Today - AMCtv's & Matt Weiner's Mad Men Season 3 premiere

The much anticipated show (re)starts today. Prepare to be once again mesmerized, as the show moves chronologically from JFK’s election and Marilyn's death to the era of those big shocks to the system.

Mad Men poster

At its very first Season Premiere, I was so excited that I even threw a party to watch it on my big screen. Unfortunately, most of my friends did not see it through my eyes, mostly because they did not show up. Undeterred, I set up a Mad Men Fad Fan group on Facebook, where many of my friends live, thinking that if they don’t come to my place, I’ll go to theirs, like Mohamed the mountaineer. I don’t know who’s taking care of that now..

If you have not seen Mad Men yet, or if you are not watching it religiously, cracked.com thinks you’re an eeeediot. Even though I do (not) (necessarily) share that view (entirely), it is worth pointing out what you’re missing and why I personally love it and why I am addicted to this show like I have never been to any other TV show. The only thing that comes close is the childhood frustration of waiting for the far-in-between Star Wars movie-episodes and the love-hatred for my pusher, Lucas, for creating such a potent drug and then dispensing it with scarcity.

It has been said that Matt Weiner had wanted to make this show years ago, but the producer forced him to make Sopranos first. Only when that show became incredibly successful, was he allowed to nurture his fav brainchild.

What makes this show amazing is that it presents the lives of people who changed a culture, but they are regular folk as opposed to the celebrities we are accustomed to watch in movies about the 60s. The attention to detail is phenomenal, starting with costumes, decor, the language used, manners and the ills. By “ills” I mean all those little quirks which are today surgically removed from artistic representation, even though they still exist in part of the society: chain-smoking with kids around, philandering, regularly drinking on the job, blatant sexism, sexual harassment, using sexuality to get ahead, throwing picnic litter in the river, sex at work, men sleeping in the office when their wife kicked them out, the obsession with appearances which need to be saved at all costs, crude & hurtful humour.

The awards collected by the show in its 2 seasons are impressive:Applause

  • 2009, 2008 – Excellence in Production Design Award for the episodes “The Jet Set” & “Shoot” from Art Directors Guild (ADG)
  • 2009 - Outstanding International Program or Event from Astra
  • 2009 – BAFTA TV Award for Best International
  • 2008 – Artios from the Casting Society of America for Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot – Drama
  • 2009 – CDG Award for Outstanding Costume Design for Television Series – Period/Fantasy
  • 2008 – DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series – Night
  • 2009 – Emmy for Outstanding: Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Cinematography for a One-Hour Series, Drama Series, Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series, Main Title Design, Writing for a Drama Series
  • 2008 – Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series and Best TV Series
  • 2009 – Golden Nymph for Drama TV Series, Outstanding Actor – Drama Series and Outstanding Actress – Drama Series at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival
  • 2009 – Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic PGA Award for Drama
  • 2008 – Peabody Award
  • 2009 – Satellite Award for Best Ensemble, Television
  • 2009 - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series from Screen Actors Guild
  • 2008 – Television Critics Association (TCA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama and (New) Program of the Year
  • Writers Guild of America – WGA Award (TV) for New Series (2008) and Dramatic Series (2009)

..And I did not bother listing the Nominations Not worthy Get a taste:

Here’s a list of Mad Libs, as originally printed by Eye Weekly:

The real men and women on their roles:

Jon Hamm on Mad Men Jon Hamm
Don Draper: creative director, imposter
“Don is somebody who, as we know from his history, has certainly worn a lot of hats — no pun intended — and changed quite viscerally. He’s adopted another man’s identity. But does he fundamentally change? He tries to and very often he backslides to his actual way of being. He’s trying to be a better man. And maybe he’s not cut out for that.”

January Jones on Mad Men January Jones
Betty Draper: wife, mother
“In Season One she kept everything inside. You could tell something was wrong. Every once in a while she would have an explosion of emotion. Season Two she had evolved into a stronger person. She had the courage to kick Don out of the house. And Season Three, without giving too much away, so far she’s been happy — which has been bizarre for me to play.”

Elisabeth Moss on Mad Men Elisabeth Moss
Peggy Olson: copywriter, proto-feminist
“Peggy is not out to break through any glass ceiling or take a stand because it’s the ’60s. She just loves advertising, has good ideas and wants to be heard. She’s lucky enough to have, in Don Draper, a mentor who recognizes that she’s good and gives her a chance. If you said ‘feminist,’ she would probably think it was some female product.”

John Slattery on Mad Men John Slattery
Roger Sterling: senior partner, divorcee
“Roger is someone who has the courage of his convictions. Socially there was a lot more permission to do some of the things Roger does: screwing around, smoking, drinking during the day, sexist comments in the office. What I like about him is he makes a decision and then deals with the fallout afterwards.”

Vincent Kartheiser on Mad Men Vincent Kartheiser
Pete Campbell: account executive, schemer
“I find it funny when I talk to a guy who is obviously a Pete Campbell and he’s like, ‘Your character is so weaselly.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Yeah dude, it’s you.’  It’s me. We all became Pete Campbell. We’re all whiny little bitches who think we should get everything today. Being born in the Western world is pretty much being born with a silver spoon in your mouth.”

Christina Hendriks on Mad Men Christina Hendricks
Joan Holloway: office manager, bombshell
“I think sexuality is incredibly powerful and I don’t think Joan is necessarily being aggressive with it. When a woman is confident like she is, men respond and it is a very powerful thing. The one thing about the costumes is that they might be tight and fitted but they are not vulgar and Joan never really says anything sexual or anything with innuendo.”

Matt Weiner, the genius behind Mad Men Matt Weiner
creator, writer, show-runner
“Mad Men is every aspect of my life. It is destroying every relationship in my life. I am having an affair with it. I am obsessed with it 24 hours a day. I am constantly in a terror about failing, like all artists. I feel very secure that I’ve done something permanent that I am very proud of but here we are. You don’t want to be miserable but the show runs on my discomfort.”

What happens on that set is pure magic. No wonder that after being showered with so many signs of recognition from their peers other shows are constantly trying to poach away actors and I’m not only talking The Office (MM-star-on-Office). Even Tina Fey in her 30 Rock got Jon Hamm to play the role of a dumb but beautiful man, who pulls her in the zone, but unfortunately, she cannot stay there long.

Jon Hamm & Tina Fey on 30 Rocks

Sources / More info: MM-on-Facebook, AMCtv-MM, MM-on-wikipedia, MM-episode-guides, cracked-u-idiot, MSNBC-3rd-season-MM, eye-weekly-mm, MM-tvsquad, showhype-poster-MM, , imdb-MM-awards, newsweek-mm, MM-star-on-Office, jon-tina, MM-EW-popwatch, lj-scans-MM, mmm-MM-EW, lippsisters, EW1-MM, EW2-MM, MM-flickr, MM-torrents-mnv, MM-on-isohunt, yt

Kings of Madison Avenue: The Unofficial Guide to Mad Men by Jesse McLean (Paperback - Sep 1 2009) (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn) Mad Men: Season 1 (DVD - 2008) (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn) Mad Men: Season 2 (DVD - 2009) (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn)
V2 Mad Men: Music From The Ser by Various (Audio CD - 2009) - Compilation (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn) Mad Men: Season 1 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2008) (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn) Mad Men: Season Two [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2009) (.CA, .UK, .FR, .DE, .JP, .cn)

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