Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Mad Men’s Jewish Ad Man

Revisiting copywriter Michael Ginsberg before Sunday’s Season 6 premiere

Print Email
Michael Ginsberg.(AMC)

Mad Men returns this Sunday, and to help prepare you for the Season 7 premiere, our partner site Jewcy shines it’s Network Jews spotlight on Michael Ginsberg, the sole Jewish copywriter at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Dov Friedman analyzes the confident, smart-alecky ad man, played by Ben Feldman, and his character’s competitive relationship with Don Draper, with whom he might be more similar than even he realizes:

It is Ginsberg’s skill making the pitch—the very skill that made Don a legend—that puts him in Don’s crosshairs. Even after the first accepted pitch, Mr. Butler called Ginsberg a genius. Don coughs demonstratively. We are watching the rise of a new advertising star at the very moment Don transitions to a more heavily managerial role. For the first time, viewers are asked to entertain the possibility that Don is not peerless—something Don seems keenly aware of as well. For a show that emphasizes the exceptional talents and personal shortcomings of one central character, the role played by Michael Ginsberg is deeply jarring.

Don’s professional brilliance always seemed tied—even obliquely—to his back-story. He was a man without a firm identity, a hobo—drifting and alone. In a startling scene with Peggy and Michael late at night in the office, we learn that Michael is the most unusual of Holocaust survivors: a child born in a concentration camp. “Are there others like you?” Peggy asks. “I don’t know,” Michael replies heavily, his back to the camera and reflection lit up in the window. “I haven’t been able to find any.” Here, too, we are supposed to connect Michael and Don. As with Don, there is a clear, if inexplicable, connection between Michael’s creative brilliance and personal history. Mad Men intends for us to link Don and Michael as singular individuals and talents.

Read the rest here.

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Mad Men’s Jewish Ad Man

Revisiting copywriter Michael Ginsberg before Sunday’s Season 6 premiere

More on Tablet:

From the Mekong to Maryland

By Hillel Kuttler — After the fall of Saigon, a Baltimore synagogue helped 15 Vietnamese become Americans