How 'Mad Men' Gets Race Right -- And Sally Draper Is So Smart

Media coverage of the March 25 premiere of "Mad Men" has begun to heat up. Since  showrunner Matt Weiner is famously "paranoid" about anyone releasing any details about future programs (as Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall notes), writers have had to rely on speculation of what's coming -- or  analysis of past episodes.

The latter is the strategy most of the cast and Weiner take at the recent Paleyfest Mad Men panel, Sepinwall reports. He includes some good quips by stars like John Slattery (we love his take on the infamous blackface scene) -- and a look at how "Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper, once again proved herself to be more composed and articulate than many actors twice her age or more," according to Sepinwall.

Meanwhile in a thoughtful, two-part post on Slate,  Tanner Colby both speculates and analyzes. First he posits that rather than ignoring racial issues in past episodes, as most critics have thought, "Mad Men" has been "an accurate depiction of the perverse relationship that existed between blacks and Madison Avenue at the time." Then Colby forecasts that race may very well become a much more fundamental part of the show's new seasons.

To be quite fair, we have to credit a column by Ad Age's Ken Wheaton for alerting us to the existence of the Colby piece.

Read the whole story at Slate »
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