'Mad Men': We Have 5 Burning Questions About the New Season
Here's a tip: If you ever get a chance to talk to the cast of "Mad Men," don't even bother asking what's going to happen on the new season. They're not telling.
"I’m as frustrated as you guys, because I get excited to talk about it and can’t," January Jones (Betty) told reporters at a "Mad Men" press event last month. Season 6 of AMC's acclaimed drama debuts this Sunday, and fans still know next to nothing about what's next for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Jon Hamm (Don) got the biggest laugh of the day by enigmatically draping a scarf over his face and referring to the cast's reputation as "cryptic secret-keepers."
Creator Matthew Weiner insists that all the ambiguity is necessary, though: "The events in the story are so fragile on this show. The scale is so small that when you give it away, it's immediately not as much fun." And since "Mad Men" remains the best drama anywhere on TV, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.
But that still leaves us with a lot of questions heading into Season 6 -- five in particular. Luckily, we were able to piece together some clues from speaking to the cast and Weiner that might shed some light on the new season. We hope. If not, Sunday's only two days away, right?
(1) Is Don cheating on Megan?
We know a lot of you out there are rooting for this one, with all the backlash last season against Don's (mostly) happy marriage to his ex-secretary Megan. "I think Don's fidelity, honestly, was surprising to a lot of people," Hamm says, and Weiner agrees: "Last season, he was faithful, and it was confusing to people that he had almost this schoolgirl perception of what that relationship was going to be."
Still, the cracks in Don and Megan's relationship began to show when Megan quit her job at SCDP and went back to pursuing an acting career. As Weiner puts it, "it was narcissistically difficult for [Don]… to see the life he'd picked for her rejected, to see whatever romantic fantasy he had for her rejected because she had a will of her own and had a desire to have a profession."
And of course, last season ended on an emotional cliffhanger, with Don literally walking away from Megan and being approached by an attractive woman at a bar, who asked him "Are you alone?" Hamm says, "We left off Season 5 with the question 'Are you alone?' It's a different question than 'Are you single?' It's a different question than 'Are you lonely?' And it's a different question than 'Are you with anyone?'… We find out more in Season 6 about why Don is how he is, and why Don does what he does. His house is built on a weak foundation. He's a fundamentally damaged and broken guy."
(2) Peggy's still around, right?
Since Elisabeth Moss participated in this year's press day, we can actually answer this one with an emphatic "Yes!" Although Moss didn't even want to concede that much: "Maybe this is a huge trick. This is a big red herring!"
After four-and-a-half seasons of working under Don's tutelage, copywriter Peggy Olson (Moss) broke out on her own last season and jumped ship to a rival firm. And Moss was as worried as we were that Peggy would be written out as a result. "[Weiner] called me and said, 'All this stuff's gonna happen, and you're gonna leave,'" she recalls. "I literally was like, 'That sounds amazing! Am I still on the show?' He was actually a little bit offended and he was like, 'Of course! Yes!'" (Whew.)