Suddenly, Mad Men is everywhere (and that's a good thing!)
There's a fantastic story in yesterday's New York Times Magazine about AMC's Mad Men. It's actually the cover story (you don't see many cover stories in the NYT Mag about a TV show) and is one of the best articles I've read about a TV show in a very long time.
Besides interviewing creator/producer/writer Matthew Weiner at length, writer Alex Witchel also sits in on auditioning sessions and script meetings for the second season, interviews advertising icons (George Lois, Jerry Della Femina, William Bernbach) about the show, and gets choice quotes from cast members such as Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, and January Jones. It's a beautifully written piece, really getting behind the scenes of the show, and includes this great paragraph to explain the show quite nicely.
Weiner's achievements with "Mad Men," which is produced by Lionsgate, are plentiful, starting with the storytelling. Setting it in the early 1960s, on the cusp between the repression and conformity of the cold war and McCarthy-era 1950s and the yet-to-unfold social and cultural upheavals of the 60s, allows Weiner an arc of character growth that is staggering in its possibilities. It also gives him the opportunity to mine the Rat Pack romance of that period, when the wreaths of cigarette smoke, the fog of too many martinis - whether exhilarating or nauseating - and the silhouettes specific to bullet bras only heightened the headiness of the dream that all men might one day become James Bond or, at the very least, key holders to the local Playboy Club.
But the NYT Mag article isn't the only news about Mad Men recently. Besides the soundtrack coming out tomorrow and the first season DVDs coming out July 1, the show is being included in Emmy talk, recently received a Peabody Award, was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and is currently being honored by Bloomingdale's with a store window display, which includes Mad Men-ish fashions and TV sets showing scenes from the show.
The second season debuts on July 27. AMC will have a marathon of first season eps on July 20.