Before he became Don Draper, Jon Hamm made his living by playing a more masculine version of Piper Perabo’s Coyote Ugly character.
Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But according to actress Kelly Lynch (The L Word, Starz’s upcoming Magic City), the man who would be Dick Whitman did tend bar at the parties she’d throw with her husband, producer Mitch Glazer.
“He was the most gorgeous and adorable guy we’d ever met,” Lynch tells Xfinity TV. “All of the women would be lined up at the bar like alcoholics just to see him shake his martini shaker.” READ FULL STORY »
The gradual introduction of Megan in the fourth season of Mad Men was one of the more interesting stealth plot lines in recent TV history. Initially just another pretty face in the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce secretary pool, Megan became a surprise dark horse in the “Who Will Be the New Mrs. Draper?” sweepstakes after a late-night work session with Don turned steamy. A trip to Disneyland — and Megan’s soft-power approach to parenting — sealed the engagement.
Thanks to Matthew Weiner’s fervent anti-spoiler policy, nobody knew what sort of role Megan would play in the new season. I figured she’d be relegated to guest-star domesticity, like Pete’s wife, Trudie. So it was a genuine surprise that last night’s episode was, in many ways, a Megan-centric episode. While the new Mrs. Draper threw her husband a party and sang a sultry French love song, we saw the other characters respond to her new expanded role. Don has never been happier. Peggy is skeptical. Harry Crane looked exactly like this. READ FULL STORY »
Judging by its record-setting opening weekend, the odds are ever more in your favor that you’ve seen The Hunger Games by now. Which means your schedule is that much more free to have it be overwhelmed by the DVR death-match looming next Sunday, when the second seasons of The Killing and Game of Thrones premiere, against the second episode of Mad Men‘s fifth season (and, oh right, there’s The Good Wife and The Amazing Race and The Simpsons and the final season of Desperate Housewives, too). It’ll be up to you to decide how the heck to navigate this scheduling minefield, but click here to see how EW TV critic Ken Tucker’s wading through it.
In between, Madonna’s newest studio album hits stores, Spock(‘s voice) comes to The Big Bang Theory, and Julia Roberts and Sam Worthington valiantly vie for second place against the Hunger Games juggernaut. But first things first, tonight marks the long-awaited, two-hour return of MadMen. Enjoy your week!
SUNDAY, March 25 Mad Men season premiere — 9 p.m., AMC
We’ve waited 17 months, so the least Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger, and Pete can do is welcome us back with a two hour feast of gorgeous 1960s nostalgia and doleful glances into bottomless chasms of existential ennui, right? READ FULL STORY »
Wait… it’s already time for another season of Mad Men? It feels like just 17 months ago that we bid farewell to the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce folks! Just kidding—the lack of Mad Men in our lives has been thoroughly agonizing and unacceptable. That will be corrected within a matter of hours, of course, as AMC unveils the double-sized season 5 premiere of the Emmy-winning ad-agency-set retro-drama at 9 p.m. ET. Wondering what kind of delicately devastating drama awaits Don Draper & Co.? You received a few clues if you checked out our recent cover story or these bonus quotes from the cast and creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner. But we’re not done quite yet. EW has squeezed 11 more teases from Weiner, and are serving them up with a special twist: We omitted the names of the characters that he was talking about. Don’t worry, you can find the answers below, so take your best guess as to which person he’s talking about, and then speculate what it all means. Also, feel free to light up a bold-flavored prediction for season 5 in the comments section.
Sure, it’s fun to speculate about which beloved characters will return and which historical events will get airplay in Season 5 of Mad Men. But before barreling head first into Tomorrowland, let’s take a moment to remember some old friends — namely, the various ladies Don hooked up with in season 4.
