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