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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who will be back next season on ‘Mad Men’? Who should be back?

Inspired by a post at Defamer:

Who will be back next season on Mad Men? Who should be back?

A somewhat spoiler-iffic wrapup on Sunday night’s season finale from Defamer:

The Mad Men season finale left a real easy way to get rid of a whole bunch of cast members. So, who is going to leave this critically-acclaimed show for fame and fortune and who is here to stay?

While Mad Men is a critical darling and its ratings are growing, it has never been a ratings bonanza for AMC and the pay is notoriously low. And after three seasons of being on “TV’s best show,” the siren song of more lucrative TV and movie roles may be irresistible. Plus, the way that series creator Matthew Weiner left things — Sterling Cooper as we knew it is dissolved, newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Price may make it out of the Pierre Hotel, and Don’s marriage is effectively over — almost any any character could be easily written out. So it would not be surprising if some of the regular characters disappear entirely from the show by next summer with nothing but a line of dialogue — “Oh, Peggy couldn’t stand working next to Pete and Duck hired her after three weeks” — and a guest appearance or two.

Defamer goes on to lay odds on who’ll be back and who won’t, but what do you think? Who would you like to see stay… or leave?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • JoshDM

    Since they took the cigarette company, and since he found his apparent calling at the roadside bathrooms (no, seriously; that’s where it looked like he was!), I doubt Sal will be back for anything more than a one-shot “where is he now” guest appearance.

    I don’t think Betsy’s father will be back. :D

    I doubt we’ll see the smarmy British secretary, but I think we haven’t seen the last of Paul and Ken. Also, use of Carla Gallo was wasted; I’m sure Jon Hamm will have his way with her yet.

  • JoshDM

    Wow, read the article AFTER I posted. Spot-on.

  • JoshDM

    By the way, Legend of the Seeker started back up last Saturday; it’s still awesome. Except the Mord-Sith Sexy Leather Babe thing is getting a little old. Not that I’m complaining.

  • chuck

    Without reading the Article first, I’ll make my guesses.

    The story always has been about Don, and to a lesser extent Peggy, they need to stay. Hopefully the heart and soul of the operation, Joan will stay. Roger could go without harming much, he’s been sort of gone on and off anyway. Mr. Cooper could kick the bucket in some sad way that could burn up an episode. That would leave Don, Peggy and Pete to run the show so to speak.

    But if you want to follow the times then big changes must happen. 64′ 65′ 66′ a great deal of change happened in our society and I doubt Sterling, Cooper or Draper will be able to cope with it. Pete might be able to adapt and he has the added benefit of being a real tool that can stir up some juicy conflict.

    Definitely some new blood is needed to cope with the times, new art people who can draw in big saturated 60’s colors. New creatives that can relate to these whacky new kids.

    The TV division needs to be better staffed, maybe Joan could move that direction she’d be terrific at it. But knowing the times, it’s more likely she’d be featured in the July 64′ edition of Playboy, The Women of Madison Ave. spread.

    But, I think the important point is that given the times the new blood must come along and the old regime recede.

  • Some of the things to consider:

    They made a big deal out of snagging the tobacco account… but the Surgeon General’s warning about the cancer risks was in 1964, which would happen in Season 4.

    The primary characters in the office place are Don, Peggy, Pete, Roger, Joan, and Bert (Harry apparently ‘kidnapped’ during the caper although accepting his spot on the lifeboat out of Sterling Cooper). Sal was a popular secondary character (all the blogs were atwitter that he would come back during the office pilfering caper), but the big question is, how much money will the producers have in the budget to bring a lot of the established minor characters over? Based on plot setting, will there be any room in their future workplace? For the season finale to make such a big deal about looking forward, looking ahead, why bring a lot of the old faces back (Paul, realizing he’d been left behind: “Dammit.”)…?

    1964 was a big year. The Beatles. The 64 election (ad firms were quiet but major players, especially by the 1968 election, go read “The Selling of the President”). You have Bewitched and Addams Family tv shows that fall. Hello Dolly on the stage. You got Malcolm X leaving the Nation of Islam to form his own movement. The 24th Amendment banning poll taxes. You got the Sullivan First Amendment decision. You got the Kitty Genovese rape/murder (how will this affect Peggy and her roommate?). You got IBM releasing their System/360 (will Pete hop around shouting “A computer in every home”?). The Ford Mustang is unveiled (will other car companies come to SCDP looking to sell their version of muscle cars?). There’s the 1964 World’s Fair. Vietnam going through another coup, I think. Crazy year.

    On the personal relationships front, there’s still Peggy dealing with her romance with Duck. Don’s divorce with Betty will have gone through, but the issues of raising the kids will bring up conflict, and Betty is already showing signs of buyer’s remorse. Roger and Joan have both come to realize they miss each other, but their respective marriages (both impulsive, both already straining) will have to end before they can both be comfortable. If they bring back Sal (who may still resent Don for his manipulations and firing), will he still have issues with being a closeted gay?

  • Jason M.

    I do hope that Lane Pryce returns, this time as a series regular. I like Paul and Ken, but they are the most obvious cuts at this point, especially Ken. Ken Cosgrove and his haircut had such a promising story arc in the premiere, but were largely absent this season. Ken always amused me, and even though I missed him this season, it doesn’t make much sense to bring him back at this point.

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