Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Show's Creator Talks on Themes, Blogs, Spoilers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Show's Creator Talks on Themes, Blogs, Spoilers

Article excerpt

On Thursday, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner graciously carved out some time to chat with us about the upcoming season. While he did not provide specifics about what Don Draper and the other characters will be up to, Weiner did talk about writing the show, reading what bloggers have to say about it - and why he hates spoilers.

Here are excerpts from that interview.

Q. We've heard that one theme of this upcoming season is how the characters adjust to the changing times?

Yes, it's true, and how they don't adjust is part of it. I've sort of phrased it as this question, which I feel we're asking right now, which is, "When is everything going to get back to normal?" I can't tell if that's part of my middle age that I'm asking that question, or if it really is a society-wide, "What the hell is going on?" feeling. I think it's the latter, actually.

Q. When you're writing an episode in which something like the Kennedy assassination takes place, how consciously do you think of the parallels between that tragedy and, say, 9/11?

I was born in 1965, so I really wasn't there and I'm not doing a history lesson, but when I tackled that particular [event] ... the only comparison I had was 9/11. ...

My wife was the one, in the end, who talked me into doing it, the assassination. She said, "You're not doing a history lesson" -- I always say that -- "but people want to know how it affects the characters." And for me, what was great about it was I got to use it as a story point. ... So, there was a feeling of anxiety and almost nihilism that got Betty Draper to realize that her marriage was over.

Q. Does all the attention that the show has gotten put more pressure on you when you're writing?

Honestly, I always have a lot of pressure on me when I'm working. I have tremendous expectations for myself, and something that I really took from "The Sopranos" is that the audience is very smart and very demanding and has so many choices, that I'm constantly debating how far to push things and what I have to do to maintain their attention.

Q. How much do you read blogs and such about "Mad Men"?

It's impossible to stay away from it. …

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