Mad Men…the only cable series in history to win the Emmy for Best Drama four years in a row.
I’d commented several times prior to the Season Six premiere of Mad Men, but haven’t commented at all since. That’s mostly due to what seems the strangest season of the show so far culminating with episode 608, “The Crash.” And was it ever! A crash, I mean. I’m still reeling after watching it three times. What was that exactly? I can speculate what it all means for Don in the long run – the beginning of the end of his charade – the end of Draper as we know him. But that’s speculation. Regardless, it’s been a really strange season.
Then – to throw us all off kilter – AGAIN – last night’s episode is back to warm and cozy. Or, warm and cozy by Mad Men terms – as familiar as I can ever hope the show to be. Although a nice respite from last week’s wild ride, it was also a head scratcher because I prepared for more oddities. Oh that Matthew Weiner!
Here’s where I stand as a fan after last night’s episode – what I know for sure, if you will…
1. Betty has learned Don. (I rejoice in their coupling, by the way. As I’ve stated from day one, I prefer Don with Betty over all the others.)
2. Both Peggy and Roger seem to have no place to go within the new dynamics at the agency, which now has far too many chiefs (not to mention letters!) and not enough indians, to repeat the words of Duck Phillips who appeared out of nowhere in last night’s episode.
3. Nine episodes into Season Six and I still can’t get used to Harry’s late sixties hair and huge sideburns. And why is he even there, anyway?
4. Roger going to visit Joan at home was odd at best. And I don’t mean “Mad Men odd.” I mean not a good story odd. After spending a day with his grandson, he wants to be a father to his young son. Suddenly. I don’t know – even considering Roger’s eternal immaturity this was too conveniently added – prefaced by the line to his grandson, “I’ll tell you which is my type” when he sees Joan in the office. Well – where were you, Roger, when Joan had her meltdown? When she sold herself for Jaguar?
5. I cannot wait for Don and Megan to break up for good. I know that saying “she’s not good for him” with regards to Don Draper is ridiculous. But Megan is just not good for him! They’re not good together. There’s no chemistry there. No heat. Not even interesting dysfunction.
6. I hate the stairs in the office.
7. I dislike losing the intimacy of the creative process we were privy to prior to the merge.
8. Mad Men is the only show that causes me psychological trauma.
And now – after not having said a thing that’s worthwhile I present recaps of Season Six episodes 601 thru 609 – with the most recent on top.
Inside Mad Men – Episode 609 – “The Better Half”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 608 – “The Crash”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 607 – “Man with a Plan”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 606 – “For Immediate Release”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 605 – “The Flood”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 604: “To Have and To Hold”
Inside Mad Men – Episode 603: “Collaborators”
Inside Mad Men – Episodes 601 & 602: “The Doorway”
Well, now Season Six of Mad Men is almost within reach and promos and posters and quotes and interviews and what have you are everywhere. The marketing machine hums and I’m a sucker for it all. Guessing someone in the same category of sucker as I may stop here are a few new items and tidbits from the pre-season to keep us holding on until we are riveted by the two-hour premier on April 7 on AMC.
As featured on HitFix, a gallery of Season Six promo pictures available here.
Worthy of note in the gallery: Don and Megan are still together and her hair is “loud,” Betty Francis has lost her excess weight but (seemingly) not her excess bitterness, Peggy (at the very least) mingles with the gang at SCDP, Pete and Trudy have at least one dancing scene.
