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
Tag: Mad Men (81-90 of 241)
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.
Time flies, but it seems to take waaaay longer when you’re waiting for the most anticipated movie of the year to open or a favorite TV show to come back from an extended hiatus. This Friday, Hunger Games fans will finally get their wish when Katniss, Peeta, and the rest of the crew come to the silver screen. But that’s not all that’s on the docket this week. The planner is bookended with AMC favorites, starting with tonight’s Walking Dead season finale and moving on to next Sunday’s Mad Men season 5 premiere – it’s only been 17 months in the making!
In between, there’s the Dancing with the Stars season opener, a couple new TV shows (Touch and Bent) to check out, and of course, NCAA March Madness. Have a great week!
The Walking Dead season finale, 9 p.m. AMC
The Walking Dead season finale tonight should have enough blood, gore, drastic turns of events, and gun-wielding zombies to hold you over until next season. If not, perhaps you should seek outside help… or just watch the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer a few more times. After the show, check out our interview with showrunner Robert Kirkman and the full recap of the episode on insidetv.ew.com.
Dancing with the Stars season premiere, 8 p.m., ABC
If you ever wanted to see Urkel dance, this season of Dancing With the Stars is your chance. Former Family Matters star Jaleel White joins tennis great Martina Navratilova, Extra host Maria Menounos, singer Gavin DeGraw, and more under the glitter ball.
The Muppets out on DVD/Blu-ray
I have had “Man or Muppet” in my head since The Muppets came out over Thanksgiving, but that won’t stop me from watching it again. Relive all the Muppety magic as the Jason Segel/Amy Adams – and don’t forget Kermit and Miss Piggy — film makes its way to DVD and Blu-ray.
Bent premieres, 9 p.m., NBC
Amanda Peet (where’s she been?) stars in NBC’s new sitcom Bent. She plays a recently divorced lawyer who hires a contractor with a reputation for womanizing to renovate her kitchen. What I’m looking forward to most? The always hilarious Jeffrey Tambor playing an aspiring musician (and the contractor’s father).
Touch premieres, 9 p.m., FOX
A sneak peek of the new Kiefer Sutherland drama was well-received earlier this year, but will fans remember and be ready come back for the full season? A step away from Jack Bauer on 24, but back in the same time slot, Sutherland stars as a New Yorker whose wife died on 9/11, and who’s now raising his 11-year-old son.
Bonus if you’re reading this on Sunday: There’s an online Q&A at 6:30pm.
The Hunger Games opens in theaters
The hottest movie of the year comes out today, but may the odds be ever in your favor in buying a ticket – advance sales on Fandango list over 1,000 showtimes already sold out, and more are going fast. Our Hunger Games special coverage has the lowdown from the cast and crew of the film, plus you can check out clips from the movie, and share your thoughts on opening day!
March Madness basketball, CBS
Regional finals continue this weekend, so keep an eye on your bracket and settle in for some serious college basketball.
Mad Men returns, 9 p.m., AMC
A season premiere just 17 months in the making, Mad Men returns Sunday night with a special two-hour episode. Are Don and Megan for real? How’s Joan doing with the baby? What pitch is Peggy working on this week? It’s been a loooong time for us to go without a scotch, so get your decanter and highball glass ready.
Not a “Mad Man,” so much as a “Mildly Miffed Man” (doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it?). Jon Hamm has responded to the reaction from Kim Kardashian regarding a statement he made to the U.K. edition of Elle. “Whether it’s Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian or whoever, stupidity is certainly celebrated,” Hamm told the magazine. “Being a f—ing idiot is a valuable commodity in this culture because you’re rewarded significantly…. It’s celebrated. It doesn’t make sense to me.” (We have no idea what he could possibly be referencing.)
