Don and Betty Draper live in a picture-perfect world. He is a hard-living advertising executive - a 'mad man' - on the fast track. She's a Bryn Mawr graduate and former fashion model, now a suburban princess, mother of three children. If they've everything, why are they so unhappy? Why is their dream come true not enough? This book explores, analyses, celebrates the world of "Mad Men" in all its aspects, and includes an interview with it's Executive Producer and an episode guide. Every few years a new television program comes along to capture and express the zeitgeist. "Mad Men" is now that show. Since premiering in July 2007, it's won many awards and is syndicated across the globe. Its imprint is evident throughout contemporary culture, from features to fashions and online debate. Its creator Matthew Weiner, a former exec producer on "The Sopranos", has created again compelling, complex characters, this time in the sophisticated go-go world of Madison Avenue through the 1960s, with the excessive drinking and smoking, as well as the playing out of the prejudices and anxieties of an era long neglected in popular culture.
"Mad Men" is a zeitgeist show of the early twenty-first century, this book demonstrates, partly because its characters are an earlier, confused and conflicted version of ourselves, trying to make the best of a future unfolding at breakneck speed.
About the Author
Gary R. Edgerton is Eminent Scholar, Professor, and Chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department at Old Dominion University. He has published eight books, more than seventy-five essays on a wide assortment of media and culture topics, and is co-editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television.
"Rammed with exclusive interviews and beyond-nerd observation. The next best thing to a Dirty Don Draper (dark rum and even darker sugar) in the Blue Bar of the Algonquin."-- Antonia Quirke, Sunday Times, December 2010 "In this stunning collection, a stellar lineup of television scholars explains why Mad Men is the most important work of "filmed entertainment" on any America screen in the past decade-including The Sopranos, which may have ushered in a new golden age of American television, but has been long since eclipsed by this brilliant series. And while building the case that original cable series like Mad Men are now the gold standard in contemporary American culture, this compendium of consistently compelling, insightful essays also indicates that the most exciting work in media studies today is being done by television scholars."-Thomas Schatz, Philip G. Warner Regents Professor of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin
"Gary Edgerton brings together leading TV scholars who think about the creators, stories, visual design, and cultural significance of AMC's break away hit. A terrific set of essays that not only sheds light on Mad Men but also on the role that TV plays in depicting the American dreams-and nightmares-of the Baby Boom past."-Lynn Spigel, Frances E. Willard Professor of Screen Cultures at Northwestern University
"Matthew Weiner's Mad Men is all about the hidden meanings behind sleek surfaces and evasive silences, and Gary Edgerton's collection of essays cleverly mines those depths for a rich bounty of treasure. Some of the sharpest TV-analysis minds around-Horace Newcomb, Ron Simon, David Marc, Kim Akass and Janet McCabe, David Lavery and others-tackle Mad Men from angles both required and refreshing. Music and props, race and sexism, costuming and lighting, poetry and literature, even the DVD extras and the TV shows these characters watch-all of it is covered, and uncovered, in one thoughtful readable essay after another."-David Bianculli of TVWorthWatching.com and TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air
"Some of the leading names in television studies bring their analytical abilities to one of the best television shows of all time, considering Mad Men from industrial, ideological, and aesthetic perspectives. A winning collection-highly recommended!" -Dr. Roberta Pearson, Professor of Film and Television Studies and Director of the Institute of Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham