Matthew Weiner on Mad Men:
[M]y impetus in doing this show was to A) indulge my interest in how history affects people's lives, and B) deal with a piece of history that has been metabolized in a very specific way, in my lifetime.
You know, it's a golden age. It was the time that was talked about when I was growing up. I am Generation X. I grew up in the shadow of this thing. And the reality of it is, is that people's lives are always similar. You know what I mean? Yes, we have a black president, and history has changed, and it's an amazing thing that's happened in this country. But you know, babies are still born the same way. You know what I mean? People get divorced, people get married. Those things don't change.
So I was always interested, from the beginning, in showing the process of people going through tumultuous events, or going through history at all, and what is tumultuous and what isn't. And trying not to indulge the traditional, not just to revise it, but just to not tell the story that way. To tell the story more in the way it feels like it's happening.
Is it also a factor of the fact that these changes look dramatic in retrospect, but the day-to-day reality was much more gradual?
Absolutely. I do think that. Yeah. And I think that it's always like that: that there are things that are cataclysmic and really do have an influence on us. But there are events happening right now -- I use the example of GM going bankrupt (and that it) may be seen as the turning point in this economic crisis. But no one knows that now. Maybe next year it'll be declared that. And just because it's declared that doesn't mean it's true.
But history gets used to tell a certain story, and I'm always interested in the story of what it's like to live through these things. Sometimes we feel invested in politics, and sometimes people come along, young people come along, and they are invested and idealistic, and sometimes it's just people trying to be human beings. So that's really the story that I'm telling.