Mad Men

Don DraperUnlike many pilots, where we dive headlong into action, meeting a spate of characters before the opening credits, Mad Men‘s “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”¬†asks us to sit down and¬†get to know its main character, Don Draper. We spend the pilot’s first six minutes with Don (Jon Hamm), not in the heat of battle on Madison Avenue, but in a quiet moment, alone in a bar. He scribbles thoughtfully on a napkin, mulling an idea. He launches an impromptu focus group of one with a waiter. He wants to know what motivates this guy–the average working man–to smoke the brand of cigarettes he smokes. (This brief encounter also gives us taste of 1960s culture vis-a-vis race, but more on that later.) Continue reading