The Mad Men Project: Introduction

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation we drink because it’s good. Because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar. Because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do.”

So were the words of one of the most entertaining television characters of the last decade, Roger Sterling. That’s right, friends — it’s here. “Mad Men” returns to the airwaves this Sunday and you — yes, you! — are incredibly excited. The most recent original episode last aired in 2010, so for those of you who have been/still are clamoring for what happens to Joan’s pregnant belly, Don’s bizarre engagement or Betty’s seemingly failing second marriage, the wait is nearly over.

Now, ask yourself: Could there possibly be a better place than this particular blog to turn to for your “Mad Men” analysis? Of course there is. That question was rhetorical. Still, that’s never stopped me from trying to increase TV Without A TV’s readership from the three regular readers we usually enjoy to at least six, right? So with that in mind, I present to you The Mad Men Project.

Ahhh, but what is The Mad Men Project, the all-important disembodied voice asks? Well, it’s going to be aimed at having a look at the show from the different angles the characters offer. Over the past few months, I have assembled a team of experts (and by “experts” I mean “people who mostly don’t know one another, yet I think/hope they will always have something interesting to say about each week’s episode,” of course) to follow a particular story line throughout the upcoming season. Then — because this is a blog dedicated to watching television unconventionally, remember — I will take to this tiny corner of the Internet every Friday to share each person’s thoughts/opinnions/perspectives on everything from what they feel their assigned character’s part of the story meant to what they think might happen next.

Yes, I know. It’s cool to keep tabs on “Mad Men.” Every respectable (re: popular) website in the world seems to designate at least one writer to immediately spout off recaps and analytical essays based on each week’s happenings. And this, friends, is where you are supposed to be impressed because we plan to be different.

The posts will run Friday for three reasons:

1. That gives us all time to find the episode online if need be to catch up and re-watch all that has occurred throughout each episode.

2. None of what you will read will be the basic knee-jerk conclusions that bloggers and writers everywhere will undoubtedly offer on other, far-more-well-read websites. 

And 3. After it’s all said and done, you can use these as a refresher for when the week’s new episode is set to air on Sunday nights. Talk all you want on Monday morning, big, well-paid bloggers. We got the reflective crowd in mind here.

So, who is a part of that reflective crowd you speak of, the disembodied voice asks in an impatient tone. Well, if you must …

Adam Campbell

Character he will follow: Roger Sterling

Education: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2008 and 2010, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies.

Current occupation: Proposal coordinator for Northwind Engineering, LLC in central Pennsylvania.

Learn more about him at espaxefan.blogspot.com.

Fact: He loves Rush more than Don Draper loves liquor.

Julie Ciaramella

Character she will be following: Betty Draper

Education: Duquesne University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Master of Science degree in Media Arts and Technology.

Current occupation: Web/New Media Writer for American Veterinary Medical Association either in, around or near Chicago, Illinois.

Learn more about her at aardvarks2zebras.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @julieciaramella.

Fact: Her love for Ryan Adams knows no bounds.

Mark Zeltner

Character he will be following: Don Draper

Education: Northwest Missouri State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media; University of Tulsa, earning a Master of Arts degree in Education; University of Missouri, earning a Ph.D in Communication.

Current occupation: Associate Professor of Communication at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about the New Media Journalism class he is teaching this semester at http://nmjatsru.blogspot.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter @mzeltsru.

Fact: He also loves the blues and you can find out more about that at http://noescapefromblues.blogspot.com/.

Courtney Pomeroy

Character she will be following: Joan Holloway

Education: University of Maryland, College Park, earning a degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism in 2009.

Current occupation: Reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

Learn more about her at her food blog for this particular paper at http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/blogs/blog.htm?bid=169&headerTitle=LocalVoracious. You can also follow her on Twitter @opp_uknowme or @CPomeroyFNP. She also keeps a blog of her own at http://courtneypomeroy.wordpress.com/.

Fact: She insists I will like the movie, “Moon.”

Tyler Hannah

Character he will be following: Pete Campbell

Education: Kent State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History; Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, earning a J.D. in Juris Doctor Law.

Current occupation: Senior Law Clerk to the Honorable John H. Pavlock, P.J. McKean County Court of Common Pleas, 48th Judicial District, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about him at … well, nowhere. He sort of hates social media.

Fact: He is the only person I know who can make an Old Fashioned that is drinkable.

Cristina Moreno

Character she will be following: Peggy Olson

Education: Manhattanville College.

Current occupation: A preschool teacher in Manhattan. She’s also a freelance writer who has appeared in such fantastic publications as www.examiner.com and the Dance Retailer News.

Learn more about her on Twitter at @cristinamoreno and you can visit her Tumblr page athttp://cristinamoreno.tumblr.com/. If any of that fails, you can also stop byhttp://www.cristinamoreno.com/.

Fact: We once exchanged a series of emails on the significance of Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris.”

You see what I did there? When in doubt, surround yourself with people much more credible and intelligent than you are and get out of the way. As I stated above, check back here every Friday for the next few months to read a different take on each week’s happenings. To the two-and-a-half people who might just actually do that, feel free to join the discussion at any time. With any luck, we might be able to dissect a few otherwise ignored points and plots through this experiment, and if nothing else, this can make up for all those “Breaking Bad” diatribes from months ago.

Now set that DVR, scour the Interwebs to find an acceptable stream or simply just sit down in front of your TV come Sunday night for the two-hour season premiere. And just in case you miss something, don’t worry — you now know of at least seven people who will be eager to update you on anything you may have accidentally let slip by your conscious. Drama. Booze. And sex. Get ready, friends. “Mad Men” is back.

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