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The Wall Street Journal Spotlights Weekly Column by O’Melveny’s Dellinger on Historical and Cultural Significance of ‘Mad Men’

April 08, 2013

O’Melveny & Myers LLP partner and Supreme Court advocate Walter Dellinger is again hosting a series of online dialogues about AMC’s television show Mad Men with experts, historians, and scholars on The Wall Street Journal’s blog Speakeasy. The WSJ highlighted the return of the column on the WSJ.com homepage in conjunction with the Season Six premiere of the critically acclaimed series centered around an advertising agency on New York City's Madison Avenue in the 1960s. In his opening essay “Why Serious People Watch ‘Mad Men’” Dellinger argues that while some may “question the seriousness of giving any thought to that which is ‘only’ or ‘merely’ or ‘just’ television…a case can be made that multi-episode, multi-season serial television is the great art form of our time.”

“Aside from its pure entertainment value (which is often huge), Mad Men does the history of a critical transition period in American life – the Sixties – in an extraordinary way,” he writes. “On Mad Men, we perceive history as it passes in the background of the lives its characters, which is often how it is experienced in real life.”

Dellinger will kick-off a new dialogue every Sunday after the latest episode of the show airs. The participants include Columbia University history professor Alan Brinkley, Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan, Columbia theater, television professor Evangeline Morphos, and Georgetown Law professor Pam Harris. Their recap and analysis of the premiere, “‘Mad Men,’ A Conversation: Inferno,” was published on April 7.

Dellinger is a member of O’Melveny’s Appellate Practice and resides in the Firm’s Washington, DC office.