Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Mad Men

Psst! Tired of watching cartoon characters and reality TV shows that would make Margaret Mead cringe? Want to watch a drama that is well-written and delivered by wonderful actors who have starred on television, film, Broadway, and even Off-Broadway? Then may I suggest my new favorite pop culture television show “Mad Men” on AMC? Check out the trailer.

Written and produced by Matthew Weiner, who previously wrote and produced for “The Sopranos”, “Mad Men” is set in 1960 in NYC at a Madison Avenue advertising agency called Sterling Cooper. It is the hey-day of the advertising man in the fedora and the grey flannel suit chasing the big business account with such accoutrements as the three martini lunch, an apartment in the city, a wife and children at home in Connecticut, a secretary to chase around the desk in the office, an artsy mistress in Greenwich Village, and a closet for coats and various other things. But this show is so much more, and works on so many levels both subtle and deceptive. Back in 1960 all the cool kids, and cool kid wanna-be’s, wanted to work in the advertising business and create pop culture (today they still do).

When watching the show I noticed how: 1) No one wears a seatbelt in the car, 2) Everyone smokes--in the office, at home, and even while pregnant, 3) Everyone drinks--in the office, at home, and even while pregnant, 4) Sometimes they do all of these things at the same time. Today we know that many of these behaviors are unhealthy. We have the studies to prove it. In 1960 the studies were just coming out that these behaviors were unhealthy. But the truth doesn’t always make good advertising copy, now does it?

Anyone else a fan? Just don’t call me on Thursday nights between 10P –11P when I will be watching “Mad Men.” Shhh!


  • At 4:59 AM, Blogger Paul Levinson said…

    I agree completely - and this Thursday's episode of Mad Men was especially powerful... Double Mad Men

  • At 5:48 AM, Blogger Jess Nevins said…

    It's a great looking show, for sure.

    My only concern is the lack of sympathetic characters. I'm finding it hard to root for any of them, although the mystery behind the male lead is nicely deepening, and that may be enough to keep me watching.

  • At 8:31 AM, Blogger Susan said…

    I hear what you are saying Jess. However, since the show is written by Mr. Weiner, who created one of the most unlikely sympathetic characters in recent years in mob boss Tony Soprano, I am guessing that there may be some surprises in store for the audience as the story unfolds. I too am curious about the mystery behind Don Draper.

  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger Susan said…

    Paul, I liked your Double Mad Men post. You are so right in that the more things change the more things remain the same. And I was thrilled to learn that there will be more episodes!

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger jaykaydee said…

    So there are 13 episodes? That's great news. It's just getting good now that we're scratching the surface of Don Draper, Man with a Past. And you'll also enjoy this week's wickedly funny recap over at the Attention Deficit Theatre:


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