Bryan Batt Press - GQ
GQ Magazine
GQ Magazine, December 2007

Men of the Year

Cast of 'MAD MEN' Instant Classic

GQ
Clockwise from top left: John Slattery, Bryan Batt, Robert Morse, Vincent Kartheiser
Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks

Eventually we will all know the legend of Mad Men: how seven years ago, Matthew Weiner wrote a script about a midcentury Manhattan advertising firm and sent it to a man who knew a thing or two about complex, deeply compartmentalizing men (and the women around them), Sopranos creator David Chase. He was quickly hired.

"I was a failed poet in college," says Weiner, the 42-year-old writer-creator-visionary behind Mad Men, the smartest and most compelling television show of the year. "I thought I'd written some good poems, but the guy who read my manuscript my senior year told me I'd never be a writer. David made me believe in myself as a writer."

Ah yes. The Sopranos. In a year that was supposed to be all about The End of T., along came Mad Men and its fantastically American protagonist, creative wizard Don Draper. Draper (played by Jon Hamm) is one part Jay Gatsby, one part Frank Wheeler from Revolutionary Road, and one part Bob Slocum from Something Happened. In the self-created Draper and the other guys who roam the Sterling Cooper agency in Manhattan in 1960, we have at last a television show that not only all too faithfully captures men's yearning for reinvention and escape but also speaks about it on a level that deserves to be called literature. What Weiner has created isn't just a television masterpiece - it's an epic poem for our age. -MICHAEL HAINEY

Photo credit: Mark Seliger
costumes designed by katherine jane bryant. assistant costume designer: allison leach.
special thanks to repeat performance.