Drama review for Mad Men
• Know the channel, dates, series creator and future of this ongoing series.
• What is meant by the term “Mad Men”?
• Define the complex character of Don Draper from what we viewed – what he’s very good at – how he misbehaves – and what his job is.
• Consider the general portrayal of the early 1960’s through the portrayal of Don and the other characters. In answering the following questions, keep in mind the general theme of what is nostalgic and what is critical about this era.
• What sort of behavior is allowed or expected for men and women at Sterling Cooper?
• Discuss elements of anti-semitism and how they unfold in the plot. Why is it important to show this?
• What is the advertising challenge Sterling Cooper is facing with Lucky Strike cigarettes – and what does the resolution of this say about Don’s greatest talents?
• Discuss Don Draper’s home world shown in the third episode – the Marriage of Figaro. How is his connection with his wife different than with his mistress?
• Why do the women react so intensely at the presence of a divorcee, Helen Bishop? Is that in any way justified?
• What happens to Don at the end – and what does his behavior say in contrast to all the freedoms he has?
• In the end, in what ways is Mad Men nostalgic and how is it critical of this era? And how are the characters ultimately trapped by their times – or by their own actions?
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