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BOOKENDS: We are all Don Draper (the pilot and series finale of Mad Men)

Don Draper Mad Men image

Here’s a character arc we can all understand:

From blocked creative to fulfilled creative.

You know this story.

You’re young and it comes easy. It flows out of you. You get a bit older and it starts to feel more like work. Life intercedes, your creative side suffers, and you struggle. You hit the wall and you feel like you just can’t do it anymore. You’re blocked, stuck in the crucible, and it seems like there’s no escape. You contemplate giving up, throwing in the towel. It would be easier to just call it a day — it would alleviate a lot of pain. But you can’t. You have to keep fighting. You have to do the work. So you make a plan. First, you strip yourself of all that is holding you back. You get lean and mean. You do the work. It’s the only way. The only way to find your new path back to creative fulfillment. And one day it comes to you: that big idea. The lightbulb that illuminates that corner of your imagination that had been held in shadow for so long. Maybe it’s just the idea that gets you back at the desk, or maybe it’s a world-class winner of a concept that lights a fire across the globe.

This is your story. The story of every writer.

And, as we now know, it is the story of Don Draper, the now iconic character at the heart of Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men.

We are all Don Draper.

Just with less mistresses and whiskey.

I hope. Read more

TV Drama Showrunners Panel (video)

Vince Gilligan and Matthew Weiner, TV showrunners Breaking Bad and Mad Men

Here is a fantastic roundtable interview via The Hollywood Reporter with some of the most influential TV creators out there.

  • Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom
  • Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective
  • Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
  • Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan
  • Matthew Weiner, Mad Men
  • Carlton Cuse, Bates Motel

They cover a lot of topics, from casting movie stars to the anxiety and thrill of the writing process to dealing with social media and much more. Read more

Beat Sheets and Act Structure for Television Drama

 

As the tales of Don Draper, Walter White and Dexter Morgan come to an end and screenwriters everywhere struggle to create the next great TV protagonist, I have only one question.

Where are all of the “beat sheets” and structure “paradigms” for television drama? Read more

Mad Men Episode 601-602 “The Doorway” Secrets Revealed (kind of, but not really)

I’ve seen it.

The Sixth Season opener of Mad Men? Seen that thing. Twice.

That’s two times, son. A full ten days before it airs on April 7, 2013 on the AMC Network, which is better than only nine days before air.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, oh Big Bang Theory enthusiast, but as a certified Mad Maniac, this excites me so much that I am bursting to talk about it. But, alas, I can’t.

Or can I? Read more

Mad Men in Black and White

In a unique move, AMC has released the first publicity stills for Mad Men Season 6 and they are in black and white. They remind me of those candid photos from celebrity parties in the 1950S and 1960S. You expect to see Truman Capote or Frank Sinatra in the background of one of these shots.

Mad Men returns on April 7 on AMC.

Click on the pics for massively embiggened size.

Read more

THEME: Mad Men Season 5

"The Other Woman"

As per usual, we’ve been diligently watching each episode of the current season of Mad Men and loving every minute of it. In my household, one must respect the golden rule…

In Weiner we trust. Read more

Mad Men Images | Mad Men 501-502 “A Little Kiss”

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of Mad Men. After each episode, I comb the web for any and all Mad Men-related material, and since there’s many other nutjobs out there who are also mad for Mad Men, the blogosphere never disappoints.

But most high-profile sites only feature one still photo from each episode, and since I’m on the AMC press list and have access to various publicity materials, I decided I’d work harder to bring you guys more images for your scrapbooks, including ones you might not see anywhere else yet (like the pic above). Read more