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‘Mad Men’ Season Cinco ~ Game On! Terry Gross with Show Creator, Matt Weiner

March 26, 2012

Pretty good season premiere of ‘Mad Men,’ anoche (last night). After a year of layoff, the AMC hit series is back, and last night’s two hour premiere set the season up for another potentially infinite storyline, etc. The show’s creator/exec-producer, Matthew ‘Don’t-Call-Me-Anthony’ Weiner was on ‘Gross Air,’ with Terry Fresh, get it. Haha. Good interview, if you like and follow the show. The new season, the fifth, starts about 7 months after season four’s finale, going from December of 1965 to June of ’66. Such a dynamic moment in our nation’s and the world’s history. Gotta be some creative uses of the show in college courses across the country, I’d like to think anyway. The civil-rights movement, Vietnam, roles/identity of women, the losses of leaders (Kennedy and MLK, Jr.), and overall paradigm shift throughout culture.
Anyway, one part of the interview that stood out to me was Weiner explaing character identity and struggle. Specifically, about Señor Draper, and how he’s so symbolic of a tragic, sad figure that seems unable to peel himself away from his unfortunate pathology. Error after error. I’m sure ole’ Dr. Drew is licking his analytic chops on ole Draper. And the whole cast actually.
Weiner points out that people, e.g., the viewers are, well, actually just like the characters in that they have the choice (to control their ‘destiny’, their choices, actions, etc.) to react one of two ways, for the sake of this argument, to Draper’s tragic pathology: by feeling sad/bad/empathy for his toil, or being critical without empathy. Weiner uses a great phrase, that it’s not about his (or substitute any character) ‘likeability’ but it’s about hus ‘loveability.’ Especially when you have someone who is struggling, who is vulnerable, in a weak place, and who, in some way reveal a loveability through their ways (good or bad — but for Señor Drape-Ape, his struggle, obviously), AND through the empathetic/sorrowful/merciful perspective of the viewer.
More about the show and interview later.

‘Gross Air’ w/ Terry Fresh, haa

Salon article


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