Kardashian took offense to the statement and spoke her mind on Twitter, telling followers, “I just heard about the comment Jon Hamm made about me in an interview. I respect Jon and I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that not everyone takes the same path in life. We’re all working hard and we all have to respect one another. Calling someone who runs their own businesses, is a part of a successful TV show, produces, writes, designs, and creates, ‘stupid,’ is in my opinion careless.” (As of press time, there’s still no reaction from “Paris Hilton…or whoever.”)
So how did Hamm address Kim’s umbrage? Find out below.
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It’s hard to imagine Jon Hamm as anything other than the charming, classy, handsome, and debonair fellow we see on Mad Men (16 more days!) and magazine covers. But once upon a time the Emmy-nominated dreamboat was just another struggling actor in Hollywood who used Los Angeles’ famed (wait, is that the word?) public transportation and/or Rollerblades to get around town.
During a visit to Conan on Thursday night, the Friends With Kids star recalled the time before limos and red carpets, when towed 1986 Toyota Corollas, barely functioning “convertibles,” and sweaty Rollerblading excursions were a large part of his life. (“There is not a worse look in the world than a dude skatin’ down Highland Avenue to an audition to try and sell soap.”) Watch the full clip below in which the ever-so-humble Hamm (who, let’s face it, even at his “worst” still looked this) talked about that universally shared terrible-car ownership experience:
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It’s impossible to read Elisabeth Moss‘ revealing interview with The New York Post‘s Page Six magazine without hearing traces of Peggy Olson in there. (It’s also impossible to get over that revealing cover. Yowza. Game, set, point, Stan.) When the Mad Men actress opened up to the magazine about her painful divorce from Saturday Night Live and Portlandia star Fred Armisen, her surprisingly blunt statements about him sounded not unlike a well-executed Peggy remark at one of her male counterparts.
While Moss said her split from Armisen was “so hard to talk about,” the 29-year-old still got out one biting strike about her ex. “One of the greatest things I heard someone say about him is, ‘He’s so great at doing impersonations. But the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person,’” Moss said of the SNL star who has mimicked the likes of President Barack Obama, Lawrence Welk, Joy Behar, Prince, and the late Muammar Gaddafi, adding, “To me, that sums it up.” Joan would be proud.
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Seventeen months is an excruciatingly long time to wait for anything — let alone TV’s best drama — to return, but your patience/frustration is about to be rewarded/end: The fifth season of AMC’s Mad Men finally hits the air on March 25. That’s right, the entrancing and nuanced series about ad execs in the ‘60s — which has claimed the Outstanding Drama Emmy four consecutive years — is ready to restake its claim to your Sunday nights. To mark the occasion, EW has put Jon Hamm on this week’s cover. No one commands a room, or a cigarette, quite like Don Draper. (Kids, it’s a terrible habit. Don’t start. They didn’t know what they were doing back in the ‘60s.) We visited the set and spoke with creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner along with key cast members about the upcoming batch of episodes, why that hiatus turned out to be so darn long, and what to expect from Don, who was last seen throwing us a WTF by proposing to his secretary, Megan (Jessica Pare).
“A lot of the decisions that Don makes may seem strange to the audience, but they’re going to seem strange to the people around him, too,” notes Weiner. “He is coming into middle age, which was closer to old age back then. Existentialism is a young man’s game, and you can say what you want about how death nullifies things. But when you get closer to death, it starts to become more serious, and it’s harder to laugh it off and say, ‘I’m living for the moment.’”
Fans can breathe easier knowing that they will be getting plenty more Mad moments: After some tense, protracted negotiations last spring, the show was renewed through a seventh and final season. Weiner felt that seven was the lucky number for the show to end on, and, well, that suits Hamm just fine. “I love going to work, so in that sense I could play Don for 100 years,” he says. “But I realize we’re not on a treadmill, we’re on a thing that moves forward… And so I think these things should end, and they should end the way the guy that started it wants it to end.”
For much more on Mad Men – including teases for season 5 and a look back at the first four seasons and their best episodes — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Mar. 9. Also, remember to follow @EW on Twitter.
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