Hot answers tagged

19

Via Jerry Della Femina, the veteran ad exec widely regarded as one of Madison Avenue's biggest personalities, most creative thinkers and an over-the-top publicity-seeker: Q: Did ad agency executives really drink that often — and that much — in the 1960s? A: If anything, it's underplayed. There was a tremendous amount of drinking. Three-martini ...


12

"What was the motive for switching identities?" It was both to get a clean break from his past, and to escape the war. Richard "Dick" Whitman took the identity of "Don Draper" (synonymous with "Wear Disguise") as soon as he realized the opportunity existed. By performing this transformation/exchange, Richard escaped his prior life with seemingly no ...


12

You are correct in both your assertions that we never find out exactly what is causing Betty's shaky hands, and that we know based on evidence that it is likely psychological. As you mention in your question, the shaky hands are a part of Betty's character from day one. The first observance of this problem by the viewer is roughly three months after her ...


12

**SPOILERS** While there are many possible factors contributing to Don and Betty getting divorced, based on what we the viewers observe, these are the most glaring contributors: Cheating Both Don and Betty had extra-marital affairs. What follows is a list of the people both had relationships with outside of their marriage. Don: Midge Daniels (Season 1) ...


7

(Three paragraph analysis, followed by quotes.) Don is perpetually dissatisfied with life. He sabotages each success as he attains it, unable to appreciate it; the pursuit is broken and his value system is broken, where he understands and wants wealth, power, influence and adoration, but doesn't experience the happiness that's supposed to come with those ...


7

More than anything, SCDP functions as an archetype for the Madison Avenue of the 1960s rather than as something modeled (even in part) after a real firm. Certainly, some of the work Draper Daniels did could tie SCDP into various firms that Daniels worked for, most notably the Leo Burnett Company. But that connection likely serves more to support the notion ...


7

My grandmother used to be a big city office secretary back in the late 1950s and early 1960s when she was in her 20s before she became a housewife and she has told me that most people smoked in the office back then and it was very normal. She said her boss usually smoked two to three packs a day just at the office and that she'd have to empty his ashtray ...


6

Pete makes good on the threat of exposing Don's true identity to Bert Cooper but Bert says Who cares?, neutralizing the threat. This is presumably because Don is such an effective idea man that Bert doesn't care what Don's name really is. In addition, Bert gives Don the option of keeping him or firing him—whichever he thinks best. As a WW I soldier, ...


5

The people from PPL have chosen Duck as the boss of the new agency. When they met at the end of episode 13 (from Season 2), they tell Don that Duck will be his new boss. The people from PPL know that Don is the genius mastermind behind everything and without him, the agency is worth nothing. Don is aware of this and tells the people from PPL that he will ...


5

Advertising Agencies aren't just about the creative, there's also the analytical. The creative is the showy side, but the analytical is where the money is made. It's about digging through marketing data, demographic data, consumer behavior date, etc, etc. Essentially the stuff that drives companies like Amazon and Google today. The computer would have ...


5

My mother was an office secretary in New York in the 1960s and 70s, and she told me that the general representation on MadMen that a lot of people really did chain smoke three of four packs a day back then was actually pretty dead-on accurate. She said that she continued to smoke at least three packs a day herself back then through the 80s and most of the ...


4

It could be a thyroid thing too, Betty was diagnosed and treated in a later season. With over and under active thyroid disorders you can have shaky hands off and on, numbness in certain body part too. Back then it was nearly impossible to catch it, the sad thing is it's still nearly impossible to catch it.


4

That's exactly it ... Don was getting revenge on Roger, upset that Roger had made a pass at his wife. Hence Don pushing the martinis, oysters, and cheesecake on Roger, knowing that it would be a lethal combination which, when combined with the long stair climb (which Don, being quite a bit younger, knew he could handle), would lead to the projectile vomiting ...


4

Christina Hendricks, the actress who plays Joan Harris (née Holloway), alludes to Don and Joan being nothing more than good friends in an interview with GQ. They are two people that respect one another and enjoy each other's company, but that is it. Not to mention that both are "too wise about office politics [Joan and Don sleeping together] into their ...