Enterprising music engineer Jesse Pynigar has combed Mad Men‘s last season for footage of Don smooching, embracing, and… otherwise interacting with various ladies, then edited all those scenes into one glorious, quasi-SFW montage. (Office drones: Beware the sweaty back at 2:18.) The resulting supercut — perfectly set to Jack White’s “Love Interruption” — is a great way to brush up before season 5 premieres this Sunday. Then again, it’s also a little rough to watch, given how much we wish Don had chosen almost any of these ladies over Megan-Of-French-Extraction. You’re my girl, Faye!
Ever since The Sopranos ended its second season with the brutal shooting death of a main character, most modern TV dramas have made a cruel game out of jauntily killing off their characters. Mad Men is the rare drama where nobody ever dies (except from old age, plane crashes, or being kicked in the head by a horse). But that doesn’t mean the supporting cast is safe. In fact, over the course of Mad Men‘s first four seasons, characters who seemed central to the storyline were often heartlessly cast aside. In season 4, a couple of those characters reappeared. The alcoholic Freddie Rumsen copywriter returned clean and sober; Don’s season-1 beatnik-crush Midge returned with a nasty heroin addiction. READ FULL STORY »
Mad Men is approaching a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Last season ended in 1965, so things were just heating up in the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, the Vietnam War — the list goes on. But the show’s been coy about directly referencing news events and has shied away from using them as catalysts for the plot, focusing instead on historical moments to embellish a narrative about a group of people who either embrace change or cling to the past. Of course there have been a few exceptions, including the Kennedy assassination in season 3.
As we near the season 5 premiere, what historical themes do you think will emerge? There are some major events that would be hard to ignore — how can you have a show about the ’60s and not talk about hippies or drugs or the moon? READ FULL STORY »
Last night’s Mad Men TimesTalks panel featured creator Matthew Weiner and stars January Jones, Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Jared Harris, Christina Hendricks, and Vincent Kartheiser. It had a good host in New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, but it didn’t have much to say about the long-awaited fifth season, which starts this Sunday. In fact, audience members were warned before the Q&A not to even mention it—and no one did. But among all the chat about past seasons, eight or so interesting Mad Men tidbits did reveal themselves.
For all five seasons, John Slattery (Roger Sterling) has appeared in a scene shot on the first day of filming. John Slattery: I think I’ve worked every year on the first day — somewhere on that first day. This year it was me and Elisabeth Moss and Jon was directing. And we were looking at each other — I think I was supposed to be drunk — and I looked at her and said, “Are you nervous?” and she said, “I’m terrified.” READ FULL STORY »
In one of our last glimpses of Mad Men‘s Don Draper last season, he was wearing a smile. Not a tight Draper smirk, but a goofy Dick Whitman grin. He’d just proposed to his secretary, Megan (Jessica Paré), and as Joan later snarked to her soldier boy in Vietnam, “He’s smiling like a fool like he’s the first man to marry his secretary.”
Don and Megan’s whirlwind romance took everyone by surprise — save Joan and Faye, perhaps. Everyone’s entitled to some happiness (ha!), and as Don confided to his new love, “I feel like myself when I’m with you.” Sweet…but for Don, that could be very troublesome. Because who is he exactly — four years in, we still don’t have a clue — and does being that person threaten everything else that he’s built?
In a way, Megan is the sweet girl that handsome, guileless Dick conceivably could have landed. She represents something true, something wholesome, something he’s lost since becoming Don. But like Betty before her, she doesn’t know his secret, and doesn’t that ultimately doom the marriage? Perhaps that’s inevitable anyhow. “I hope she knows you only like the beginning of things,” said Faye. How long before that boyish smile turns back into a clenched jaw? Creator Matthew Weiner recently told EW that the fallout from the proposal “will cast a shadow on the season to come,” and you could almost see the cloud returning to Don’s eyes in the finale’s last scene, as Megan snuggled up against his chest in bed.
I’m not convinced we’re going to see even a spec of marital bliss come Sunday. Hamm told The New York Times, “We don’t know if, in fact, they are married. A lot can happen between here and there.” Might Don or Megan have called off the hasty Disneyland engagement? Even if we find them playing house, how long do you give them together? I think Don’s bound to disappoint her — and himself.