Mad Men

Don Draper Is a Depressive
Does he know it?
April 05, 2013

Season six of "Mad Men" provides yet one more iteration of Don Draper.

Defending (George) Romney And "Mad Men"
April 02, 2012

Devotee though I am of Mad Men, I haven't had a chance to catch up with the first two episodes of its new season, so I'm hearing second-hand that Henry Francis, the aide to New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller who earlier rescued Betty from her marriage to Don (and now kind of regrets it because Betty's such a head case) last night--which is to say, in 1966, when this new season is set--called Michigan Gov. George Romney "a clown." Francis is shown saying into a telephone, "Well, tell Jim his honor's not going to Michigan.

The Basis For Mad Men’s George Romney Tweak
April 02, 2012

As “Mad Men” advances through the 1960s, you knew it was coming: a shout-out to the moderate Republican whose profile grew during the decade to the point where he was, very early on, a leading contender for his party’s 1968 presidential nomination. Yes, George Romney had his moment last night. And his family’s not happy about it. No “Mad Men” aficionado myself, I’ll let someone else recap the moment: In the 1960s-era series, the character  Henry Francis, who in previous seasons worked as a political aide for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, calls Gov.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'Hands and Knees'
September 27, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of "Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. The first time I saw Jon Hamm as Don Draper, I thought, "This character has the saddest eyes I've ever seen." With each passing season it becomes increasingly clear that I read them wrong. It wasn't sadness I saw in Draper's eyes. It was fear. More accurately, it was fear held at bay.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'The Summer Man'
September 13, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of "Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. Except for the lamentable absence of Roger Sterling, "The Summer Man" was one of just two true ensemble episodes this season (the debut was the other). Characters that are usually locked into their own narrative boxes broke free and roamed through one another's territory; the show even managed to integrate Don and Betty's worlds, previously as rigidly demarcated as North and South Korea.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'The Suitcase'
September 06, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of "Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. Like all good TV dramas, “Mad Men” has the memory of an elephant, quoting a remembered line or gesture from a previous episode in a way that subtly reminds you of what has changed.

'Mad Men' Mondays: ‘Waldorf Stories’
August 30, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of"Mad Men" episode recaps.

'Mad Men' Mondays: ‘The Chrysanthemum and the Sword’
August 23, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of"Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. Great films and TV series tend to distill in the memory to a particular type of camera shot.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'The Rejected'
August 16, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of"Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. Ah. That’s more like it. After the stumbling mish-mash of last week’s “The Good News,” Matthew Weiner’s series rallied with one of its finest episodes yet, “The Rejected.” Directed by cast member John Slattery (a.k.a. Roger Sterling) and co-written by Bret Johnson (a former writer’s assistant on the series), the hour showcased many of the program’s greatest virtues while banishing its more self-defeating tendencies.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'The Good News'
August 08, 2010

This is the new column in TNR’s weekly series of"Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. Click here for last week's review. An episode of a post-"Sopranos" quality cable series often focuses less on the plot and more on the psychology of its characters, the sociology of its setting, and a vividly evoked sense of place. That's why, when fellow viewers ask me to name a "best" episode of such programs, I am often not sure what to say. On a show like "Mad Men," the individual chapters are all of a piece.

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