Saturday Extra: Barbie, Ken, Sterling, Cooper, Draper
By: Steven Heller
Mad Men will return next Sunday, July 25, and a new line of well coiffed and clothed Barbie is in the wings. Will the new 4th season bring us as much pain and joy as the previous three? “When I hear ‘Mad Men,’ it’s the most irritating thing in the world to me,” rails George Lois. “When you think of the ’60s, you think about people like me who changed the advertising and design worlds. The creative revolution was the name of the game. This show gives you the impression it was all three-martini lunches. We worked from 5:30 in then morning until 10 at night. We had three women copywriters. We didn’t bed secretaries. I introduced Xerox. It was hard, hard work and no nonsense. ‘Mad Men’ is typical of ‘The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,’ those phony SOB’s. I was a Greek bigmouth, a Korean War veteran. I used my ethnicity to promote my talent. Before you knew it, most of the great creative talent was Italian, Greek and Jewish.”
The series revolves around the conflicted world of Don Draper, says AMC’s promotion: “the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business, and his colleagues at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency. As Don makes the plays in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels. The series also depicts authentically the roles of men and women in this era while exploring the true human nature beneath the guise of 1960s traditional family values.”
So, will Don find happiness in his own agency? Will the design of their work markedly improve? Will they get any creative accounts or plummet into mediocrity? Will the men take off their ties? Will the women remove their girdles? Will a show about the a white shoe agency still be of interest? Will George Lois like the show any better?