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Pop Culture Critic Elisa Kreisinger's Fair Use Video of the Month: "Mad Men: Set Me Free"

Sung by your favorite female characters, Mad Men: Set Me Free is a musical mash up by Marc Faletti and I. As Peggy, Joan and Betty sing the Motown hit “You Keep Me Hanging On”,  the entirely female-framed version of Mad Men becomes an entertaining and refreshing re-articulation of female frustrations amidst rigid gender roles.

Mad Men: Set Me Free from popculturepirate on Vimeo.

“We love that feeling when two familiar pieces of pop culture blend to make something entirely new, especially when it’s punctuated by the perfect song” says Faletti. “Mad Men: Set Me Free shows us that the remix format — and the joy it creates — isn’t just limited to music. It can create new and interesting stories.”

By framing the female characters' iconic moments in a series of boxes, we wanted to illustrate how the show, and by extension, society, isolates and marginalizes womens’ voices within pop culture narratives. The song, now sung by the women of Mad Men without the help of auto-tune, literally keeps the viewer hanging on with its choppy chorus. While it was once a song about an unavailable lover, recontextualized and transformed, it becomes a song about women as a whole who are stuck in the confines of their traditional gender roles, longing to be set free into the growing feminist movement of the time. 

Why it's fair use: 

Quoting in order to recombine elements to make a new work that depends of its meaning on the often unlikely relationship between the elements. 

The TV show Mad Men and the song "You Keep Me Haning On" are combined here to make an ironic and critical third meaning out of the original source materials with the help of motion graphics. This new work has a cultural identity of its own and addresses a different audience than its original components intended, as evident in the viral effect of the video. To learn more, check out the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video.

Source Material: Mad Men, seasons 1-4

The Supremes, "You Keep Me Hanging On", 1966