art and art criticism as things we can be objectively right about. We’re taking work that’s complex and capable of conveying multiple contradictory meanings and reducing it to a simple either/or, yes/no proposition. In other words, we’re fucking up.
"Mad Men" and Its Love Affair With 60s Pop Culture “Nothing ended up in the show that wasn’t related to story.”
The briefcase was found three decades after the affair took place. The contents of the suitcase: an extraordinary collection of found materials that chronicled the adulterous relationship between a businessman and his secretary in the late 1960s and 70s.
"Don Draper lived on hard drives for half a decade before anybody paid him any notice. In 1999, Matthew Weiner, then an unfulfilled writer on CBS' Ted Danson sitcom Becker, spent his every off-hour doing research on the 1960s: what people wore, how they decorated their offices, what they ate and drank -" The story of how Mad Men went from a risky pitch to an unknown network to one of the most popular and celebrated dramas of the decade. (Hollywood Reporter) Bonus: Ten Mad Men Characters we need to see again. (Vulture)
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture (SLNYTimes Magazine), by A.O. Scott: Comic-book movies, family-friendly animated adventures, tales of adolescent heroism and comedies of arrested development do not only make up the commercial center of 21st-century Hollywood. They are its artistic heart.
The highlight of Monday Night's Emmy Awards telecast was (MeFi's Beloved) Weird Al Yankovic performing a medley of the lyrics that popular shows' theme songs SHOULD have. (With Very Special Guest Andy Samberg as 'Joffrey' making a very special presentation to George R. R. Martin in the audience... that [SPOILER] apparently was NOT poisoned)
Long before Mad Men, Forrest Gump, and coast-to-coast classic rock FM stations completed the transubstantiation of the 1960s from reality to legend, something stranger than fiction was burning the midnight oil in an old firehouse: The Socrates of San Francisco, Howard Luck Gossage, would change advertising--and the way we think about communication--forever. [more inside]
Envisioning the American Dream is "a visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid-Century media" that discusses topics such as Man and Machines, Vintage Advice for Cheaters, and Suburbia for Sale, amongst many others.
Fourth in a series on screen writing in the Paris Review, an interview with Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men.
James Minchin's backstage photos taken during the filming of Mad Men show, among other things, Ken holding a Macbook.
The final season of Mad Men (which will take place over two half seasons, a la Breaking Bad) begins airing this Sunday. [more inside]
Icons, a promotion for The Sunday Times’ Culture section, is a short video that features a cleverly done shifting series of iconic cultural images done in a single take. [slv(imeo) | via]
What if, rather than fight supervillians, the students and teachers of Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters decided to run an ad agency?
We've seen the cast of AMC's Mad Men be Mean Girls and an international spy agency, but what if the gang moved across the street to 30 Rockefeller Plaza? (via)
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the Big Crunch mentality has been to make television creators think of themselves as auteurs, to convince them that in spite of the massive interference with their work, they can somehow create a work of aesthetic integrity and sociological insight even if they don’t know where it’s going. Well, sometimes you get lucky, but more often, the result is disaster, and the effort spent toward that failure is redirected from where it would be better put: creating great trash. An essay on the challenges and pitfalls of writing serialized TV plots from The American Reader. [more inside]
Oreo Wonderfilled Anthem. And during which show did The Martin Agency decide to roll out its new, optimistic, and wonder filled (yes I know) Oreo ad campaign? Why, during the sometimes dark and always cynical show Mad Men, of course. [more inside]
Legendary Mad Men blog "Mad Style" sets out to explain Bob Benson to a twenty-first century that is apparently ill-prepared to understand him. [more inside]
There are only three more episodes in the penultimate season of Mad Men. Let's look back on what we've seen so far. [more inside]
In Defense of Betty. "I’ve always thought that the whole point is that Betty is a victim of her time and circumstances, of the very narrow, constricted gender roles (remember the ill-fitting dress she’s holding up against herself as she contemplates being a political wife) that she and women like her were forced — expected, if that seems less loaded — to assume. Those roles were deforming, and, sure enough, they’ve deformed Betty." [more inside]
Paul F. Tompkins and Allison Brie talk Community and Mad Men and then they create unsexy gifs and imitate various internet memes.
Mad Men Season 6 (and simultaneous saturation coverage) begins again tonight. As the show winds down, along with the decade that defined it, the 1960s, critics are wondering "What's the best ending for the best series on TV? Can it survive the onset of the 1970s?"
Mad Men + Mean Girls = Mean Mad Men.
Seventy-five year old Brian Sanders, classic illustrator, was tapped by Matt Weiner for the Mad Men Season Six Poster. Sanders and Weiner evidently used an illustration Sanders created in 1964 for inspiration.
Mad Men season five in review (audio) - As the latest season is released on DVD the Nerdist Writers Panel talks to creator Matthew Weiner, showrunners Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, and writer Erin Levy about the show.
Alison Brie gives a candid interview [YT, 29:41] with film critic David Poland as part of his DP/30 series. Topics covered include her schooling and early career, landing roles on Mad Men [YT, 0:54] and Community [YT, 4:52], developing as a comedy actress, interacting with a cult audience, what it's like to be the internet's favorite subject of titillating animated GIFs, and how to pronounce "GIF" for that matter.
This story could be called "The Quest for a Personality" -- or "15 Guys in Search of a Feminine Identity" -- or "How Miss Virginia Slims Got to Be the Kind of Girl She Is."
From UCSF's Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, "How an Agency Builds a Brand--The Virginia Slims Story." [more inside]
All Star Celebrity Bowling: Over the last two months, Chris Hardwick and the folks over at The Nerdist have hosted a charity bowling tournament with some of their famous friends. The series has been hugely addictive and very entertaining. [more inside]
"First of all, we almost had no battle at all. For budgetary reasons we came very, very close to having all the action take place off-screen, the way plays have handled battle scenes for a few thousand years." - How the epic battle at the heart of the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Blackwater, written by George R. R. Martin and directed by Neil Marshall, came to be. Mentor relationships in Game of Thrones (and Mad Men). The National's Lannister song. And, perhaps sriking closest of all to the central themes of the show, Jezebel plays Game of Thrones: Marry, Fuck, Kill.
Linda Holmes, NPR: "It probably speaks to the complexity of Mad Men that the same episode can be a highlight of the series for some and a lowlight for others. Sunday night's episode, "The Other Woman," instantly became a favorite of a lot of observers and writers, but for me, it was a rarity on Mad Men: a serious and profound misstep." (spoilers in links) [more inside]
"TV is where writers get to tell interesting stories right now, because writers, for the most part, run television." Matthew Weiner of Mad Men, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad and David Milch of Deadwood talk to GQ about writing for television. Also: The New Rules of TV everything you need to know about the Golden Age of Television. Want to hear even more about the world of writing rooms, showrunners and screenwriting? Check out the Nerdist Writer's Panel Podcast.
In a recent episode of Mad Men titled "Lady Lazarus," Pete Campbell has an existential crisis when he sees a picture of the Earth from space, but were there color pictures of the whole Earth in October 1966? First some background... [more inside]
How ‘Mad Men’ Landed The Beatles. Apple Corps licenses a Beatles track to Lionsgate for use on last night's Mad Men. It's the first time a Beatles master recording has been licensed for use on a television show.
The AV Club: "Why it’s time to stop using “white” as a pejorative"
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