After a year and a half hiatus, AMC is pleased to announce the return of its hit television series Mad Men. It's the same critically acclaimed show that audiences know and love, following the trials and tribulations of love, life and work in the 1960s, though this season, there's going to be a whole lot more, including musical numbers, celebrity judges and real housewives of pretty much everywhere.
The Emmy nominated and Golden Globe award-winning cast returns for the two-hour season premiere, with John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, Justin Bieber, Taylor Lautner, Ricky Gervais, Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino, Sidney Poitier, Hulk Hogan, Joan Fonda as the ghost of Ida Blankenship, and Kim Kardashian as the kind and gentle king of the sea, Flipper. After the mid-trimesterly season finale, occurring approximately 17 minutes into the fourth episode so that cast, crew and caterers can re-re-renegotiate their contracts, the regular players will be joined by more than a smattering of zombies, muppets and teenage vampires. Look! It's Lindsay Lohan! What's she doing here? Hard to say. Continuing...
The show picks up when Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is hired to represent the hit AMC television show Mad Men. Thanks to this curious deus ex machine plot development, all the characters have become self-aware, allowing them to make self referential ironic quips, predict historical events that have yet to transpire and aid in adapting the show to current television trends. When they tire of discussing the future Nixon administration, investing in IBM and dancing with the stars while singing with sometimes talented though more often than not talentless ordinary American people (which in no way violates ABC's and/or Fox's copyright as it pertains to a show with a similar name and similar content), a series of prescient predictions about card games, horse races, and college football means that they no longer need to work. This frees up their time to dedicate themselves more fully to their favorite pastimes -- smoking, drinking and ignoring their spouses and/or children and/or mistresses.
Larger questions about Don's past begin to surface, and Don starts to ponder the moral and existential ramifications of the decisions he's made along the way. How have these decisions affected his life, his family, his work? Who is he as a man? As a person? He feels so much, yet is trapped by the constant manipulations he's forced to make. But no time for that now! Everybody wins a car! Continuing...
Betty feels trapped in the ennui of urban life, where social boundaries and emotional chilliness, and a steady, silent yearning for happiness yields a sense of paralysis. But when her mother, Endora, comes to visit, she has no choice but to come clean. She is a witch. But a good witch! How will she tell her new husband? Hijinks ensue.
Don and Betty's children have larger roles this season. With their parent's marital discord, they feel isolated. Then, one evening, a mysterious owl arrives, carrying a letter. They have been admitted to Snogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and are soon off to a magical world of enchantment and adventure (one that in no way violates Bloombury or Scholastic's respective copyrights)!
Peter Campbell discovers that he's the long lost eighth cousin of the landed gentry, and takes up residence at -- perhaps you've heard of it? -- Downton Abbey. Now the Earl of Grantham, he finds himself in a drama of upstairs/downstairs proportion, with very similar dialogue pauses and sideways glances, though the soundtrack is markedly different, meaning that it in no way violates the BBC's copyright.
Back at the office, the romance spices up, when Joan Harris and Roger Sterling decide to elope. They are to honeymoon in Bora Bora, and board a plane -- Oceanic Flight 815 -- which crashes on a mysterious island filled with polar bears and weird time travel magnets and curious portals to North Africa. They spend six seasons on the island, during which nothing really gets resolved, though it all has something to do with the aforementioned polar bears, magnets, or portals, in a way that in no way violates the copyright of ABC and/or polar bears.
Lane Pryce is also on the flight, but on a different part of the island (The island's pretty big that way. Or is it? Dun dun dun!), thus allowing us to explore an entirely different subplot altogether. While he's being chased by some sort of time-travel magnetic-portal-polar-bear smoke monster that we've yet to figure out or will ever really explain, he happens upon a magical lamp. A genie appears, and he makes three wishes: a guest appearance by Oprah and Gayle, a guest appearance by Oprah and Gayle and a guest appearance by Oprah and Gayle.
As the season wears on, many of the copywriters and secretaries at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce decide to join the space program. Half of them explore bold new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations under the leadership of Captain Dirk aboard the Star Ship Intrepidprise, whereas the other half end up on a planet ruled by apes (spoiler alert: it's earth). For two hours after the season premiere ends, the television viewing audience can vote a member of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce off the ape-planet home-world. You can cast your vote by texting #MMApePlanetVote, followed by the numeric code for whichever secretary/copywriter you want catapulted into obscurity (i.e., an original ReelzChannel miniseries), or by calling the number at the bottom of the screen, which has generously been sponsored by Alcoa and Kaiser Permanente. Remember, when considering your pre-fabricated aluminum and/or pharmaceutical needs, please think of Alcoa and Kaiser Permanente!
Bertram Cooper and Paul Kinsey decide to make a break for it. They become roommates with seven strangers, picked to live in a spinoff show which borrows all the successful elements of Friends, Seinfeld, Mary Poppins, The Bachelor, The Wire, Lassie, Leave It to Beaver, and The Hunger Games, coming together in a way that'll remind many viewers of the hit 1980s movie Big, though Tom Hanks isn't in it, and nobody gets big.
And, in case you miss Sunday night's broadcast, be sure to tune into Monday's simulcast recap on the World Wrestling Federation's website, with deleted scenes of Roger Sterling's water-ski jump over a shark tank, where the kind and gentle king of the sea, Kim Kardashian, arrives just in time to save the day.