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Tag: Matthew Weiner (1-10 of 13)

'Mad Men' boss: Last seven episodes each feel like a finale

Mad Men fans hoping to find closure from the show’s final episodes may get more than they bargained for.

“The last seven episodes, I would say each one of them feels like a finale in the show,” executive producer Matthew Weiner told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter TV previews, noting that there was no room for tangential story lines. “The shows became so much more concentrated on these characters. We’re really going to have to focus on our main people.”


Matthew Weiner on 'Mad Men' theories: 'There's nothing obvious about the show'

Mad Men‘s absence is never so strongly felt as the first Sunday after a finale — even when it’s technically a mid-season one.

Languishing with the often troubled, occasionally hilarious, but always devastatingly human characters of creator Matthew Weiner’s world becomes an indispensable ritual for devoted viewers while the show is on, making its unceremoniously extended leaves between seasons (and now half-seasons) all the more difficult to bear.

While we wait for the second batch of episodes to air in 2015, Weiner spoke to EW about things to think about in preparation for the end of Mad Men.


'Mad Men's Robert Morse on Bert Cooper's exit: 'It's an absolute love letter'

If you thought Bert Cooper’s sweet song-and-dance farewell on Sunday’s episode of Mad Men was a tribute to actor Robert Morse’s decades on Broadway, you would be correct. Creator Matthew Weiner originally cast Morse in part because of his reputation on the stage, which includes a Tony-winning turn as J. Pierrepont Finch in 1962’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. And when it was finally time for Bert to go into the great beyond, following Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon in 1969, Weiner thought there might be a way to serve both story and actor.

Morse’s initial reaction to wrapping the final scene of his seven-year run was one of relief and elation. “You’re just thrilled that you got through, that you’re still walking, that you still did it,” he says. “It’s what I love, and it was great to have a taste of singing and dancing at the end. And my respect to Luigi’s Jazz Class in New York 40 years ago. I wouldn’t be where I was today [without him], so shout out to Luigi — and thank him for all my movement and style.”

Morse, who is heading back to the stage to star in In Your Arms at Vassar College next month, talked to EW about Bert Cooper’s fond farewell. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': Neve Campbell on her plane ride with Don Draper

In season 5 of Mad Men, Gilmore Girls‘s Alexis Bledel played a sad suburban housewife that Pete Campbell couldn’t resist. Last season, Don Draper had an affair with his neighbor’s wife, played by Freaks and Geeks star Linda Cardellini. So it made some sense that last night, during the season premiere of Mad Men, the mysterious beauty who shared a red-eye flight with Don was played by none other than Neve Campbell — also known as the star of Party of Five. If Don Draper doesn’t have a specific type, Matthew Weiner does. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': Jon Hamm, Jessica Pare, and Matt Weiner on Megan's 'threatening' independence

Hey, sad Don Draper. You’re at a bar. You’re alone. You’re perhaps disappointed with your young wife’s recent decisions. Enter: Attractive Woman. “Are you alone?” she asks coyly. Cut to black.

The last image of Mad Men’s fifth season is a hard one to forget. Though we don’t know anything concrete about what decision Don made that night, opening the door for another affair was at turns dismaying, ominous, and so familiar. And it’s hard not to trace it back to Megan and some sort of undefined, fundamental disconnect in their relationship. There aren’t enough martinis in the world to make Jon Hamm, Jessica Paré, and series creator Matthew Weiner talk about season 6 specifics. But EW did talk with them about Don and Megan, where the couple left off last season, and what they both wanted out the relationship.

The 'Mad Men' season 6 teaser has arrived: 'What is happiness?' -- VIDEO

It’s been a long, skinny tie-less off-season for Mad Men watchers, full of moving still imagery and bizarre lawsuits. But no longer: This morning we bring you a full, 30-second teaser trailer for the sixth season, which is just two weeks off. What’s changed since last we saw Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce?

Creator Matthew Weiner is still playing his cards pretty close to the vest, opting to use clips from season 5 to set the mood. But it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to be happy — Don, particularly (burden of the American ethos on his shoulders, didn’t you hear?). But at least he has a cure for such marital not-so-bliss: “I am who I am. The next thing will be better.”


