Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Season Premiere: Matthew Weiner on the ‘The Doorway,' and More"

Hawaii, hell, and heart attacks! Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner discusses Sunday’s sixth-season opener (‘The Doorway’), Don’s quest for paradise, Betty’s transformation, and more. Warning: spoilers abound!

Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Mad Men Season Premiere: Matthew Weiner on the ‘The Doorway,' and More," in which I talk to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about the sixth season opener ("The Doorway") and some of the themes, questions, and characters within.

“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.”

Mad Men’s sixth season started with a bang, with the season opener (”The Doorway”) offering us a look into the psyche of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), flitting between a doorman’s near brush with death, the weight of mortality, and the bliss of paradise, in this case the hot, white light of Hawaii. Throughout the two-hour opener, a jumping-off point for issues of life and death, characters took on complex examinations of identity and perception in an installment that managed to be lyrical and darkly existential.

The Daily Beast spoke to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who is currently directing the season finale, to discuss Don’s quest for peace and his relationship with Megan (Jessica Paré), the transformation of Betty Francis (January Jones), the new role of Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), that bizarre rape joke, and more. What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation.

The episode begins with Jonesy (Ray Abruzzo) suffering a heart attack, then shifts to Hawaii, where Don doesn’t speak aloud for eight minutes. What was behind your decision to open the season this way?

The idea was that it opens up with this heart attack, and its point of view is that Don is dead and that he is in some kind of state of paradise or maybe hell, or wherever you go—limbo, purgatory. I wanted to show him experiencing life around him and trying to get the mood of what paradise is, what Hawaii is. The idea was that you don’t know what state he’s in. It’s not mystery for mystery’s sake. It’s supposed to create a mood, actually paying attention to the ocean and the people having the party, and Megan with all of her joy.

The whole point of the first episode—and I’m calling it the first episode, those two hours together—is a lot about is how he’s seen by the outside world, and how we all are seen by the outside world, but particularly him and Betty. You approach him from the outside, and you slowly get into his mindset as you watch him. But you’ve got to have someone like Jon Hamm, who can hold your attention when he’s not talking.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas