There are so many nuggets offering insights about the show that you just have to read the whole interview yourself, but -- to cite merely one example -- I was struck by how unsurprising many of Weiner's cited influences were, how clearly those influences are reflected in the show:
I love John Cheever.
There’s a lot of movies. There’s a movie called ‘The Best Years of Our Lives," which was made in 1946, about the reality of soldiers. It won the Oscar that year. It’s a very unflinching look. The audience had just come out of the war and so had the characters in the movie. I love "The Apartment," obviously, very important. It was very much of its time – very topical, trying to get it right. Not a period piece but trying to make it seem exactly as people’s lives were at that time.
"Catcher in The Rye" has got to be at the bottom of the entire show. It's the first book I ever completed reading. I read it many times. I fantasized about living in New York. I loved the WASP-iness of it even though it’s got these Jewish undertones to it. I love the loneliness of it. Love the language in it - the frank language.