As we all mourn Sunday night’s figurative and literal heart-wrenching season finale of The Walking Dead, AMC is ready to premiere its sixth season of Mad Men on Sunday, April 7.
Besides getting your whiskey glasses clean and adjusting your cufflinks, you need to dust off the spot in your brain that holds the past five seasons of the AMC period drama to pick it up seamlessly.
So, where did we leave off at Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Price (SCDP)? Well, stop right there. SCDP technically no longer exists in terms of its name. As we remember from last season, Lane Price, the British account manager, commits suicide after Don finds out that he had forged a $50,000 check to pay his back taxes. So as it stands, the company is just Sterling-Cooper-Draper (SCD).
Another important shift that we will see in season six is Peggy Olson’s department from the office to work for Duck Phillip as his agency’s Creative Director. This vocational transition marks Peggy’s triumph over the looming presence of her demeaning mentor, Don Draper.
In the last shot of season five, we saw Don, Peter, Cooper, Roger, and Joan looking out the window in their empty office space, alluding to their expansion – both as a firm and as a generation moving towards the groovy seventies.
Joan, the show’s most tormented character, is still a single mother in season six. We left her in a fragile state with Lane’s suicide and her quasi-divorce from her war officer husband. I am looking forward to see how she will branch out this season after prostituting herself to gain the bid for the Jaguar account.
Another character to watch out for is Sally Draper. The writers clearly gave up on trying to make Bobby into a character, after going through three different actors to play the son of Don and Betty Draper. That being said, Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper, has been a series regular since the show’s commencement. We have seen her transition into womanhood – quite literally – last season, as well as her escapades with her former-neighbor and fan favorite (or least favorite, depending on how you look at it) Glenn. The unstable Draper family drama, including January Jones’ thinning and irritable Betty, trumps that of any other family side story on television – especially when those on the air are so weak, like Homeland’s lagging plotline of Dana and Finn’s hit and run, and Breaking Bad’s Walter Jr. always eating breakfast.
Season five closed in 1967, it is expected that the trends from the early 1970s will be present in this season. From released pictures, we’ve seen the guys at SCDP sporting the iconic seventies sideburns and the girls popping with vibrant colors around the workplace, creating a stark contrast from the first few season’s attire.
Be sure to raise a toast this Sunday night to Mad Men, premiering at 9pm only on AMC.