Mar 212012

We were there. It was awesome. They were marvelous. Everyone was gorgeous. I asked a question at 123:40. Please to enjoy.

TimesTalks: The Creator & Cast of Mad Men from The New York Times ‘TimesTalks’ on


  19 Responses to “Here’s the video–Matt & Cast (and me and Deb!) Times Talk”

  1. Great question and you look great!

  2. I may still lead with this for the Basket of News. it’s pretty filled with awesome. In fact, emailed Deborah I was watching this even before I learned you two were in it.

  3. …and the random quote on my page now? “This is ridiculous. If I’m going to die, I want to die in Manhattan.”

  4. I enjoyed this one a bit more than Paley, it was much more relaxed and I love how they devoted time to examining each character.

  5. Hello Lipp ladies! Deborah, what was your question going to be, and did you get a chance to ask it afterwards?

  6. They have mad respect for you and the site… which is very cool. Congrats, and great question.

  7. Wow, wonder how many fans tried to download the live stream, that their feed crashed so badly. It was a terrible disappointment at first to sit there watching the thing buffer and buffer. I’m so glad they offered a free viewing to make up for the disaster. Watched the last 1/3 live and then spent another 1 1/2 hours viewing the whole thing.

    It was great to see you at the mike– wish they had time for even more questions.

  8. Gypsy, it was so great to meet you!

    My question was, at first, exactly what the blond woman asked: How does Joan justify being married to Greg?

    After I reformulated to ask Christina why she thinks people respond so strongly to Joan.

    We didn’t get a chance to go backstage, and didn’t get a chance for after-chat with anyone but Matt.

  9. Great to meet you two ladies too. As for how Joan could have married Greg, I thought Matt put it pretty plainly “He’s good looking and he’s a doctor.”

    I thought Christina’s answer was interesting too- she doesn’t necessarily see Joan as being weak and submissive in her marriage. Joan definitely has an “I’m going to find a way to make this WORK, dammit” approach to it, however unworthy we feel Greg is of her.

    I thought it was interesting that one of the questioners last night says she “hates” all the characters. There are many (all?) who are infuriating at times, but I can’t say I ever hate them.* There are things I love about all of them. One of the great things about the show is that it does force you to see things from the perspective of the character, and within their own frame of reference, I usually feel some empathy for their actions. Well, except for Don marrying (or does he?) Megan. I still can’t grasp that one.

    Can’t wait til Sunday. Again, fun meeting you two.

    And now for my prediction for S5.1 – 2: We find out why Don and Megan DON’T get married.

  10. wow just watched the hour and l/2 show….you can find it on the Time’s site…Fabulous…Deborah, you were SWELL – good going!!!!

  11. I’m watching the stream now. Where is the part where Joan talks about her marriage to Greg? I didn’t see it.

    Also it’s amazing that you got a shoutout from Matt (and put a face to your amazing site!). He loves you guys!

    • A blonde woman asks a question about 2 or 3 people before Roberta. I think questions start around 1.00, Roberta is at 1.23, so she’s probably around 1.10.

  12. I think Joan finally had a doctor, and she wasn’t going to let him go no matter what. If her man wasn’t exactly who she wanted him to be, and I suspect a rapist isn’t what she dreamed of, then it was her job to mold him. She did a pretty good job guiding him, helping him prepare for interviews, being a wonderful hostess, but if the core materials you’re working with are substandard, there is only so much you can do. I think my favorite Joan moment is when Greg is whining about how she doesn’t know what it’s like to want and hope for something your whole life and have it not work out. Yes, it’s great when she whacks him with the vase, but the look on her face right before she does it is priceless. You can almost hear her internal dialogue. “Ok that’s IT!”

  13. I appreciated MW’s somewhat stark answer to that Joan question. Greg’s handsome and he’s a doctor. Simple, and what I tend to value most, non-judgemental. I really appreciate this approach to his characters.

    I got the impression the audience may have found that answer insufficient or maybe insensitive to a complex character; there seemed to be an awkward silence in there and then he fleshed his answer out a bit. I need to re-watch it. (Anyone who was in the room please feel free to comment!) But there didn’t seem to be any time to follow it up I guess.

    It seems sometimes Joan and Greg receive a lot of criticism from us, the enlightened citizenry of the Greatest Civilization, priveleged to be looking back at them from the 21st century.

    It’s nothing new, but it still seems useful to remember that they exist in a time within a society that generally believes in the inevitability, and thus the acceptance, or at least the toleration, of twisted ideas like that one of the “bad date” because “boys will be boys” and “they can’t control themselves”. The Patriarchy inculcated many unjust rules of privilege and subordination in both men and women, as it still does. A person accepts and plays by those rules to remain a part of the group, to achieve other things, or rejects those rules, if and when one can, and deals with the possibility of being considered different, the Other. That’s a tough decision for an individual to make. It feels unfair to me to judge such a choice.

    Joan got it in her head, at probably a very young age, that a handsome doctor was something she should strive to acquire. He would be the embodiment of “fulfillment”. She probably wasn’t encouraged to aim higher or aim differently, to see beyond that narrative, or like as Gene explains regretfully too late to Betty (or Sally I forget which at the moment), to know what was possible. It feels unfair to judge her, or Greg either, for not being more like us or more than she was expected to be.

    Fun video, thanks for the link.

    • I was going to reply, but you said it so much better…

      OK, ladies, everyone who has ever had intercourse when you really didn’t want to, raise your hands. Of course it was wrong of Greg to force Joan as he did; but of course she mentally balanced that (hopefully singular) incident against all the good things she wanted out of the relationship. If she broke up with him because of this, she’d be back in the hunt, trying to find another man to provide the perfect life.

      And while we’re viewing Joan and Greg through our enlightened 2012 eyes, consider that Joan committed domestic violence when she bonked him with the vase. Nowadays, he could have her arrested for that.

      • OK, ladies, everyone who has ever had intercourse when you really didn’t want to, raise your hands.

        ruthie, there is a MASSIVE difference between sucking up and doing something you don’t really want to (like seeing a romance when you had your heart set on action/adventure) and being raped. Joan said no repeatedly, fought physically, and was pinned down.

        Yes, she convinced herself to accept it. No she didn’t use the word rape. But to minimize it in the way you do in the quote above is something I find deeply offensive.

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