Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting you ready for the MAD MEN premiere

MAD MEN finally returns this Sunday night on AMC after a 17 month hiatus. Meanwhile, my show – BIG WAVE DAVE’S – is still on hiatus (19 years and counting. Stay tuned.). To get you up to speed, here is where they were when MAD MEN wrapped up its heralded fourth season.

The year was 1965. KHJ Boss Radio premiered, Goldie, a London Zoo golden eagle, was recaptured 12 days after her escape, "Chim Chim Cher-ee" won the Best Song Oscar, and I got a B in Health class, but none of those major events were covered.

The new agency that Don Draper started with his cohorts Roger, Pete, Peggy, Joan, and a few character actors was struggling to survive. Peggy got a pantyhose account, which gave them an infusion of cash and Roger something to wear at home. But they lost the Lucky Strike account.  Bad idea of Roger's to move Lucky Strike sponsorship from THE JACK BENNY SHOW to TOP CAT.

It was discovered that Don Draper was just a pseudonym and that his real name was Ron Paul. At the end of the season he shocked his co-workers (and would have shocked his friends if he had any) by announcing he was engaged to his secretary, Megan. She’s quite a contrast to Betty and as he explains, “What I lose in quality of gums I make up for in personality.” However, we don’t know yet whether he actually married her or balked at the last minute when he learned he was responsible for all future periodontal bills.

When we last left Betty Draper, she was torturing defenseless animals, spying for the Soviet Union, systematically poisoning her new husband, embezzling from the Red Cross, plagiarizing John Cheever, founding the Minutemen, secretly plotting to sabotage the U.S. space program, and cheating on her spouse with weird neighbor kid Glenn. Producers insist however, that we should not judge. She’s misunderstood.

Daughter Sally had a complete meltdown. The solution was to take her to a Beatles concert where that behavior was encouraged. Today she’s still a sweet kid. One joint and she’ll become Courtney Love.

The big question about son, Bobby going into this season is which actor will play him? There were fewer kids who played Annie on Broadway than this part.

Pete was last seen stealing silverware from his own house. His wife Trudy decided to enroll in a community college where her IQ mysteriously went from 135 to 40.

Roger knocked up Joan. Her doctor husband was overseas in Viet Nam at the time of conception. She’s trying to convince him the baby is his. We’ll see just how good a doctor he really is.

Roger’s wife, meanwhile, graduates from high school this year.

Peggy was into experimentation, flirting with the counter-culture – going to clubs, opium dens, political rallies, and ABA games.

Every season MAD MEN has an overriding theme, and usually by the end of the season you can figure out what it is. Last year’s was: people have different wants and desires yet all age at the same rate. I hear this year’s theme is hygiene.

The season will begin with a special two-hour episode. Knowing creator Matt Weiner, it will be compelling, complex, surprising, brilliant, and well worth the long wait. How the hell am I gonna top it when BIG WAVE DAVE’S finally returns? So far all I have is that the shave ice machine is broken.


Rock Golf said...

To spur their AMC ratings, at least one major Mad Men cast member this season will be attacked by a zombie.

Somebody other than Rock Golf said...

Also, you forgot to mention that Betty Draper killed Rosie Larsen.

LouOCNY said...

Hey, when The Flintstones premiered, the were sponsored by Winston:

MBunge said...

The inverse relationship between the amount of media attention given to Mad Men vs. the number of people who actually watch the show has now become so extreme that it's ruptured the space-time continuum.


scotmc said...

A Friday question prompted by your recent post about what a series is about vs. it's location/setting.

A few episodes of FRASIER utilized Seattle's now defunct NBA team, the Supersonics. How much should a show incorporate its location,city?

(I remember the WKRP IN CINCINNATI episode done in the aftermath of THE WHO concert tragedy in Cincinnati.)

chuckcd said...

I like how they promoted Mad Men during The Walking Dead finale.
Yeah like they would have the same audience!

MikeinSeattle said...

My favorite character is Peggy. Just love her.

She would have been born around 1940, so is in her early 70's now. And throughout her life, whenever somebody asked her "where were you when Kennedy was shot" she is reminded, "in bed with Duck Phillips."

Gag. Poor thing. Wonder if she ever admitted it to anybody?

Tim W. said...

I came onto Mad Men a little late- a couple of years ago. I don't think I've ever been this far into a show (5th season) without really any idea of what the show is about. Thankfully it's so good, it doesn't matter.


Hopefully the media attention will help increase the audience. It definitely deserves the coverage. Far more than 2 and a Half Men.

Michael said...

Friday question:

I've read that to accommodate Fred MacMurray, all his scenes for an entire season of "My Three Sons" were filmed in two 1-month periods with the remaining scenes not involving him filmed at other times. This must have meant at least 1/2 season's worth of scripts must have ready at the same time. Could you see anything like this ever being attempted today?

Unknown said...


thomas tucker said...

If the theme is hygiene, maybe that B you got in Health Ed will come in handy. Are you sending in a script?

Tim Simmons said...

Friday Question:

Ken, I was watching the trailer for Battleship and I know you can't copyright a title. Why would you pay for a tie-in to such a generic name?

Anonymous said...

Theme for this year, "Hey! There's BLACK people walking around sometimes! Look! There was another one!"

xjill said...

your betty description made me laugh so much. man, do I hate betty with a passion.

Matt Patton said...

In a tie-in with THE WALKING DEAD, it will be revealed that Betty is a zombie. Shortly after that, she will move to a pleasant farmhouse in the Pennsylvania countryside and befriend a Pittsburgh ad executive name Georgie Romero . . .