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New Season Of Mad Men Returns To AMC

July 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Image via, Mad Men Official WebpageTimes, they are a-changin’.  At least, things are changing pretty rapidly for the characters of Mad Men, AMC’s hit drama about advertising executives. For those not in the know, the show, follows Don Draper and his lovely but seriously repressed wife (now ex-wife) Betty as they struggle to figure out where they belong in the ever-changing world of 1960s America.

Here at Literary Traveler we have quite a few Mad Men fans, and we suspect our readers have been similarly captivated by the critically-acclaimed series, which is on its fourth season.  The newest season begins on Sunday July 25th, at 10/9 central and I, for one, know exactly where I will be that night when ten p.m. rolls around.

It might seem strange that a blog devoted to literature and travel is covering a television series, but Mad Men is so rich with literary allusions – and is set in a time of such social and political turmoil – that we would be remiss to completely ignore it (plus, have I mentioned we’re fans?)  Last season, we saw Don leave Sterling Cooper to start his own firm, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the beginnings of Betty’s new marriage.  We also watched as the characters confronted the Civil Rights Movement and several began to experiment with drugs and the counterculture movement that has come to define our view of the 1960s. It was, in a word, epic.

To get ready for Mad Men season four, please be sure to check out our series by author Paul Millward.  First, read Flower Children of the 60’s & Ken Kesey, Father of LSD and Hippies before heading to Mad Men, Creating a Perfect World on the Avenue of Dreams. Both are essential reading for any true Mad Men fan.

And don’t forget to tune in Sunday to see where the Mad Men new season takes us!

Mad Men: Advertising, New York City, And The American Dream

March 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

Photo by Rainbow Media, AMC TV

We recently covered one aspect of 1960s society with our article on counter-culture and the influence of writer and merry prankster Ken Kesey.  This week we turn to AMC’s hit television show Mad Men to help illustrate another, more mainstream, side of the American coin.

A friend of mine once described  Mad Men as being about “nothing more than a bunch of white men drinking, smoking, and sleeping around.”  While this may appear true to a casual viewer – and certainly, much has been made of these less savory aspects of the series – Mad Men is about so much more than the characters’ vices.  It is at once an exploration of our culture of consumerism, a study of the lives of several representative characters, and a portrait of the rapid changes that shook America throughout the 1960s.

In our newest feature article, Paul Millward takes a look at advertising culture and the significance of the American dream, a phrase that has become so common that it has almost lost all meaning.  But with a little help from Mad Men and Millward, it becomes possible to see how advertising appeals to the same portion of the human psyche that is willing to invest in something like the American dream.  Consumer culture is only one type of wish fulfillment, yet it represents our near constant need to always seek out something more, something greater, something forever beyond our grasp.

If you’re anything like me, there is no such thing as too much Mad Men.  However, even a veteran watcher like myself can appreciate a new, fresh take on the much-discussed show, which is why I suggest you take a moment this week and read Millward’s ode to Don Draper, New York, and the dream merchants of the 1960s with his piece Mad Men: Creating a Perfect World on the Avenue of Dreams.

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