Matthew Weiner

'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 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.

'Mad Men' Mondays: 'Public Relations'
July 26, 2010

This is the first in TNR’s weekly series of "Mad Men" episode recaps. Caution: It contains spoilers. “The world is so dark right now,” says Don Draper’s soon-to-be latest conquest in “Public Relations,” the first episode in Season Four of “Mad Men,” which premiered Sunday night. She’s talking about the change in the country’s mood, which was triggered by John F. Kennedy’s assassination (covered in Season Three’s penultimate episode, “The Grown Ups”). But she may as well be talking about the show itself.

Maddening Men
June 24, 2008

This past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine published a fawning hagiography of “Mad Men,” the AMC-turned-HBO sleeper that is all the buzz right now. Now I realize that the conventional wisdom seems to put me on the wrong side of history when it comes to “Mad Men,” but just humor me for a minute. I have written before on this site about my low esteem for this show (which I would link to if I could figure out where it is, Canada!), but this love letter from the Times is so far off the mark that even if you love the show, you’ll have to grant me a few points.

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