My observations that resulted from viewing the gallery (above) aside, it’s been fun to take a look at the Season Six poster and try to figure out what the “clues” mean. I warn you, I’m really good at this…
So, can it be that the darkly attired Don is looking back at his Dick Whitman self? Or is the dark and broody Dick Whitman looking back at the ace-of-Madison Avenue-Don? Basically this says noting but a girl can hope. As I’ve stated several times in posts below, I miss the mysterious, bad boy side of Don and may be projecting. Knowing Matt Weiner and the writers as fans of this series do, spoilers are taken seriously so this is more likely than not intended to throw us off the scent. In any case, it’s a very interesting poster. Don holds a woman’s hand, I guessed it’s Megan from the fluffy sleeve we see – it looks like a post-Zou Bisou Bisou style. “Dark” Don walking away from the “one way” sign that points toward Madison Avenue and the cops may be another clue as is the “stop” sign. Or are the cops shown because Season Six will be set during the social upheaval in the country during the late 1960s? I know what you’re thinking – I’m incredibly observant.
Now a few clips from interviews and promos of Season Six:
January Jones talks at the Sundance Film Festival:
Season Six promos:
Inside Season Six
ENTv Season Six preview/commentary:
And now back to the much more exciting business of just waiting.
Being a Mad Men fan is not easy, I’ll tell you that! We pay a high price for quality – like being forced to wait what seems like eons between seasons and developing curious signs of a special kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the steps of which go something like this:
- Wait forever.
- Watch the long-awaited season that lasts two and a half minutes.
- Wait for the release of the bluray or DVD set of the season.
- Watch those over and over again.
- Wait for the next new season to begin.
Now, after the 2012 version of that ritual, a few of the steps to be repeated yet again in 2013, we know when the upcoming Season Six premier will happen – April 7th. And we have some clues to keep us going via occasional publicity shots, sporadic interviews, and many articles by journalists and Mad Men fans – all who know as little as I do but take much more time to speculate. I try to catch everything available although as a fan of the show I know that whatever is released as far as “clues” give no inkling to what the show’s creator, Matthew Wiener has in mind. Part of the show’s appeal is the fact that whatever you think my happen with the story and characters will likely not happen. And Weiner, understandably loves to string us along…
“We’re at the next stage of their lives and I think you really feel that … There’s an attempt to explore an internal dynamic.”
WOW! That really clears things up!
Anyway – I’ve gathered some of the news, clips and interviews from around social media to have something to refer to as I continue to wait for what we now know will be another two-hour season premier.
Tidbits about Mad Men, Season Six:
From AMC – news about Season Six premier
From AMC – interviews with Matthew Wiener
From Huffpost TV – Mad Men premier is set
From The Week: Mad Men Season 6: Everything we know so far
What did Don’s dramatic look at the end of Season 5 possibly mean…
I hate when things are “leaked” despite my complaints about the clueless waiting. But since I’ve seen this all over twitter and many other sites I’m figuring it’s well known Don and Megan end up in Hawaii at some point in the new season…
First official photos from Season Six:
All just a bit of stuff to banter about. The real deal is what counts and that’s still over two months away. I eagerly await it and the start of the new cycle in the Mad Men obsession. My heart breaks a little when I think this is the penultimate season. I get that the show’s creators want to move along and/or end the show on a high note, but there are still so many possibilities. Not to mention the responsibility they now have to feed the monster they’ve created.
From Season 5 – The Jaguar Pitch:
What do women want?
The cast of Mad Men on Inside the Actors Studio in 2012:
Awaiting a new year and a new season of Mad Men by looking back. I just ran into these videos…
100 Greatest Quotes in Mad Men Season One…
Pete Campbell funny scenes montage, Season One…
While getting over some type of flu this week I watched the entire Season 5 of Mad Men – no doubt it did me better than the antibiotics I was prescribed by professionals. While this last season wasn’t my favorite in the series, it still stands up far beyond anything else on television as far as I’m concerned. Outstanding writing and acting prevailed in all episodes.
Why was it not my favorite then? It’s simple. I love and miss “bad boy” Don. The troubled man who lead that double life in all manner of ways just did it for me. The house in the country and fast life in the City. The beautiful, token but deeply troubled wife. The constant cheating. I realize the show and characters must progress but it is with some regret I admit that. I am, after all, one of the few who liked Don and Betty together. I loved the show when we saw that great contrast and frustration in the clash of his two worlds as they were presented in the first few seasons. So, it was with great joy that I saw the final scene in the last episode of the show’s fifth season, “You Only Live Twice.” Anyone who’s watched the show knows it can mean nothing of what we think it means. But while I wait anxiously for the show’s return this coming spring, I fantasize that the final scene can only point to one thing…the return of MY Don.
