Thursday 21 Aug 2014
The sexy, stylised, provocative and multi award-winning drama Mad Men makes a welcome return to BBC Four this week.
Created by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Matthew Weiner, Mad Men delves into the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Sixties advertising agency Sterling Cooper – a place where power struggles, hard drinking and clandestine sexual exploits define the workplace and close the deals.
It is 1962, two years since the end of the last series. Set to the back drop of the Kennedy's White House tour, For Those Who Think Young opens with Don Draper undergoing an insurance medical. "You live too hard," chides his doctor.
And, at first glance, not much has changed in the lives of the employees of Sterling Cooper – Don Draper is still a man at the top of his game.
However, in his marriage to Betty things are far from harmonious. Don is trying to be a better husband and father. He even makes a romantic gesture for Valentine's Day – dinner and a hotel stay at the Savoy Hotel.
As their evening slowly descends into disaster it's clear that the unspoken problems in their marriage still remain. "I wish you would just tell me what to do," laments Betty.
Pete and Trudy have worked out their early marital problems and now have what seems to be a supportive marriage. Trudy's failure to conceive a baby is upsetting her. "It's a big club they are all in together," she says of pregnant women.
Peggy has returned newly slim to her copywriter's job at Sterling Cooper. There's much speculation among the men in the office as to Peggy's obvious weight loss. Pete thinks she has been to a fat farm, others speculate that she has had Don's baby – what else could explain Peggy's meteoric rise up the corporate ladder?
As the advertising world wakes up to the power of the youth market, Sterling Cooper needs to up its game.
Duck Phillips tells agency head Roger that the creative team needs younger people to reinforce Sterling Cooper as a hip modern company with hip modern ideas.
Against his better judgement Don Draper interviews two young creatives and as the word spreads around the team, worries begin to set in – especially as they are having trouble with creating a new campaign for Mohawk Airlines.
At home that night Don reads Meditations In An Emergency: "Now I am waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern." He writes, "Made me think of you - D" on the title page and walks down the street to mail the book to an unknown recipient.
Don is played by Jon Hamm, January Jones plays Betty Draper. Peggy is played by Elisabeth Moss, Pete by Vincent Kartheiser. John Slattery plays Roger and Trudy is played by Alison Brie, Mark Moses plays Herman "Duck" Philips.
Episode one: Tuesday 10 February 2009, 10.00-10.50pm, BBC Four
Information about future episodes will be published in BBC Television Programme Information.
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