Oct 292008

Just for the record, I’m at the bottom of page seven of my transcription and I’m not at the halfway point yet. And I have a day job. So here it is, middle of the freakin’ night, and I’m just done.

You’re getting excerpts to tease and excite and enthrall you. More to come soon. Really.

About Basketcases:
Matt Weiner: I was saying, I was talking to Linda afterwards [after our finale party] and I was saying, everyone’s so smart. It’s literally like your fantasy of an audience, it really is. I love it.
Roberta Lipp: Well good. It’s been an honor to be the people to pull that together.
Deborah Lipp: You’ve created a literary audience.
MW: That makes me very happy.

About music on the show:
MW: I have a great composer and I get to pick good songs. For 26 episodes I have not exhausted my iPod yet, I’m very happy.
RL: Nice. Great.
MW: I’ve been collecting music for a long time, and I know the period, and I know the period before it. I like to be able to go all over the place.
RL: Yeah, I love a lot that you’re not married to the year that it’s set in. I hate that on TV.
MW: I do too! And I always hear people, “Why was The Decemberists in there?” And I’m like, it’s not on the radio, why shouldn’t I be able to use it? It, it’s such a kickass song and it’s exactly about what’s going on there.

About what Peggy says to Pete in the finale:
MW: She tells him that story about losing things and about being a human being. Trying to explain to him that feelings go away, and things change in your life, and you lose innocence, and you lose things you care about. It’s a very general speech. It’s not about the baby.
DL and RL together: Right.
RL: But it was perfectly analogous to the baby.
MW: I’ll be very honest with you, my wife wrote that speech. She thought it one night and said it to me, and I carried it around. It was like, ‘Is Don going to say this?’
DL: [laughs] No.
MW: And then I thought, this is a female concept, like maybe Betty will say this. I think Betty is going to say this to Don when he comes back.
RL: Wow.
MW: And then I thought, no. And when we were in the middle of that scene, Kater [Gordon] and I were working on that scene, and Kater did the first draft of that scene, she did an amazing job with me on the whole episode, and it was like, this is where it goes. It’s so eloquent and at the same time so vague, that emotionally you just get everything that’s going on in her.

About Don and Peggy:
MW: Isn’t it great that Don has relationships with people that are not sexual? Isn’t it great?

About Betty as a mother:
MW: Betty is not perfect. And she is too young to have that job, I’ve always felt that way. She may be too much of a narcissist to be a mom. She may not have been meant to have children.


  26 Responses to “Matt Weiner Interview: Some highlights”

  1. Dear Matt,

    We really want to meet Linda. Maybe when you all come to our mom's seder.


    PS Deborah has instructed me never to bring that seder thing up again, but I've ignored her instructions.

  2. Wow! Very impressive interview. He seems like a great guy. And the Lipp sisters continue to amaze me to no end. Wonderful work.

    Can't wait for the rest of the interview.

  3. Oh, and by the way, I love the 'when we're happy, we squeak' tagline. I used to have a cat I named Squeaky. She didn't really meow- it sounded like a squeak instead.

    I told people that she was so happy being my pet that she squeaked instead of a normal meow.

    She was a wonderful cat.

  4. I may have exaggerated just a wee little bit with the "about Basketcases" heading. He may have meant to include his other fans as well.

  5. Deb, maybe. But he was definitely talking about the party and the conversations he was having with the attendees.

  6. I love hearing that Matt picks out the music! I have The Infanta on my iPod as my wakeup song, thanks to Mad Men.

    If Matt's listening — or for any Basketcases — I'd suggest checking out the new Boz Scaggs album. (Yes, the guy who sang "Lido.") It's all songs from the 50s and 60s, things written/recorded by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne. It's a very cool, sexy album, and people would go, "is that Boz Scaggs???" if they hear it.

  7. Good stuff!

  8. @Scott #8 O.M.G! Say it isn't so!

  9. Guys, it really isn't so. I'll post more tonight, but this is normal negotiation stuff.

    Everyone breathe.

  10. MW is worth more than twice as much as he is reportedly asking for. He is creating a rare TV classic. The show is already making its way into pop culture, ie. The Simpsons Halloween episode coming up this weekend. This will build over the years as well, if they don't manage to mess it up. I hope Lionsgate gets their act together and shows him how much they appreciate what he's doing for them.

  11. *SQUEE*

    (very smart, articulate squee)

  12. I don't know. I couldn't believe it when the Bulls lost Phil Jackson. I could have handled loosing Jordan, Pippin, Rodman, and others–but loose Phil! How could they stand to loose Phil? Krause and his f#%@in' ego, that's how!


    Please God, make the evil bean-counters go away.

    At least Phil is doing well with the Lakers now. 🙁

  13. I didn't like it when they used the Decembrists, but then again, the theme song is a kick-ass hip-hop song by Aceyalone and RJD2.

  14. Max, I was just talking about Phil Jackson the other day, which is weird because I don't follow sports. But when I was a girl, Jackson played with the Knicks, and I did follow basketball in those days. They called him "Coathanger" because he had such bony shoulders.

  15. The way he sprinkles in non-period music is actually one of my favorite aspects of the show. Everyone complains that it's anachronistic, but I love how he sets the audience in the 60's time frame with the music, and then pulls us out with The Decembrists (or whomever) near the end, allowing us to reflect upon the events and themes from a contemporary perspective. It's one of the most subtle ways I can think of to guide the audience into the mentality of the period and back again.

  16. The non-period music was definitely a shock at first, because we just weren't used to it. But now, I totally agree that it works really well. And I knew that song before the episode, but after further examining the lyrics after watching – yeah, Weiner's totally right about how well it fits.

    Especially since the show seems to highlight the similarities of the period to modern day almost as much as the differences from the past to today.

    For further examples, see also: Marie Antoinette

  17. Oh lord, please don't compare "Mad Men" to "Marie Antoinette"! That movie was such a train wreck, with no plot, bad acting and poorly developed characters. "Mad Men" is anything but.

    I wasn't that crazy about the using the Decemberists either in that particular scene, but I was okay with it… I did like how they used the Cardigans last season.

    Roberta, that's a relief to hear that there's no reason to worry. Great site, by the way!

  18. One of the best musical aspects of the show is how they used Amy Winehouse last year – a very contemporary artist with such a throwback production/sound.

    Another in that vein would be Raphael Saadiq, whose sound is VERY Memphis/Stax /Motown/Detroit 60's soul, and would be a perfect fit for the mid-60's period the show will be entering.

  19. Yes, I loved the Amy Winehouse song! That was so brilliant. The song fit the show like a glove.

    I wonder if they'd think of using Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings?

  20. B.C. – Thanks for mentioning Raphael Saadiq. I like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, but I'd never heard of Saadiq, and I *love* his Stax sound.

  21. I highly recommend seeing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings live if you get the chance; it's a party. (And icydk, the Dap-Kings have also backed Winehouse on tour.)

    Fans of the retro-soul sound may also like James Hunter and Ryan Shaw. If you like it even funkier, try Van Hunt.

  22. kool – thx.

  23. Sharon Jones is great.

    I loved Marie Antoinette; I agreed with Ebert; Coppola was totally misunderstood.

  24. About what Peggy says to Pete…

    I think Peggy is a Buddhist! All things in life are impermanent and you have to accept the loss, and taste the bittersweet. Clinging to them is futile and causes suffering. The classic symbol of this notion is the cherry blossom.

  25. I usually like Ebert, but IMO I thought he was way off on Marie Antoinette. I was a big fan of Coppola before then too.

    YMMV, of course.

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