Late last week, king of the Q&A, Charlie Rose, played host to some of the cast of Mad Men (John Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones and Vincent Kartheiser) alongside the show’s creator, Mathew Weiner. The chat went down in anticipation of the series’ return to AMC (tonight at 9:00pm EST) after a 17-month hiatus. Gayle King was on-hand, too—ostensibly on the strength of her super-fan status.
We are always down to watch as Rose navigates his way to the marrow of a subject, and this is a revelatory interview in many ways. However, viewing the teaser for the new series at the front of the program, which makes a series of lurid promises—”style is back; debauchery is back; deception is back; adultery is back; jealousy is back…”—we were reminded that, for as indelibly studied and slick as the show is, it is also a stylized reboot of a shitload of grimy soap opera tropes.
Maybe it has been too long since we have been treated to a new episode, but the show’s absence has afforded us just enough perspective to come to the realization that at least some of hyperactive buzz that swirls around Mad Men like a swarm of gnats is empty hype.
Does that mean we are going to skip the season premier tonight? No chance. Excerpt of the interview above; full conversation on Rose’s website.