Mad Men (2007–2015)
9.0/10
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7 user 15 critic

The Wheel 

Don and Betty Draper have an argument when it becomes apparent that he doesn't want to spend Thanksgiving with her family and she plans on going only with the children. He also learns some ... See full summary »

Director:

Matthew Weiner

Writers:

Matthew Weiner (created by), Matthew Weiner | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Hamm ... Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss ... Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser ... Pete Campbell
January Jones ... Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks ... Joan Holloway
Bryan Batt ... Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis ... Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton ... Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer ... Harry Crane
Maggie Siff ... Rachel Menken (credit only)
Robert Morse ... Bertram Cooper
Anne Dudek ... Francine Hanson
Katherine Boecher ... Annie
Alison Brie ... Trudy Campbell
James Keane ... Night Manager
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Storyline

Don and Betty Draper have an argument when it becomes apparent that he doesn't want to spend Thanksgiving with her family and she plans on going only with the children. He also learns some information about his brother Adam. Pete Campbell confirms that he has landed an account from his father-in-law for a new skin care product called Clearasil. He objects however when Don gives the account to Peggy Olson, whom he has just promoted to junior copywriter. Peggy proves her mettle in auditions for the weight loss device but later is feeling unwell and goes to the hospital where she is given some shocking news. Don comes up with a brilliant presentation for Kodak on a new wheel-like storage device for a slide projector that he dubs The Carousel. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Betty's heartfelt confession to Glen in a wintry parking lot - with both characters wrapped up in heavy coats - was actually shot on one of the hottest days of the year. See more »

Goofs

When Betty places a call, a modern dual-tone dial tone is heard rather than the "buzz" dial tone in use in 1960. See more »

Quotes

Don Draper: Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there's the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old pro copywriter. Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is "new". Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of... calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It's ...
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Connections

Featured in The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

A Beautiful Mine
(uncredited)
Written by RJD2
Performed by RJD2
Series theme music played over opening credits
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User Reviews

 
Back to basics
28 August 2010 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Mad Men has repeatedly been described as the new Sopranos, a fact strengthened by its Golden Globe and Emmy success (the first season won Best Drama a year after David Chase's mob masterpiece had collected its final trophies). While the comparison is mostly due to creator Matthew Weiner's association with the HBO hit, it is spot-on in that Mad Men is a riveting, sharp look at a specific group of people, all with their secrets and aspirations, and the end of Season One confirms this from start to finish.

Plot-wise, Don isn't entirely happy, having just been in a fight with Peggy because he doesn't want to spend Thanksgiving with her and the kids. As far as work is concerned, however, all is well after Pete's blackmail plan failed (apparently, Bertram Cooper has no problem working with a guy who took a dead man's name). In fact, when the latter shows up with an account he got from his father-in-law (it's for a well-known product called Clearasil), Don shamelessly gives it to Peggy, who's quickly becoming a valuable asset within the agency. Her personal life is less perfect, though, as a trip to the doctor suddenly reveals...

The entire first season of the show was a pleasant surprise: hand in hand with an accurate portrayal of 1960s America and its workplace characteristics (casual sexism and racism, plus lots of drinking and smoking) came a stunning character drama, and the finale delivers the goods by resetting the status quo (Don's power over Pete) and at the same time looking to the future: some plot points - the Dick Whitman storyline - have been shelved (at least for now), while others (Salvatore's homosexuality, Peggy and Pete's affair, Betty's domestic troubles) are sure to be expanded upon in future episodes, thus making sure fans will come back to see how things play out.

Most important, of course, was the evolution of the characters, and while The Wheel doesn't give everyone the great moments they've enjoyed throughout the season, it's an excellent showcase for the talents of Hamm, Kartheiser and Moss, the latter rewarded with a plot twist whose payoff will surely be one of the high points of the second season. Staying in the female area, January Jones deserves credit for making Betty all the more complex than your usual '60s housewife, and Christina Hendricks is also fantastic as a woman who is much more than just a great piece of office eye-candy.

In short, the first season ends like it started: smart, stylish and drenched with emotion. Who would have thought Madison Avenue could be the center of such impressive storytelling? Certainly not HBO, which made the mistake of passing on one of the best TV treats of the decade. And as the old adage goes, this is just the beginning...


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