4

New Amsterdam (Season 1, Episode 4). Pete: I have ideas. Don: I'm sure you do. Sterling Cooper has more failed artists and intellectuals than the Third Reich. Pete: You know what? I have good ideas. In fact, I used to carry around a notebook and a pen just to keep track. Direct marketing? I thought of that. Turned out it already existed, but I ...


4

Unless Matthew Weiner decides to elaborate on it, we can only speculate, like the reviewer at The AV Club: The final scene shows Don chanting in harmony with his fellow meditators. “The new day brings new hope,” says the group leader. “The lives we’ve led, the lives we’ve yet to lead. A new day. New ideas. A new you.” The image of a newly calm Don ...


4

Yes, it was a real play. From Wikipedia: Megan (Jessica Paré) and Don watch the play America Hurrah, in which a character rants against TV advertisements. After the play, they argue about its negative portrayal of advertising. It was a satirical play that premiered in 1966. You can also see the playbill in this clip, around 0:30: ...


3

Duck was a very self confident man, with not a lot of real talent to back it up. He was an alcoholic who lost his wife in divorce. His beloved dog was returned to him by his ex-wife when the dog was no longer welcomed by her next future second husband. Duck proclaimed love for the dog and when he decided he did not need him, he simply took off the leash and ...


3

Yes, it was relatively simple to fake identities. A famous, famous example of this is shown in Day of the Jackal, where Frederick Forsyth included a character who faked his identity using a very simplistic method that had been known about for decades and took until the noughties to actually rectify. Basically, he showed that someone could trawl a village ...


3

I'm only 43 and even going back to when I started work (1990) in the IT industry in the UK smoking was rife in almost offices and I worked alongside guys who would routinely go out drinking quite heavily for two hours at lunch. I have a friend who works for a large Japanese company at their head office and even today they smoke a very great deal in their ...


3

The baby does not disappear from the series. All I can tell you. No point in writing any spoilers.


3

That's the Donna Reed Show, which ran from 1958 to 1966 and depicted the perfect American family, which is what Don had tried to create with Betty, but failed. If this episode is an indication of things to come, he seems to be heading into a downward spiral.


2

Betty's hands were shaking because she was repressing her feelings. Notice that Betty was unhappy being a housewife. Also notice that she never talked about her problems with Don. When he asked her if she was unhappy, she lied and said no straight to his face. Don also has this problem but instead if repressing it, he sees his mistress. Betty's hands stop ...


2

Don was happy being married to Betty. He wasn't happy that his marriage to her was built on a lie. I think Don knew that Betty only loved the idea of him. They both actually had a mutual infatuation for each other, but they were never in love. Notice how throughout their marriage, they were very affectionate and had a sex life but not much more than that. I ...


1

Advertising in Mad Men, there is a treasure trove of information on the net relating to this here's a few links. Lemon for Volkswagen was a real campaign. So was Kodak Carousel however Don's ad is much better than the real advert. You can just about pick out all the real ones. Some of the Mohawk Airlines adverts are quite similar. Secor Laxative is made up ...


1

Roger knows that Don is a go-getter and doesn't necessarily come from as glamorous a background as most people think, but not necessarily much (if anything) more than that. Remember that Roger is the one who ended up helping Don get into the advertising industry after Don - then a lowly fur coat shop salesman - made a couple of rather ballsy moves that ...


1

I suspect that this may have been a nod to the famous LA Law scene where Diana Muldaur's character, Rosalind Shays, walks into an empty elevator shaft, falling to her death. The two series have been compared to each other and have both won 4 Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series. Basically, it was probably done as an inside joke by the writers. Beyond that, ...


1

Betty Friedan's book was a bestseller then, describing the dull empty ache and deep dissatisfaction so-called happy housewives suffered. They're not allowed to voice it. They can't even identify it to themselves. So it manifests in idiopathic ways like shaking and numbness. Post-war 1950s-60s married women had 'everything,' so what's the problem? Whether ...


1

Don and Betty only loved the idea of each other. On the other side they looked perfect. Both of them good looking, charming, and had a great sex life. However, Don's mommy issues made it impossible for his to stay faithful to Betty. He does try but fails every time. Also, both Don and Betty keep don't really talk about their problems. Throughout their ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible