Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mad Men May Skip Ahead Through 1964


This isn’t too much of a spoiler for “Mad Men.”

But it does seem like the folks from Sterling Cooper are going to flash forward a bit through most of 1964.

When we last saw Don, Betty, Roger, Joan, Pete, and Peggy it just at the end of 1963, right after the Kennedy assassination.

But episode 2 of the new season–which begins on July 25th–is called “Christmas Comes But Once a Year.” When I checked with an AMC source, the response was affirmative. This means that episode 1, “Public Relations,” may be set just a little earlier, around November 1964.

The other episodes filmed so far include some I’ve mentioned before and a few new ones. They are “The Rejected,” “The Good News,” “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword,” and my favorite so far, the tantalizing “Waldorf Stories.”

Episode 4, “The Rejected,” is directed by John Slattery, who plays Roger Sterling.

My AMC source is cagey, knowing what a fan I am. “It’s like Matt Weiner has invented a whole new show,” she says.

Interestingly, so far there’s no cast listing for Henry Francis, the character who would supposedly marry Betty after her divorce trip to Reno. Actor Christopher Stanley’s IMDB page hasn’t been updated to reflect that he’s even in this season. Ah, mystery! We’ll have to wait a bit and see if Betty went through with her divorce.

But what a shame if “Mad Men” has missed 1964, the Beatles arriving in America, and LBJ’s run against Barry Goldwater. It’s a year fraught with possibilities for backdrop. On the other hand, Weiner may just want to get on with it, so that a seven year run will take the show to the end of the 1960s–its natural stopping point.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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