Heads Up: Mad Men - Features - TV & Radio - The Independent

Heads Up: Mad Men

The Don is back – cue more boozing and schmoozing

What are we talking about?

It's nearly here: after a lengthy wait of 17 months, series five of the 1960s-set advertising agency drama Mad Men finally arrives.

Elevator Pitch

Hamm it up! Mad Men is back.

Prime Movers

Creator Matthew Weiner is in charge again, but Jon Hamm super-fans will be pleased to note that he is making his directorial debut on the second episode.

The Stars

Fear not – Hamm hasn't given up Don Draper for a place behind the camera. There's still plenty of Don...and, of course, plenty of Christina Hendricks as Joan, John Slattery as Roger, Elizabeth Moss as Peggy, January Jones as Betty and Vincent Kartheiser as Pete.

The Early Buzz

A series of teaser trailers have been released and caused much excitement, despite containing no new material. The Daily Mail wrote, "He is arguably the most popular character currently gracing television screens. And the return of Mad Men's hard-drinking masculine icon Don Draper is being celebrated by the show's makers ... In a trailer called 'Don's Back', actor Jon Hamm is shown combing his hair, filling his hip flask, seducing a woman and even making a marriage proposal." The Hollywood Reporter pointed out that, "The first promos for the new season have been released, but if fans were expecting any clues about the new season, they'll be disappointed. The clips ... show Jon Hamm and John Slattery's characters up to their usual habits of boozing, schmoozing and enjoying the company of women." But then, that is just what we were hoping to see, right?

Insider Knowledge

The series begins with a two-hour double bill, which Weiner insists is more of a "Mad Men movie" than just two episodes stuck together.

It's great that...

We only have to wait a mere two days after the Americans for Mad Men to be shown on these shores. Should be easy enough to avoid spoilers, then.

It's a shame that...

Not everyone will get to see it, since Sky Atlantic snatched the rights from the Beeb; subscribers will be smug, licence-fee payers frustrated.

Hit Potential

It's so eagerly awaited, and has been so pitch-perfect up to now, that it seems sure to be a hit – unless it's backlash time for the previously impeccable production.

The Details

Mad Men series five will air on Sky Atlantic from 27 March.

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