Welcome to March MADMENess!!! The selection committee has spent countless hours seeding the participants and coming up with a 64-character bracket for your review. From now until the fifth season premiere of Mad Men on March 25th, we'll break down each match-up as the characters attempt to survive and advance. Will there be upsets?? Yes. Will there be controversy?? Hopefully. Will some contests come down to the last shot?? Of course.
HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?
Here comes the fun part. You can play along too. Either print out the pdf-version of the bracket or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a copy. Fill out the bracket (send back a copy if you want) and follow along as the winners get announced here. Have you ever filled out a March Madness bracket without knowing anything about the teams – just randomly picking teams by seeds, names, etc?? Like the basketball tournament, or with any bracket, you don't need to have watched a minute of Mad Men. You can make your picks any way you want to, so feel free to come up with the show's equivalent of the “Whoever has the better mascot” criteria.
Send the bracket back by noon on Friday, March 9th.
HOW ARE THE WINNERS CHOSEN?
While the basketball games come down to the simple math of who scores more points, naturally the winners of this tournament come down to far more abstract principles. The dct Mad Men committee will decide the winners. What type of criteria will the committee use to decide the winners?
Like the NCAA tournament committee the March MADMENess committee will take into account the following criteria, in no particular order:
Likeability: This is kind of like their RPI. How much did we enjoy them when they were on the screen? Do we love them, or love to hate them??
Story Arc: Longevity isn't everything but how long they were on the show should be a factor. Like a basketball team's record against top-25 competition, how many seasons they touched should be included on their resume.
Development of Key Characters: Some characters on Mad Men are important, others help shape the development of those characters. They say there are no small parts, only small actors. Here there are no small characters, there are only small (or brief) appearances. Like a mid-major basketball team, some characters only had a few chances (games) to show what they could do. If they stole the scene (won the game) then that matters too.
Importance to the show and its brand: Whether you've seen a minute of the show or not, you at least probably know that it's set in an advertising agency. One of the keys to marketing is creating brand recognition. Mad Men has done that in spades. Simply put, some characters have had more to do with that than others. When it comes down to the short strokes, a historically significant basketball program like Kentucky or UCLA often gets into the NCAA tournament over other smaller, less relevant schools. It's just good business. In the case of Mad Men the brand recognition to the show is, in many ways, its context in the 1960's. For the purpose of this exercise, if a character is part of a historically significant or political storyline he gets points for that.
Memorability: For a variety of reasons, certain characters resonate for reasons that may not be included in the above criteria. For example, you might look at the bracket and see “Annabelle” and wonder, “who the hell is that?”. What if I asked you if you remember the scene where Roger and Don are drinking after hours in the office with the twins who were auditioning for a commercial, and Roger ended up riding one around the office like a pony, until he had his first heart attack? You probably remember THAT. It single... handedly?... got Annabelle into the tournament, like a big road win on a nationally televised basketball game. Was she seeded too high because of it? Maybe. Were others seeded too low?? Probably. Like the hoops bracket that will be released on March 11th, there's plenty of room for debate.
So that's how we're deciding the winners. Fill out your bracket, email it back to us and check back here for the results. Top 5 entries will be posted here on the site.
Here's the schedule:
Again here's a downloadable version of the bracket. Enjoy!
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