He steps away from the lights, the cameras and into the familiar sights and sounds of a bar. It feels like a step back in time. “An old fashioned” he tells the bartender, his favored drink of old. My heart is pounding as the look of Don is suddenly, if a bit eerily, familiar.
Here is that final scene, which ends with a wonderful look only Don Draper can give as a response to a very simple question from a women at a bar…
MAD MEN SEASONS 1-5 PROMOS:
It’s September and the TV airwaves prepare for the onslaught of new fall shows. In other words, it’s about the time when I most start missing Mad Men. As a result I start needing a “fix.” To help us all cope here are the promos for seasons 1 through 5 of television’s greatest show:
Season 1 Promo
Season 2 Promos:
Mad Men Season 2 Clorox Commercial:
Season 3 Promos:
Season 4 Promos:
Season 5 Promos and trailers:
“The wait is over” trailer
MAD MEN SEASONS 1-5 POSTERS:
SEASON FIVE CLIPS AND RECAPS:
Inside Episode 513, “The Phantom”
Inside Episode 512, “Commissions and Fees”
Inside Episode 511, “The Other Woman”
A POWERHOUSE episode!
Inside Episode 510, “Christmas Waltz”
Inside Episode 509, “Dark Shadows”
Inside Episode 508, “Lady Lazarus”
Inside Episode 507, “At the Codfish Ball”
Inside Episode 506, “Far Away Places.”
Inside Episode 505, “Signal 30.”
Inside Episode 504, “Mystery Date.”
Memorable does it no justice.
Inside Episode 503, “Tea Leaves”
I’ve avoided any insight or “hint” as to what the season 5 premier would be like – wanted to judge it for myself. Now that it aired, a special two-hour premier, I thought it would be fun to have the “inside scoop” for posterity. Here is “Mad Men Inside Episode 501 and 502, “A Little Kiss.”
SOME FAVORITE MAD MEN MOMENTS AND SCENES:
Here’s to Mad Men…
Season 4, Episode 13 (finale) recap…
Rivers of Babylon…
A beautiful sequence. Simply the best show on television. Gone far too long.
Mad Men cast and crew version of ‘Bye, Bye, Birdie’
Seduction, the Mad Men way…
Noirish Mad Men
Steady Pete and Trudy dance…
From Season 3 episode, “My Old Kentucky Home,” here are Pete and Trudy showing off their Charleston skills.
They shoot pigeons, don’t they?
What seems like a rare instance when Betty Draper fights for her children even if only figuratively. This episode, titled “Shoot” is yet another great one. Feeling she has no control over her own life, Betty takes a bit of control back. I empathize with this character and this is a particularly heartbreaking episode for her. Dreams are quashed and she is used.
Meet Don Draper…
Mark your man…
Just another of Don Draper’s great pitches. He kneels to no one and knows that every woman is unique. Belle Jolie better… “Listen, I’m not here to tell you about Jesus. You already know about Jesus. Jesus is either in your heart or he’s not.” It’s that simple. This mad man knows what he’s talking about.
From wheel to carousel…
Since I love classic television as much as I love classic film, figuring what to post here as my first was most difficult. Simply, too much to choose from. So, I went with pure longing…for the men that are mad, as in Madison Avenue. It’s been far too long since AMC’s Mad Men has aired an original show, still a few more months to go. So, for those of you who might be longing for a dose as I am, here is a snippet – my favorite of Don Draper’s pitches from Season One, Episode 13 “The Wheel,” here is the dapper Draper pitching for Kodak’s The Carousel.
OK, he sold me. I’ll take the ad man himself!