Behind Mad Men Are...Women

Women directed five of this season's 13 episodes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2009 2:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – The misogynists who populate Mad Men's character ranks might make you think otherwise, but seven of the show's nine writers are women—a rarity in Hollywood, where 80% of primetime programs in 2007-08 had no female writers. “A lot of people think women can only do women shows,” one female director tells the Wall Street Journal—but these women turn their cheated-on, discriminated-against female characters into complex, three-dimensional people.

Creator Matthew Weiner is a stickler for detail, encouraging his crew to get into the spirit of their 1960s show. In addition to recommended reading like Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl, one writer mined her parents’ love letters: “I said ‘Mom, it’s research, you have to find these letters and send them to me.’ I told her she could mark out anything that was too tawdry.”