We’ve all heard of Trekkies, those geeky looking people who worship at the shrine of Mr. Spock and flock to Star Trek conventions like swallows to Capistrano. In the last few years, a hipper version of Trekkies has emerged who worship at the shrine of the equally stoic, yet far cooler, Don Draper, a 1960s Madison Avenue ad man (get it… “Mad(ison) Man) who has a bad habit of forgetting he is married when in the presence of attractive women. While these Mad Men fanatics, who call themselves Maddicts, eagerly count down the days to Sunday, July 25, 2010, when the premiere of Mad Men Season 4 will air on AMC, they fill the void making predictions of possible story lines for Mad Men’s colorful cast of 1960’s throwbacks.
For those with fading memories (see Memory and the Middle Aged Brain), Season 3 of Mad Men ended with two big break-ups: the dissolution of the Sterling-Cooper advertising agency and the marriage of Ken and Barbie a.k.a. Don and Betty Draper (played by actors Jon Hamm and January Jones). With all the meat from last season’s Mad Men cliff hanger to chew on, Maddicts have been busy feasting on potential plot lines like wolves at a forest banquet.
What should happen to Don Draper on Mad Men Season 4?
Maddicts seem happy that Don Draper has finally escaped from suburbia and will have a chance to spread his wings as a man-about-town bachelor, though some Maddicts fear school teacher Suzanne Farrell (Abigail Spencer), with whom Don had a fling last season, may turn up pregnant. This plot twist could entrap Don in another suburban marriage (or raise such controversial topics as illegal abortion pre-Roe v. Wade or the professional predicament of a non-married pregnant teacher).
Other Maddicts would like to see Don Draper fall in love with co-worker Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), who has loved Don for years (although some wonder if Don is even capable of love apart from his mirror).
Perhaps most important for Don, Maddicts see the Mad Men protagonist as finally getting in touch with his more authentic self without the trappings of marriage, family and his suburban Westchester McMansion. According to one blog poster on the Mad Men AMC website, “He (Don) has never fit into Betty’s dream home and was more comfortable getting high at Midge’s… The truth is, he never liked Betty. He fell for her and he tried to be who and what would make her happy, but it wasn’t right for him and he resented it.”
What should happen to Betty Draper on Mad Men Season 4?
Maddicts have a love-hate relationship with ice queen Betty Draper, whom some fear will go straight from the frying pan into the fire as her new relationship with the mysterious politician Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley) unfolds. Some Maddicts wonder if the controlling Henry will become physically or emotionally abusive to Betty, raising the ugly specter of spousal abuse and domestic violence-social problems that were kept very hush-hush in the image conscious “what will the neighbors think” 1960s.
One AMC blog poster wrote that Henry would not be that much different from Don “and will continue to say the same things to Betty that Don used to, ‘Go lie down, take a pill, everything will be fine.'” Some Maddicts even predict Betty could go through a dark, depressive phase after reading and relating to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, which was published in 1963.
What should happen to Joan and Peggy on Mad Men Season 4?
Representing the two prevalent female strategies of the 1960s for moving up the corporate ladder, the curvaceous Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) used her physical charms to escape the secretarial pool, whereas the more cerebral Peggy has tried to be “one of the guys” in a man’s world. Some Maddicts would like Peggy and Joan to join forces in the newly formed advertising firm of Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce, currently operating out of a hotel room. “Will they continue to compete (as women often do) or will they recognize the value of mutual support?” wondered one blog poster.
On a more tragic note, some Maddicts think Joan’s husband-the-doctor, who joined the military toward the end of Season 3, could be killed in Vietnam, leaving Joan available to rekindle her romantic affair with the silk tongued uber-charmer Roger Sterling (John Slattery) with whom she previously tangoed. Neither Joan’s husband nor Roger’s new wife are particularly adored by Maddicts, most of whom would just as soon see them written off the show.
Will the Beatles appear on Mad Men Season 4?
If Season 4 takes place in 1964, as is likely, Maddicts are hoping for a Mad encounter with the pioneers of the British Invasion, the Beatles. Some Maddicts would like to see a shrieking Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) going wild over the Fab Four in front of her black-and-white rabbit eared TV set during the Beatles historic debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. One Maddict hoped that Don would run into one of the Beatles in a hallway or elevator and get an autograph for the star-struck Sally.
What other historical events of 1964 could Mad Men weave into its plot lines?
While the country continued to grieve over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 1964 was also a fresh beginning for Americans. A new breed of car, the Mustang, was introduced by Ford, a potentially lucrative and sexy account for the new firm of Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce. One Maddict saw other possible business opportunities for the ad agency. “They could be given the Charmin account with the famous Mr. Whipple… ‘Please don’t squeeze the Charmin!’….or possibly try to find a way to appease the Lucky Strike account now that they are having to put warnings on all the cigarette packages,” suggested one blog poster.
Will there be a Mad Men Season 5?
Maddicts will have three more seasons to dish about their favorite TV show if the prediction by the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, comes true. Weiner has reportedly stated that Mad Men will run no longer than six seasons, a mercy killing that would spare fans from having to relive the dreadful fashions and hair styles of the 1970s (not to mention disco dancing). As an AMC spokesperson was quoted as saying on the MSNC website, “No one wants to see Don Draper wearing a leisure suit.”