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Mad Men

Timeless: How ‘Mad Men’ changed history on television

In 1972 the Robert Altman film M*A*S*H was turned into a weekly half-hour situation comedy series. In retrospect I’m stunned that anybody thought to make this. The landscape of television comedy was cluttered with novelty premises and perfect families dealing with contrived scenarios which always, always resolved in a happy freeze-frame. There was no sense […]

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Mad Men

This Is The End: ‘Mad Men’ at the Museum of the Moving Image

Mad Men begins its final season on AMC next Sunday, April 5th. If you live in New York, this has been bludgeoned into your brain though city-sponsored banners, ‘60s era dining specials and even a Mad Men-themed bench in front of the Time & Life Building.  There’s also a fine new exhibition at the Museum of the […]

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Pop Culture

The history of NYC in eight pop culture moments from 2014

In our 2014 Year In Review podcast, we didn’t have much time to talk about notable pop cultural events that depicted New York City history.  But here’s a recap a few films and television shows which used the city’s history in their narratives. I’ve arranged them in the chronological order in which they’ve been set: […]

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Bowery Boys

History on television: new Boardwalk Empire, Copper petition, PLUS: Bowery Boys improvements on the way!

Frank and Al Capone, with Nelson Van Alden (played by Michael Shannon), at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works in Cicero, although I suspect this was actually filmed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (Courtesy HBO)BOARDWALK EMPIRE: I’ve been up to my regular Sunday Tweet-alongs with historical-based television shows, this time around following the newest season of Boardwalk […]

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Mad Men Pop Culture

‘Mad Men’ ends this Sunday, and ‘Copper’ begins, but war and assassinations unite both

WARNING The article contains a couple light spoilers about the current season ‘Mad Men’ on AMC and a few on last season’s ‘Copper’ on BBC America.   While 1968 comes to a close on Sunday night with the season finale of ‘Mad Men‘, another version of New York history returns on another channel. ‘Copper‘, starting […]

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Mad Men

In Central Park, heated reactions to the assassination of Martin Luther King, while business booms at movie theaters

WARNING The article contains a couple light spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC.  If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode.  But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the 1960s and can be read even by those who don’t watch the […]

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Friday Night Fever

Recollections of the Electric Circus: “If you remembered much of what happened, you weren’t really there.”

The interior of the Electric Circus on St. Mark’s Place. Pic courtesy Christian Montone/flickrWARNING The article contains a couple light spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC.  If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode.  But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: New York City on January 31, 1968

A press photo from Hair, the hottest show in town in early 1968, photographer Kenn DuncanWARNING The article contains a couple light spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC.  If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode.  But these posts are about a specific element of New York […]

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Mad Men

Odds and ends: Mad Men, NY Observer and great books!

Drinks with the Drapers: we may see the end of 1967 in the opening episode. (courtesy AMC)‘Mad Men’ Season 6 begins this Sunday 9EST.  If you’re a fan of late ’60s New York and American pop culture from that period, follow along with me on Twitter at @boweryboys.  As I do with ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and […]

City of debauchery: New York history and Sunday night TV

Party at Pompadou’s Bordello: Cocktails and carousing on ‘Copper’ Courtesy BBC America My first ever column for the Huffington Post is available to read on their site. I look at the different ways that three Sunday night ‘prestige’ shows — BBC America’s Copper, AMC’s Mad Men, and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — approach the task of […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: New York City and electroshock therapy

Modern Mechanix celebrates an exciting new use for electricity! (Courtesy the great Modern Mechanix blog) WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The 1960s enlightenment of New York’s natural history museum leaves taxidermy in the past

WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the 1960s and can be read even by those who don’t watch the show […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Hare Krishna blossoms in the East Village

Prabhupada in his early days in New York (Courtesy the Hare Krishna Movement blog) WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Between Julia Child and Weight Watchers

WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But these posts are about a specific element of New York history from the 1960s and can be read even by those who don’t watch the show […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: The delirious world of Off-Off-Broadway

Radical thoughts, limited spaces: a performance at the Caffe Cino. Photo by Ben Martin (from an excellent website by Robert Patrick about this important off-off-Broadway site)  WARNING The article contains a couple spoilers about last night’s ‘Mad Men’ on AMC. If you’re a fan of the show, come back once you’re watched the episode. But […]