“Mad Men”: A Dear John letter


Everywhere I turn, I keep bumping into John Slattery.

Well, not literally, but turn on the TV and or head to the movies and there he is … again and again.

Slattery_2 He’s doing a stellar job as Roger Sterling, one of the partners of the Sterling Cooper ad agency in AMC’s pitch-perfect original series “Mad Men.” He’s also appeared in recent episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” played a Republican in the WB’s short-lived “Jack & Bobby” and just yesterday I saw a screening of the new film “Reservation Road,” where he was an attorney in a small, tony Connecticut town.

And he’ll be appearing in the upcoming Aaron Sorkin-written/Michael Nichols-directed film “Charlie Wilson’s War,” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. So, obviously, they’ll be little to no fanfare about that one.

If the man doesn’t have a publicist, he needs one. Pronto.

I probably first noticed Slattery in NBC’s Tom Cavanagh series “Ed,” which he followed up with a role in the HBO George Clooney-produced “K Street.” Throw in last year’s Clint Eastwood pic “Flags of Our Fathers” and you’ve got a guy who knows how to get around.

But back to “Mad Men,” where all the actors — starting from Jon Hamm as the mysterious Don Draper — bring 1960 to life like few other series ever have.

If there’s an actor whose career may skyrocket now that “Mad Men” is receiving raves, it’s Hamm, who, with long hair, looks extremely un-Draper-like in the LA Film Fest Audience Award winning indie film “Ira and Abby” that stars his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt.

Elizabeth Moss, finally, gets a chance to show her chops as Don’s secretary, Peggy. Moss was most recognizable in recent years as Martin Sheen’s daughter on “The West Wing,” but the role was never fleshed out, and noJoan_2w she finally has a character which makes us wish she was used more on the Peacock’s Emmy-winning series.

I interviewed Rosemarie DeWitt last year, thinking she was an actor to keep an eye, as she was starring in the Fox series “Standoff,” with Ron Livingston. The show didn’t make it, but not because of her. Nice to see her land a plum role here as Midge Daniels, Draper’s mistress. There scenes are on the short side, so it would be great if creator Matthew Weiner could give us a bit more depth on what makes her tick.

And then there’s Christina Hendricks, left, who supplies the va-voom to shapely redhead Joan Holloway. Joan knows all about the blatant sexism in the office … and works it beautifully to her advantage. Which brings us back to Slattery’s Roger Sterling, the boss with whom she’s having an affair.

I’m glad “Mad Men” launched in summer, where it wasn’t forced to compete for attention with the onslaught of fall shows, and was allowed to find an audience that demands something more substantial than the reality glut we get every time of the year temperatures rise.

“Mad Men” and FX’s “Damages” give us reason to turn the AC on and plant ourselves on the couch, with clicker in hand.