New 'Mad Men' video hints at new season's big themes, crazy hair

Yesterday, AMC released a new poster for the impending return of Mad Men featuring a pair of Don Drapers. There were two ways to read that poster: This season would return the focus to the idea of Don’s double life, or this season would introduce Don’s heretofore unknown twin brother, Ron Draper, who would join Don in planning a wacky elaborate “Parent Trap” plot to finally get Roger and Joan together. READ FULL STORY

AMC's 'Mad Men' gets return date, plus Matthew Weiner talks season 6

The Don of a new season will soon be upon us: Mad Men returns to AMC on April 7 at 9 p.m., the network confirmed today. Season 6 of the Madison-Avenue-in-the-’60s drama kicks off with a two-hour premiere, written by series creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner and directed by executive producer Scott Hornbacher. (Starting April 14, the show will air in its normal time slot of 10 p.m.) EW spoke briefly with Weiner, and while the showrunner was typically tight-lipped on plot details, he did offer up a few choice quotes to chew on:

On the double-sized premiere: “If you like the show, there’s a good chance you’ll like the premiere…. It is different than last year’s in a sense that it was my idea and I was just trying to give bang for a buck to an audience that I didn’t want to lose because we’d been away for so long. This year it’s really constructed like a film. It is its own story and hopefully it foreshadows the rest of the season…. You should know what happened at the end of last season before you see the episode. The whole season is in reference to last season.” READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Matthew Weiner and Jessica Pare on 'Zou Bisou Bisou,' the '60s tune that kept 'Mad Men' humming

When Matthew Weiner cast Montreal native Jessica Paré as a pretty assistant at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, only a few people knew that she would eventually become Mrs. Don Draper. Initially, Paré was not one of those few, so even after a moon-eyed Draper proposed to her during the final episode of season 4, she understood that her next scene could very easily include her resting peacefully in a casket. But Weiner had other ideas, and in the long-awaited season 5 premiere, he unveiled a whole new show dynamic, with Don and Megan’s relationship at the heart of it. “I said it as a joke, but the story of the season for me is that Don and Megan are soul mates,” says Weiner. “They are one person and that person is Don. And right in that first episode, there’s a line from Roger where he says, ‘They’re all great until they want something.’ As soon as Megan starts to separate from him by rejecting advertising and pursuing her acting career, it’s very hard on them. It’s very hard on him.”

In that two-hour premiere, titled “A Little Kiss,” the seeds of the season’s tension were ingeniously planted with one amazingly hypnotic song and dance number. Harry Crane wasn’t the only member of the audience who was mesmerized by Paré’s sexy rendition of Gillian Hills’ playful 1960 single. “Zou Bisou Bisou” was practically trending online before the episode concluded, and the catchy tune would reverberate for weeks. Below, Weiner reflects on the kernel of the idea that sprouted into an unforgettable moment for the Emmy-winning AMC drama, and Paré describes the terrifying challenge of bringing it to the screen.

For more stories behind this year’s top moments, click here for TV and here for movies.

MATTHEW WEINER: It would be a lie to say there wasn’t a showmanship aspect to it. We’d been off the air for 17 months — against my will — and I really wanted to make sure that we gave the audience some bang for their buck. It wasn’t the major thing, but it’s certainly where some of it came from. For me, the origin of the idea was that Don had proposed to this woman, and the audience didn’t even know if he was going to marry her. And the audience didn’t know anything about her. And I kind of wanted to give her a character moment, especially if the whole season was going to be about their relationship and what it meant to Don — to sort of introduce her to the audience and to the other characters through her personality. What I thought was, it’s one of the old saws of all entertainment — the surprise birthday party — and I loved the idea that this woman was very different from the people at the office. That she was younger, that she had a different set of rules, that she was more fun-loving, that she was extroverted, and that Don’s intense, almost-pathological privacy was going to be broken by this woman’s personality. She is throwing the surprise party — which means he has no say in it. No one knew at that time she was going to become an actress, so what better time to show her do this song for him, in front of all his “friends.” I mean, it was story: this is who this woman is. I think people thought that the whole story was going to be about him hiding his past from her, but you find out right there and then that she knows it all. So where is the show going to go? Well, whether you realize it or not in that episode, you just witnessed the major conflict in their relationship. That she has her own personality and Don can’t control it. She is expressing her sexuality out in front of everyone.

