Entertainment Magazine

Mad Men, Season 5, Episode 1

Posted on the 27 March 2012 by Erictheblue

I'm listening to Terry Gross interview Matthew Weiner about--what else?--last night's two-hour season premier of "Mad Men." It ends with SCDP's reception area full of African-American job applicants.  They're there because, in the first scene, some yahoos at a rival agency had dropped paper bags full of water on civil rights protesters marching on the sidewalk below their office windows in a Manhattan skyscraper.  This had resulted in some bad publicity, and SCDP, to pile on, had placed a fake ad in the Times that  dropped the phrase "equal opportunity employer."  The applicants are nicely dressed, polite, dignified, and, of course, not in on the joke.  Do they appear a little too decent, like the Drapers' maid, whom I wrote about here?  I'm addicted, but the rather too obvious contrast between upright African-Americans and the cavorting ad men is one item for the debit column.  Remember Lane's girlfriend at the Playboy club?  When the topic of race comes up, the show emits a faint but distinct whiff of falsity.

The interview with Weiner, in which Terry does not take up the bookends to last night's premier, is here.


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