Opaque minds. Mad Men and the representation of interiority in TV series

Gianluigi Rossini


One of the most visible features of Mad Men is the opposition between the lavish visual surface and the lack of depth in the description of characters. It's very difficult to empathise with Don Draper and many other Mad Men's characters, because their psychology often seems completely inaccessible or unexpressed, contrary to what happens in most contemporary TV series.
The aim of this essay is to show how and why the authorial agency conveys an 'opacity effect' that clouds the spectator's understanding of the thoughts and feelings of the characters. In doing this, I will place Mad Men inside a tradition of TV series centred on the psychology and emotions of characters. The analysis will be carried out within two theoretical frameworks: James Phelan's rethorical theory of narrative and Celestino Deleyto's model of film narrative.


Serial narration; TV series; Mad Men; Narrative rhetoric; Internal focalization

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1167

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17109

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