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Mad Men of the "future": If the show took place in the 2000s


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#1

PRgal

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 12:02 PM

What do you think the characters would be like?

#2

Scaramanga

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 12:15 PM

Cool premise!

Off the top of my head, Roger would have fought in Grenada or Panama, and Don in Desert Fox or Kosovo. Bobby would probably be on Ritalin. Sal would be out of the closet and Roger would be divorced.

(Edited because there's apparently no such place as "Grenaba.")

Edited by Scaramanga, Aug 22, 2008 @ 12:15 PM.


#3

Lupe

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 12:30 PM

Bobby would be on Adderall.

#4

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 2:54 PM

Paul would be into hip hop.

Betty would still be crazy, shrill and unfulfilled because she's chauffeuring the kids to their various activities all over Westchester County.

#5

Constantinople

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 3:20 PM

Harry would be made Head of On-Line Advertising instead of Television.

Menken's would have been bought out by a larger retailer (or been forced to close).

Don would have a hell of a lot of explaining to do when no one could reach him on his cellphone after Ken brought the Utz family to the office.

#6

PRgal

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 4:37 PM

Sal would be out of the closet and Roger would be divorced.


I could see Sal being out to the people at work, but not necessarily to his (more traditional) family.

Edited by PRgal, Aug 22, 2008 @ 4:38 PM.


#7

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 5:07 PM

I can see them having a sideline....a website called "Television without Pity."

#8

eavj

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 5:20 PM

Harry would be made Head of On-Line Advertising


Ha. I misread this. I thought you were saying Harry would be in charge of Head-On.

Apply directly to the forehead.

I'm pretty sure that there would be no election night party if this were set in the 2000s. In particular, I can't imagine the whole running-down-the-secretaries-to-check-out-the-color-of-their-underwear thing.

I doubt there would be many secretaries in the agency, come to think of it.

#9

TheSundanceKid

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 9:15 PM

Betty would still be crazy, shrill and unfulfilled because she's chauffeuring the kids to their various activities all over Westchester County.


And much less likable, as she wouldn't be able to use the gender restraints/traditional roles as an excuse.

#10

PRgal

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Posted Aug 22, 2008 @ 9:44 PM

I'm pretty sure that there would be no election night party if this were set in the 2000s. In particular, I can't imagine the whole running-down-the-secretaries-to-check-out-the-color-of-their-underwear thing.


But possibly more women in middle management (Joan could very well be one of these) who aren't that nice to admin. Mean Girls are a reality in the workforce these days.

#11

poppy82

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Posted Aug 23, 2008 @ 12:43 AM

If it were taking place in 2000s, Joan, Betty and Peggy, even Lois, would be in uncomfortably high heels Sex-and-the-Citying it up in Manhattan. There would be a lot more Petes in the office, and probably no Dons.

#12

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 5:15 AM

Peggy would be a summer intern while she's finishing up her bachelor's degree at Brooklyn College. Although there are exceptions, I just don't think a reputable 2008 advertising agency would let a 22-year old girl have the sort of rank that Peggy achieved in 1962. Education expectations have changed a lot since then. Peggy would also have declared herself to be a vegetarian and an atheist, much to the dismay of her Catholic family.

Betty and Don would have been married for about three years, instead of eight. Betty would have hit her peak modeling career in the late 1990's/early 2000's, most notably with campaigns for A&F, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, and DKNY. At age 27, in 2005, Betty retired from the modeling world to marry Don Draper, a successful advertising executive about six years older than her. Now that she's 30 and he's 36, Don is pressuring Betty to have kids, but Betty is scared of getting fat and ruining her figure. They're now in the process of looking for a surrogate.

Rachel Menken would be dealing with the loss of her family department store to a merger with Macy's, and is attends college for a new career direction. She and Don start sleeping together after she attends an advertising class that Don taught over the summer at the local community college.

Joan would probably be in middle management at this point at Sterling and Copper. She gets some good power, but the problem is that's she's also a raging bulimic.

#13

Pintobean

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 10:43 AM

When Pete comes in to work on the weekend, he wears baggy cargo shorts and a ten-year-old concert tee.

Sal's long-time partner runs a trendy art gallery. They're planning a tasteful California wedding.

#14

Scaramanga

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 11:08 AM

Midge would have totally been a steampunk Goth girl.

#15

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 2:05 PM

At age 27, in 2005, Betty retired from the modeling world to marry Don Draper, a successful advertising executive about six years older than her. Now that she's 30 and he's 36, Don is pressuring Betty to have kids, but Betty is scared of getting fat and ruining her figure. They're now in the process of looking for a surrogate.


If Betty was a model in the late 90's early 00's I can only imagine how much more she would be obsessed with people's weight compared to the Betty of 1960-1962.

#16

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 2:58 PM

Paul does spoken word poetry at a trendy coffee house. He's living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wishes he were Dave Eggers

The Sterling-Cooper boys are laughing at John McCain's ads comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

Joan doesn't care that she's not married. She's having too much fun being a vamp. She never missed an episode of Sex and the City.

