Q&A – Mental Health Consultant Hilary Jacobs Hendel

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As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in trauma, Hilary Jacobs Hendel knows all about people’s inner demons. That’s why Matthew Weiner tapped her to offer psychological consulting for Mad Men. 

Q: What was Matthew Weiner looking for from you as a consultant?

A: Mostly in the first season, he needed advice on the credibility of the scenes with the psychiatrist. He wants everything to be authentic, so we would talk about the characters to make sure that it made sense why Betty was having a certain symptoms, like with her hands feeling numb. I would walk through what a possible history might be for her. And then he would also just want the dialogue to be accurate — he’d send me the script to check what the psychiatrist was saying and how he was reacting.

Q: What’s going on with Betty’s psychiatrist? He never talks.

A: Well that’s how it was back in 1960. Freudian analysis was pretty much the only thing there was. Back then an analyst would say very little with the idea of being a blank slate, as neutral as possible so that anything that emerged in the treatment, anything that the patient brought in, was really from themselves.

Q: How do you treat a patient you don’t speak to?

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Introducing The Mad Men Scrapbook

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Sometimes the simplest objects can be loaded with complex meaning: a Valentine’s Day card from your daughter, an inscribed book of poetry, your basic keepsake… These humble mementos carry great value despite their low market value. Periodically, the Mad Men blog will spotlight just such type of objects from the previous weeks’ episodes. Click through the Mad Men Scrapbook to see the select objects from Episode 1: “For Those Who Think Young.”

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The Mad Men Fashion File – Betty’s Daughter One-ups Peggy and Joan

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This weekly look at the fashion of Mad Men is written by Faran Krentcil, the founder of Fashionista.com who currently works at Nylon and Page Six Magazine. Faran promises to try and use a photo of Joan in every post.

I love watching Mad Men for its shard-sharp writing, its class warfare, its trapped characters, and its flagrant use of cigarettes. But the truth is, I can also watch with the sound off and The Stones playing. Why? Because I’m totally and completely obsessed with the clothes.

This season starts, quite literally, on its ass.

The first shot is Joan’s “Valentine heart” of a booty, swathed in red satin and swaying dangerously close to the camera. From a fashion standpoint, the effect was a sewn-up stun gun — we don’t get many curves on runways these days, and this butt in this dress was unreal. Actually, maybe it was a little too real, but either way — incredible. I’d be lying if I said your bottom could look that good without genetics and/or a personal trainer, but there are ways to fake it:

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1960s Handbook – Xerox 914

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The 1960s Handbook takes a closer look at the cultural references that appear in each week’s episode of Mad Men.

Thanks to Chester Carlson, office life got a whole lot easier in the 1960s. He’s the man behind the first ever automatic, plain paper, office copier: The Xerox 914.

Today, the 914 is an artifact in the Smithsonian but in 1962 it represented a revolution in office work. When you recall previous duplication methods, it’s not surprising that “Xerox “became synonymous with “copy.” Care to mix chemicals before you make a copy? That’s what users of the old Contura had to do. Perhaps you had time to wait for your copies to dry — that was another problem with certain duplication methods.

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Season 2 Episode 1 Trivia Quiz

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You aced the Mad Men Season 1 Ulimate Fan Quiz but are you paying as close attention this time around with Season 2? AMCtv.com is rolling out weekly episodic quizzes to see just how attentive you’re being to a show that’s got a rep for being attentive to detail. Once you’ve finished the ten questions, take an additional challenge and respond to the bonus question in the comments section. Answer correctly and you’ll be entered into a random drawing for a Season 1 DVD set..

Bonus Question: In 1962, what soda used the following slogan: For those who think young

Filed under: Games, Polls & Quizzes

1960s Handbook – The Savoy-Plaza Hotel

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The 1960s Handbook takes a closer look at the cultural references that appear in each week’s episode of Mad Men.

Bookending the southeast corner of Central Park, the Savoy-Plaza was an architectural tour de force rising 33 stories above the ground and housing nearly one thousand rooms. Its masculine, geometric design embodied Art Deco’s marriage between man and machine, featuring cubist buttresses, arched entrances, and a Tudoresque slant roof with twin chimneys. In its heyday, the Savoy-Plaza was considered a triumph of 1920s prosperity; it weathered the financial hardships of the Great Depression, and within four years of its completion, was joined by two taller, lither hotel counterparts, the Sherry-Netherlands and The Pierre.

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1960s Handbook – Jackie Kennedy’s White House Tour

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The 1960s Handbook takes a closer look at the cultural references that appear in each week’s episode of Mad Men.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s Valentine’s Day tour of the newly-restored White House was a major media event in 1962, drawing 56 million viewers and earning the First Lady an honorary Emmy. The one-hour broadcast of A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy aired on all three major networks and was the “first primetime documentary to explicitly court a female audience,” according to Professor Michael Curtin of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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Online Chat With Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner

Matthew-Weiner_560x330.jpgMad Men creator Matthew Weiner answered fan questions after the Season 2 premiere on this Sunday night. Read the full transcript below.

10:53:02 PM – Ron Johnson of New York, NY: Which Mad Men character do you identify with the most? Meaning, which character is most autobiographical?

10:59:01 PM – Matthew Weiner: I like to think that they are all fragments of my personality, but in the end, I’m probably most like Peggy. Although I wish I was Don. I’m perennially the new girl, I’m a pretty earnest person always shocked by bad behavior. But Don is all of our ids, I think. I have a lot in common with him, but I think I wish that I could live with indulging my needs. And I envy his confidence.

11:02:30 PM – Ashley: What is the most ridiculous claim or prediction you’ve heard about the series?

11:03:12 PM – Matthew Weiner: Wow. I heard a prediction that Don was Jewish. Although, thematically, I understand it. I set Jews up through Rachel Menken as being outsiders and somewhat existential. And I spent a lot of time worrying as Season 1 unfolded, “Did I ever say he wasn’t Jewish?” But in the end, his role is much more complex than simply hiding his religion. I think that’s the most ridiculous thing. Plotwise, I don’t know.

11:04:44 PM – Holly Brockman: Who are your favorite authors and which ones have heavily influenced your work?

11:05:52 PM – Matthew Weiner: I like a variety of writers in different form. Certainly, John Cheever has been very influential. Arthur Miller, JD Salinger. Why? Because they have an incredible interest in humanity and how we react to challenges, disappointments, and family. The literature referenced in the show gives a great reference to the small moments in life that become huge after they pass. Stories become less about the world in a general sense and more about the individuals that we surround ourselves with. I try and live in that world of social rules being broken and twisted for our individual dream.

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Snag It – Episode 2 Sneak Peek

Take a sneak peek at Mad Men Episode 2: Flight 1

Put a sneak peek of Episode 2 on your blog:

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Inside Mad Men – For Those Who Think Young

Mad Men series creator Matt Weiner and the cast of the show take inventory of where everyone’s lives have picked up after the end of last season, and where the series will go from here.

Put this video of Inside Mad Men – For Those Who Think Young on your blog:

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