After a prolonged wait, Mad Men returns to the airwaves Sunday night and few people are happier about that than John Slattery and Jared Harris. The actors play Roger Sterling and Lane Pryce, respectively, two of the four named partners in the ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. We've seen the season premiere and while we wouldn't dream of giving anything away (because Matthew Weiner might hunt us down Hunger Games-style if we did), we can confirm that Roger, Lane and the rest of the characters you know and love are back in fine form. Slattery and Harris recently spoke with reporters by phone to discuss what viewers can expect from Season 5.
Knowing Matthew Weiner, we won't be seeing any more of the SCDP gang until sometime in the middle of 2013, if we're lucky -- if we're not, it might not be until 2014. Sure, that gives us time to process all of the jaw-dropping moments of Season 5, but there are also so many Mad Men idiosyncrasies we'll miss after the show ends its season this Sunday.
Contrary to popular belief, absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder. There have been several instances -- Futurama we're looking at you -- where a show has left the airwaves for a prolonged period of time and, after some initial discontent, we got used to it being gone. Then when it returned, it seemed noticeably diminished; the familiar elements were there, but the magic was missing. (Honestly, we have the same fears about the upcoming Arrested Development reunion. The finale ended the series on a perfect note; to quote the Beatles, let it be, guys.) So we approached the delayed Season 5 premiere of Mad Men -- the first new episode of AMC's flagship series to air in 17 months -- with a fair amount of trepidation. Would it still be the smart, witty show we instantly fell in love with when the pilot hit the airwaves in 2007? Had creator Matt Weiner decided to flex his creative power (and get back at AMC for dithering during the negotiations) by giving some of our favorite Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce characters abrupt Sal Romano-style exits during the hiatus? Could Jon Hamm still pass as the handsomest leading man on TV with Timothy Olyphant rocking that Stetson hat week in and week out on Justified?
Matthew Weiner has been extremely hush-hush about the upcoming Season 5 of Mad Men, to say the least. While we haven't even seen a teaser trailer with any new content, we feel confident that we know a few things that won't happen on the critically acclaimed drama. Here are all of the things we can be certain we won't see from the extended Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce gang this year.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner recently said that he'd like to set an end date for his landmark series, presumably so it can go out with as much style as it came in with (and avoid bringing his characters into the dreaded '80s). Seriously, no one needs to see a retiring Don Draper, Joan having to deal with gravity and a 30-something Sally Draper just being utterly annoying all the time. This news (which AMC denied without actually denying) immediately reminded us of when Lost announced how many seasons it would ultimately air. Back then, we assumed its end date would allow Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse to keep the show tight, allow it go out on a high note with one jaw-dropping twist after another and avoid useless filler episodes.... Now, we're not so sure. So, before Weiner and company finalize plans to set a hard-and-fast finale deadline, here are some potential Lost pitfalls we hope they avoid:
Little has been revealed about the third season of Mad Men, except that it kicks off in 1963, an incredibly tumultuous year in American history, not to mention American pop culture. We dusted off our history books to see which events occurred that year that might make for interesting storylines on the show. Disclaimer: We're sure that the JFK assassination will play a big role, as well as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, so forgive us if we just take those for granted. These significant events are more on the frivolous side, but hey, couldn't this serious show use a little frivolity?
So just the other day I was feeling reassured that Mad Men season 3 would continue on smoothly as I read Alan Sepinwall's interview with Matthew Weiner. I had such a confident feeling about what greatness is still to come. In the interview, the Mad Men mastermind discussed the negotiations for him to stay on as showrunner for the third season and said,"There's no crisis. I have every intention of being part of this show forever. I love doing it and I love the experience and I love working with everybody I work with." But according to Deadline Hollywood Daily, someone over at Lionsgate didn't get that message apparently. So much for all my warm fuzzy misguided feelings of contentment.
We love this show. We do. And while this season hasn't knocked it out of the park in quite the same way the first season did, it's still better than half the crap that's airing on TV. But honestly, this show leaves us with more questions than Lost. Here's what we're desperate to find out in the finale, but know these secretive sorts behind-the-scenes will probably keep us hanging during the long-long-long wait until Season 3 begins. That's if anything of any consequence actually even happens in the finale. Here's hoping. And fingers crossed that creator Matthew Weiner and the cast get those contracts signed soon so they can actually start making Season 3, when we'll likely be given even more questions and less answers.
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