LAST week’s podcast: musings on Mad Men

For a variety of reasons, last week’s radio chat with CHML’s Scott Thompson is just getting posted now. The buzz last week was the return of Mad Men, and there is much discussion of that here.
The second episode of the season, directed by Jon Hamm, ran this past Sunday. Hamm has directed the past two seasons, helming the first episode produced (and second shown), giving the actor plenty of advance time to prep both as a director and as an actor. He was in plenty of scenes Sunday which must have made things a tad tricky, but was Don Draper smooth on both fronts. John Slattery, so hilarious as Roger, is still ahead of Hamm on Mad Men‘s actor/director chart.
I quite liked the first two weeks and am as fascinated as ever by Matthew Weiner’s exploration of the ’60s. The shot of woeful Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) watching Johnny Carson on Sunday’s show was so carefully placed. The clip showed Carson prepping his audience for an interview with Kennedy assasination investigator/prosecutor Jim Garrison but also setting up a Vietnam War report on the 11 p.m. NBC news. The clip helped establish the tense mood as the escalating and un-winnable war kept tumbling into living rooms. I also wondered if that full Carson episode even exists. Almost all of the Tonight shows circa 1962 to 1972 were tossed out when NBC cleaned out their storage facilities in the early ’70s. Maybe Carson’s set up for the Garrison broadcast is all that exists. If anyone knows the full story on this, please get in touch.
In any event, kudos to Canadian Film Centre grad Semi Chellas for climbing so far up the creative food chain on Mad Men as a writer and producer, cool to see her name each week in the opening credits.
Posting on the show also gives me an excuse to run one of the drawings my graphic designer daughter Katie has done of characters on the series. Collected them all on Tumblr.
As for the podcast, you can listen in here.

Leave a Reply