Peter wouldn't have gotten the job at Sterling-Cooper. No one cares that he's a Dyckman. Instead, he becomes a "celebutante" like Paris Hilton.

Edited by FlorenceHarding, Aug 25, 2008 @ 2:58 PM.


#17

PRgal

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 3:11 PM

Joan doesn't care that she's not married. She's having too much fun being a vamp. She never missed an episode of Sex and the City.


And thinks she's Sam

#18

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Posted Aug 25, 2008 @ 8:58 PM

Sadly Joan is the fat girl and no one stands up and salutes. The men of SC have fallen prey to the ideal Manhattan woman: super skinny and clad in black. She does have an affair with Roger who is an avowed chubby chaser.

#19

Badger75

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Posted Aug 26, 2008 @ 2:53 PM

Sterling Cooper has been reorganized into Don Draper and Associates. Peggy is his office wife. Pete runs Accounts. Sal is in charge of Creative. There is a new guy down the hall that is making big noise with clients. Don is bugging his office and has a PI checking him out. Can't be too careful.

#20

Constantinople

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Posted Aug 26, 2008 @ 7:41 PM

Roger says who wouldn't vote for McCain, he's a naval war hero. Pete compares Obama to Elvis.

Joan writes her own blog advising women on how to catch a man.

Rachel marries a goy.

#21

PRgal

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Posted Sep 2, 2008 @ 1:07 PM

The Playtex Marilyn/Jackie comparison won't work today. Can think of tons of bad girl icons, but no good girl ones (Reese Witherspoon just won't work. She's not iconic enough)...

Edited by PRgal, Sep 2, 2008 @ 1:07 PM.


#22

peachfuzz

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Posted Sep 2, 2008 @ 2:07 PM

Our current culture is so crazy for nostalgia and irony and retro whatever right now (we're like a giant hipster ouroboros) that I think it would STILL be Jackie and Marilyn, and would have the same resonance - even more, since both women now have shades of tragedy associated with them.

I think the dichotomy is really this: sophisticate and sex-kitten. They both had a kind of surface wholesomeness/innocence, though, which makes the concept work...and none of our celebrities are anymore - they're all cast in the Angelina Jolie mode, all knowing and complex (or damaged, depending on how you think of it).

Julia Roberts is about the last REALLY big "wholesome" female actress I can think of.

#23

PRgal

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Posted Sep 2, 2008 @ 2:16 PM

Our current culture is so crazy for nostalgia and irony and retro whatever right now (we're like a giant hipster ouroboros) that I think it would STILL be Jackie and Marilyn, and would have the same resonance - even more, since both women now have shades of tragedy associated with them.

I think the dichotomy is really this: sophisticate and sex-kitten. They both had a kind of surface wholesomeness/innocence, though, which makes the concept work...and none of our celebrities are anymore - they're all cast in the Angelina Jolie mode, all knowing and complex (or damaged, depending on how you think of it).

Julia Roberts is about the last REALLY big "wholesome" female actress I can think of.


Thanks for bringing up Angelina. Cuz y'all know that Angelina would be the spokesceleb!

Also, are you saying that Reese isn't wholesome?

#24

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Posted Sep 3, 2008 @ 3:10 AM

Don Draper is a talented strategist who gets his start on a younger Sterling's successful gubernatorial bid in a small, New England state. He moves on to even bigger and better things, then comes back to urge his old friend to make a run for the White House. Sterling starts out as a dark horse candidate in the runup to the .... hmm... Republican? or Democratic?.... primary, and his classy silver coif and cabal of superhuman scriptwriters launch him onto the ticket as the party nominee. Can't really make the math match up with any major military campaigns... so I'll put Don as a wet behind the ears Marine paired with an equally inexperienced Lt. in some central American advisory mission, and and Roger can be the clean cut Navy pilot circa the Hot Shots era.

Pete is the talented but irritating Ivy League wunderkind who manages the staff. Peggy is the campaign volunteer who becomes his the go-to executive assistant and unrequited love interest (sort of). Duck is brought on as an image consultant who can do wonders for his clients, but is a mess himself. Roger has him fired. Cooper is a grumpy veteran senator and long-time party whip who initially treats the President like a junior partner and expects the red carpet rolled out to meet him (but after Don parries a few power plays, Sterling puts him in his place with a wry grin and the perfect bon mot/reposte.

Joan... Joan is the communications director with the smoking hot body and the oh-too-cool glare that everyone wants and no one can have- she was ready to call it a campaign until Paul, the furry faced and affected but well-meaning reporter, confesses he's smitten and pursues her relentlessly until he breaks through her iron lady exterior and wins her... respect. Ken is Sterling's whip smart and eager young assistant, and Henry finds his calling in "creative" as a nebbish but gifted scriptwriter who alternately finds his craft an exciting challenge and an unbearable responsibility as he sees his words from Cooper's mouth manufacturing public opinion among the sheeple, and other unanticipated effects.


(Apologies to the West Wing... edited to add: and for not casting a Toby. No one can replace Toby.).

Edited by Res Novae, Sep 4, 2008 @ 5:29 AM.


