If a picture's worth a thousand words, then the latest "Mad Men" ad may be giving fans a mouthful. A poster for the upcoming season (you can see it here) features an illustration of Jon Hamm's Don Draper passing another man who looks just like him on the street. We know the real Don Draper is dead -- and besides, he never looked like Dick Whitman, anyway -- but the pic is symbolic of Draper's totally messed-up personal life.
Renowned retro ad illustrator Brian Sanders created the poster, which includes drawings of Don, his doppelganger, and a police presence. Don also looks to be hightailing it out of the city while holding a lady's hand (hey, he's always been a ladies' man!), and while the clues on the poster could mean absolutely nothing, the elaborate illustration is definitely providing food for thought for a series that's notorious for its no-spoiler policy.
As we await Season 6 of "Mad Men" (and continue to analyze that poster), here are six things we know for sure about the upcoming season.
1. The premiere episode will be constructed like a film. Executive producer Matthew Weiner told Entertainment Weekly the super-sized two-hour premiere is "its own story, and hopefully it foreshadows the rest of the season." But Weiner warns, "You should know what happened at the end of last season before you see the episode." (And what self-respecting "Mad Men" fan wouldn't?) He recommends re-watching the last 10 minutes of the Season 5 finale before the Season 6 premiere.
2. Expect a time jump. Weiner told The Daily Beast, "I am going to skip ahead in time. I won't say how long, but the first two episodes are a movie unto themselves. And they do foreshadow what's going to happen in the season. They do tell a story of the period and root you where you are in these people's lives. But a lot has changed when the season opens up. A lot has changed." So don't expect this season to pick up in the spring of 1967 at the bar where we last saw Don. Meanwhile, a series of on-set photos shows Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) and Harry Crane (Rick Sommer) sporting some serious late '60s sideburns.
3. The Drapers will spend some time in the Aloha State. On-location photos posted on UK's Daily Mail show Don and Megan Draper (played by Jessica Pare) lounging on the beach in Hawaii, where Don's reading Dante Alighieri's "The Inferno," which isn't exactly a beach read. But then again, Don isn't really a beachy kind of guy. Besides, what else would you expect from a dude who dabbled in Frank O'Hara's "Meditations in an Emergency" back in Season 2?
4. John Slattery and Jon Hamm will direct. According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Mad Men" actor John Slattery will direct two episodes of the show's sixth season (last season he directed the episode "Signal 30"), and Jon Hamm is on tap to direct again, as well, after directing "Tea Leaves" in Season 5. Says Slattery: "From the time you get the script to the time you turn your cut in, it's a month. And it's a long month. And they used to try -- and they still do try -- to limit the amount you're [acting] in it, but I think we've all kind of gotten a grip on what that's like, so they don't have to make as much of an effort."
5. Lane Pryce may be gone, but there will be a new British businessman (or two) on the cast, according to TV Line. The AMC drama had a casting call for "two British businessmen types in their 50s." Of course, there was also a call for 20- and 30-somethings who are "attractive," "cute," "flirtatious," "sweet," and "curvy." Hmmm…Don must be in the market for a new secretary.
6. And finally, get ready for more Betty. Last season it was slim pickings for fans of January Jones' character, whose fuller figure was attributed to a thyroid disorder. (In real life, Jones' baby weight was the reason behind those extra pounds.) But for Season 6, skinny Betty is back, and she'll log much more screen time. Of the new season, Jones told Us Weekly, "We're almost all the way through the season, and there's a lot of juicy exciting things that happen. … I can say there will be more of the Betty character this season. I can work more since the baby is a bit older." The actress also told Vulture, "I'm in it more. … We're halfway done, and I've gotten to do a lot of weird stuff."
Weird stuff? You mean like shooting your neighbor's pigeons while simultaneously smoking a cig? Looks like you've been there, done that, Bets!
"Mad Men" Season 6 premieres on April 7 at 9 PM on AMC.
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