I love music from this period. I didn’t know it was a genre, but I was raised on a lot of light French movies. There was a lot of this music in the Pink Panther movies and things like that, American movies with a little bit of European flair to them. So I was looking for the right sort of sexy song for her to sing, and for some reason or another I found this song, realized I’d heard it before, and it just had the perfect mix of childishness and sexiness that made it a socially-appropriate strip tease. The other thing was I wanted it to feel like a real person doing it. I didn’t want it to feel like it was some big, rehearsed choreographed number. I wanted to feel like it was somebody who had just sort of practiced it a few times in their house and had the guts to do it. READ FULL STORY

Aloha, Don and Megan! New photos reveal 'Mad Men' in Hawaii

Like the Bradys, the Jeffersons, the Tanners, and the Dunphy-Pritchett-Delgados before them, the Drapers are headed to Hawaii. New photos reveal that Don (Jon Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) will vacation in Maui during Mad Men‘s upcoming sixth season. This being Mad Men, additional details are scarce — though Megan is enjoying a tropical drink garnished with a slice of pineapple in one snapshot, and Don is reading a book called The Inferno (Dante’s?) in another.

While the bulk of season 6 remains a mystery, we do know that Mad Men has been renewed only through next year. There is, however, a strong possibility that the series will end after seven seasons, especially since star Jon Hamm’s contract lasts through 2014.

Read more:
AMC settles Dish dispute, just in time for tonight’s ‘Walking Dead’
Jon Hamm and Adam Scott film ‘The Greatest Event in Television History’ — VIDEO
‘Mad Men’ mash-up montage proves just how much Don Draper drinks — VIDEO

On the scene at the Creative Arts Emmys: Triple-digit heat and hours of awards

Despite the Creative Arts Emmy winners being an incredibly diverse bunch (everything from Game of Thrones and Frozen Planet to Two and a Half Men and The Penguins of Madagascar grabbed the golden girls), there was one topic that united nominees, presenters, crew, and media alike — the unbearable triple-digit heat.

“It feels like they are holding this awards show on the surface of the sun,” Once Upon a Time’s Jennifer Morrison told EW when she arrived on the red carpet at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles Saturday. “At least [they could have sprung for] a tent. It’s just not nice. No one looks good in this much sunlight.”

Mad Men mastermind Matthew Weiner agreed to spearhead a petition, which may or may not have been suggested by a desperate and melting magazine reporter, to move the show to a cooler month. “Traditionally, it’s been held at this time of year to kick off the fall season, but our show has never been a part of that so it doesn’t hold sentimental value for me,” he quipped. “For as long as I have been attending Emmy festivities, it has never not been hot. I blame global warming, and that’s not going anywhere so maybe we should consider pushing it to a cooler time of year.”

Marc Shaiman, a nominee in the outstanding original music and lyrics category for his work on Smash, seconded the motion, if only for clothes comfort. “This heat is something else and there are no good warm-weather options in men’s formalwear. The ladies can wear almost nothing and get away with it. They’re so lucky.” READ FULL STORY

Matthew Weiner reveals Peggy's fate on 'Mad Men'

There were several jaw-dropping plot twists on the most recent season of Mad Men, but the one that arguably left fans dangling the most was the exit of Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Just about every other character on the show who has left Don Draper’s ad agency has either never been heard from again, or revisited in a one-off episode and then rarely to never heard from again. Peggy, by contrast, had been such an integral part of the show’s exploration of the 1960s that the thought of completely losing her — and the Emmy-nominated Moss — had some fans in a wee bit of a snit. (Of course, Moss’ appearance in the final moments of the season finale certainly suggested that Peggy’s story was not complete, but why let that get in the way of wild speculation?)

Well, worry no more! READ FULL STORY

Emmy Watch: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner breaks down his favorite scene

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

It feels like almost a foregone conclusion that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner would submit “Far Away Places” for writing consideration. For one, it’s likely the most structurally daring hour of television we’ll see this year, a triptych of stories that take place over the course of a single day, interweaving and folding back on themselves with elegance and an almost outrageous narrative confidence. And at the center of it all is Roger Sterling’s first acid trip, a calmly psychotropic journey that results in a moment of clarity for both Roger and his young wife, Jane, where they carry each other to the realization that their marriage is over. For a show where people rarely say what they mean, even if they mean what they say, it was a surprising and touching moment of openness and mutual respect. Here Matthew Weiner discusses why this is the scene he’s proudest of, as well as a whole lot of other elements of Mad Men‘s stellar season.



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