Extended negotiations between Weiner and AMC may mean the show's fifth season is delayed until next year. A fan's plea to move things along.
Dear. Mr. Weiner (or can I call you Matthew?),
I recently read that you and AMC were nearing a deal to continue production on a 5th season of your critically acclaimed series Mad Men. Phew—I think I speak for the millions of Mad Men fans across America when I say we were all getting a little worried there. Unfortunately I understand that due to the delay caused by your protracted negotiations we won't be getting our annual summer Mad Men fix and that we may even have to wait until 2012 to find out what happens next to Don, Peggy, et al. Please tell me this isn't so.
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Like many other people, I rely on Mad Men to get me through the summer slump, that late August period where nothing airs except for endless repeats and new episodes of Wipeout. Last year I even considered watching some of the procedurals on USA—yep, it got that bad. But thankfully Mad Men came along to save us once again.
It's now been almost 6 months since Season 4 came off the air, and I'm still thinking about the finale. Sure it wasn't as dramatic as Season 3, where you dismantled the iconic Sterling Cooper ad agency in the show's best-paced episode to date. But Don Draper's spur-of-the-moment engagement to his secretary Megan was a pretty good kick, spinning the show into interesting new directions.
All season long we'd seen Don sinking to new depths of misery, a lost soul consumed by his secrets and missing the anchoring influence of his family. Don's journey was tough to watch at times as we simply didn't know where he would end up. I love that Mad Men is constantly surprising—a quality more TV shows could benefit from. Heck, you even killed off Don's old, spacey secretary, Miss Blankenship, a fan favorite who could have run for several seasons. And of course now we're all dying to know what happens next—will Don go through with the engagement? Does Megan know who she's marrying? And can Don ever, truly, be happy? As betrayed girlfriend Faye correctly observed, he "only likes the beginnings of things" ...
Of course for me Mad Men is all about Peggy Olson, currently TV's greatest heroine and the one person in Don's life who'll confront him with painful truths. I loved last season's Don-and-Peggy-focused "The Suitcase," the single best hour of TV in 2010. Matthew, your writing team is going to have to go some to surpass these standards this season. So what are you waiting for? Get back to work!
Peggy's pained reaction after Don's shotgun engagement—and her bonding moment with frenemy Joan—spoke both to their complicated work and personal relationship and the challenges facing career women in the '60s. No matter how hard Peggy strives, a pretty girl who sleeps with the boss will always overshadow her efforts.