We’ve hinted at this to-die-for Mad Men news here and there, but now it’s all official-like, and we are so excited about this we could plotz.
Available now for pre-order, with a release date of November 10th, is Mad Men Carousel: The Complete Critical Companion by Matt Zoller Seitz. With a whole lot of material contributed by us.
You totally want to buy this book.
If you don’t know who Matt Zoller Seitz is (TW: @mattzollerseitz) he is a first class film and television critic (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism–yes that’s an actual thing) as well as a best-selling author. He is the TV critic for New York Magazine and Vulture.com. You know RoberEbert.com? That’s MZS behind the wheel as editor-in-chief. Except it’s not a wheel, it’s a carousel.
This book is quite an achievement. It is a functional and engaging companion for any viewer, whether first-timer or repeat binge-watcher. It includes all 92 of Matt’s recaps (Zoller Seitz, not Matt Weiner–which makes things confusing around here)–and that’s the modern definition of a recap, with less play-by-play and more color. In addition to the recaps/reviews, there are hundreds of footnotes. The footnotes are divided into two sections–the spoilery stuff is isolated so new viewers remain in a safe zone. There is almost no limit to the kinds of things covered in these footnotes. They offer historical background, context, or insights which range from actual era-based events, to references within the show—”When Don says X here, it reminds us of that time he says Y to Peggy”–to anachronisms and timeline snafus; background information on the actors, etc. Deborah and I contributed a great deal of these, pulling from our own Basket essays and recaps, and writing new content as we worked–all of which will find its way into the blog.
Additionally, there is a grand timeline; a visual display of the 10-year span* covered by Mad Men, pinpointing (as best as possible) historical and cultural occurrences alluded to, mentioned, or happening during/influencing the series. Deborah and I worked on this as well, tapping into various sections of this very blog as a resource.
*[And before and after as needed –Deborah]
We also did a general fact-check of the book–it is almost scary how much we know about this show, and when in doubt, we’ve already cataloged the research–our episode guide and quotes section were a huge help here.
The book also has original poems, illustrations–it’s just chock full o’ awesome.
Basket of Kisses began its relationship with Matt Zoller Seitz when he invited Deborah to do Monday morning recaps at the beginning of Season 5 for IndieWire’s Pressplay, their video essay blog, of which Seitz is publisher and co-founder. Deborah went on to recap Falling Skies for Pressplay as well. Deborah and Kevin B. Lee also co-created a Mad Men Moments series of video essays; Roberta did voiceover work on three of the six essays.
So, buy this book. You will love it. Buy it for the Mad Men fans in your life; buy it for that friend who keeps saying they’re going to finally watch it. It is going to be a wonder to behold.