“Mad Men” (Seasons 1 & 2)

The cast of "Mad Men" (AMC)
The cast of ensemble drama “Mad Men” (AMC)

My little sister watches this show, so I decided to check it out.  (She’s usually in the know about what’s cool.)  Another reason to see Mad Men is Elisabeth Moss (known to many as President Bartlett’s youngest daughter, Zoe, on The West Wing).  Elisabeth’s character, Peggy Olson, starts out as a cheerful/eager/naive secretary at the start of Season 1.  Like the viewer, she doesn’t know what to expect from Sterling Cooper (the ad agency that is the main setting of the show).

Peggy Olson- always watching & learning
Peggy Olson- always watching & learning

Women esp. will empathize w/ Peggy, a young woman who experiences workplace harassment (it’s the early ’60s after all), romantic disappointment, and disillusionment on her way to becoming a copywriter (in Season 2).  She brings to mind the compromises, trials, and sacrifices faced by early feminists, though Peggy NEVER calls herself a feminist.  Peggy works hard and wins the trust/confidence/respect of boss, Don Draper (Jon Hamm).

The unflappable Roger Sterling
The unflappable Roger Sterling

After Peggy, my fave character is Roger Sterling (played by TV/theater veteran John Slattery).  Roger, a partner in the firm, is an “old-school” guy- charming, confident, and a heavy drinker (w/o any guilt, he comments).  He usually has a twinkle in his eye, enjoying work and life to the fullest.  I particularly enjoyed the few eps where Roger was worried about aging.

Don (Jon Hamm) & Betty (January Jones)
Don & Betty

Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) & Pete (Vincent Kartheiser)

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) w/ bohemian Midge (Rosemarie Dewitt)

Don w/ businesswoman Rachel

Though many people have commented on Don’s hot & heavy romance w/ Midge, I thought the storyline w/ him and Rachel was MORE interesting.  She is a successful/single/lonely businesswoman who is a client of Sterling Cooper (in Season 1).   Don doesn’t want to work w/ her at first, but soon becomes intrigued by her perserverence.  Though Rachel is wealthy, she is an “outsider” b/c of her Jewish heritage.   Don falls deeply in love w/ her, and tells her secrets about his life.  (Unfortunately, I didn’t see this ep!)   He’s (visibly) shocked when he sees Rachel w/ her new hubby (Season 2).

 

Jon Hamm in "People" mag (2007)
Jon Hamm in “People” mag (2007)

I watched a FEW interviews w/ Jon Hamm; he comes across as a VERY polite/sweet/unassuming actor.  He said he wears glasses and prefers his hair longer than Don’s in real life.  I watched Jon (a few yrs ago) as a sensitive detective on the Lifetime drama, The Division.  After a LONG struggle in Hollywood, this actor has made it BIG!

From Parade mag
From “Parade” mag

Hamm “has this wonderful sadness and lost quality in his eyes,” said director Alan Taylor. “It’s a rare quality for a strapping leading man.”  Leave your political correctness at the door, and tune in for Season 3 of Mad Men on SUN night!

 

Related Links:

An extensive Vanity Fair article: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2009/09/mad-men200909?printable=true&currentPage=all

Basket of Kisses: a Mad Men fan site

http://www.lippsisters.com/

A comprehensive Jon Hamm fan site:

http://www.jon-hamm.com/

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