#25

PRgal

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Posted Sep 3, 2008 @ 2:02 PM

At age 27, in 2005, Betty retired from the modeling world to marry Don Draper, a successful advertising executive about six years older than her. Now that she's 30 and he's 36, Don is pressuring Betty to have kids, but Betty is scared of getting fat and ruining her figure. They're now in the process of looking for a surrogate.


January Jones was actually an AF model in the 1990s, according to IMDB.

Edited by PRgal, Sep 3, 2008 @ 2:02 PM.


#26

GeoBQn

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Posted Sep 3, 2008 @ 3:21 PM

I think the dichotomy is really this: sophisticate and sex-kitten. They both had a kind of surface wholesomeness/innocence, though, which makes the concept work...and none of our celebrities are anymore - they're all cast in the Angelina Jolie mode, all knowing and complex (or damaged, depending on how you think of it).


That's funny, I was about to say that the dichotomy today would be "Are you a Jennifer or an Angelina?" Seriously, I think that was a Cosmo quiz.

#27

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Sep 4, 2008 @ 10:44 AM

Cooper is a grumpy veteran senator and long-time party whip who initially treats the President like a junior partner and expects the red carpet rolled out to meet him (but after Don parries a few power plays, Sterling puts him in his place with a wry grin and the perfect bon mot/reposte.


I like this idea, except I would make Cooper the wise experienced president, and Sterling, his younger, less experienced but charming, womanizing vice-president.

#28

MethodActor05

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Posted Sep 4, 2008 @ 5:49 PM

January Jones was actually an AF model in the 1990s, according to IMDB.


Yeah, that's why I picked it. January Jones' look in the 1990's would have translated to stuff like Tommy Girl, J. Crew, and AF...I don't think she could have done 90's Era Calvin Klein, though. She doesn't look like a strung-out heroin addict. I think she could have done DKNY, though, but I think that's as close to high fashion as she could have gotten. Probably wouldn't have made it in the European fashion market...her look is too wholesome and all-American for that.

Betty would probably be fighting like mad to keep her weight down to allow her to stay in her perfect size 0 True Religion skinny jeans. Hence why I think she'd be very likely to want to use a surrogate, or induce labor early to avoid weight gain.

Ken would have never been at Sterling-Cooper, as he would still be in jail for having sex with a 16-year old girl he met on Myspace, who he claimed said she was 18.

And yeah, I think it would be Jennifer or Angelina...you can say they're not as iconic as Marilyn and Jackie O, but I think that's what most people would respond to these days.

I'm now picturing an ad with a model dressed up as Rachel Greene holding a DKNY shopping bag on one side, and Lisa Rowe holding a pen to her throat on the other.

Edited by MethodActor05, Sep 4, 2008 @ 5:59 PM.


#29

PRgal

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Posted Sep 4, 2008 @ 10:32 PM

I'm now picturing an ad with a model dressed up as Rachel Greene holding a DKNY shopping bag on one side, and Lisa Rowe holding a pen to her throat on the other.


Lara Croft might work better, though. I don't know how many people saw Girl, Interrupted.

Edited by PRgal, Sep 4, 2008 @ 10:33 PM.


#30

Res Novae

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Posted Sep 5, 2008 @ 12:17 AM

Well... clever as the Mad Men are, the West Wing was populated by super-geniuses. I figured Don's dark past would loan itself better to an analogy to an in-recovery Chief of Staff who is also an ex-spook. As for Cooper, I put him into the Bartlett role because Bartlett had to be goaded into making a real run at the White House, he was kind of eccentric, though good at his work, and he was- you know, the boss. Cooper as the exec with Don as the rock behind the scenes who keeps him propped up.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, Mad Men in the 1990's would be easy. Sterling Cooper is an IT start up with a gorgeous office, full of foosball and free Snapple, in the San Francisco Bay area. But they're in a market where people want web integration and flash animation and interconnecthyperactivity, and Don's pushing for them to stay true to their roots- creating solid, stable platforms with elegant interfaces for database operations. The rest is gimmickry, he says- a distraction, not a product.

Cooper's the eccentric genius who started the place and expects everyone else to run it with Sterling', who was the guy who got investors to buy in on the business plan. Don's the head of the design division, Duck's the CFO. Joan runs the customer service center. Peggy's suggestions on how to improve customer satisfaction on the help desk land her a place on on the design team. Everyone pretty much lands in their usual places...

And then the 90's end, their vested stock options are barely worth the paper their and everyone decides that IT's future involves outsourcing everything offshore... so they start investing in real estate.

Well everyone except a motley crew of young talent who decide to risk everything on video games... and hire on at this little start-up gaming company called Bungie.

Not that I am looking forward to this show ending... but accepting it's inevitable at some point... you know how it's already kind of odd to see photos or video of the actors outside their heavily styled period outfits, looking strangely normal in regular street clothes... producing a few skits along the lines of "Mad Men in other career fields/ work environments" and letting the cast take on other times/jobs (serious or tongue-in-cheek) would be the best boxed-set DVD extra ever.