Dear fellow Mad Men fans, it seems that the recent, tense contract negotiations between Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and AMC and producer Lionsgate have brought us good news, bad news, and ... strange news. After being threatened with the possibility of our favorite '60s period drama GOING AWAY FOREVER, we learned that it will be back and for three more seasons (yay, good news!) ... but season 5 won't air until 2012 (boo, bad news!). The strange news?
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner negotiated a $30 million deal and was so elated, he sent out an April 1 press release, sharing MAJOR changes and plot twists in season 5.
One point AMC and Lionsgate wouldn't budge on is that the show had become misogynistic in season 4. They had been getting complaints from advertisers and viewers alike, and that's not acceptable. So, they asked that in order to move forward, we change the title of the show to Mad Women.
Uhm, what?! Now, I'm a proud feminist, and I'm a big fan of all of the leading ladies on the show. I can even cope with Betty's cold and evil, "woe is me, I'm such a put-upon Barbie doll homemaker" bitchiness. But -- to change the show's name to Mad Women?! I just don't know if I can deal with this.
Although, given that the next several seasons will take place in the late '60s during the birth of the Sexual Revolution, it does make perfect sense for the show to take this twist. Thankfully, Weiner is clearing up some of the fans' understandable confusion by sharing some of the season 5 plot lines that will match the new theme:
Fans can look forward to their favorite leading ladies of the show taking on much more significant roles. I'm excited to bring them out of the shadows.
He elaborates that Joan's rapist husband who was over playing doctor in Vietnam will run off with a Vietnamese prostitute, and she'll never hear from him again. Of course, at this point, she's already 9 months pregnant with Roger's child, but Roger refuses to divorce his child bride, Jane, so Joan decides she has no choice but to be a single mom. To no one's surprise, she'll handle it with grace, while also ridding herself of the last name Harris. When Roger has another heart attack, she'll take over his responsibilities at the agency.
Don will be so enamored of and distracted by his new secretary-turned-wife Megan, following her around like a drunken puppy, he wants to get her pregnant ASAP. But she'll be more interested in burning her bra in feminist protests. At that point, Peggy will step into Don's position at the firm.
Given Joan and Peggy's new positions, Bertram will have no choice but to rename the agency Holloway Cooper Olson Pryce.
In the meantime, Weiner shares, he hopes to give Betty some more interesting plot lines, but the sad truth is that she'll never have The Feminine Mystique epiphany of other '60s housewives. She'll suffer a nervous breakdown and land in a mental institution a la "The Yellow Wallpaper."
I can't say I'm surprised about this turn of events, actually. It makes perfect sense given the vibe of the late '60s! Mad Men's always been so cutting edge; I understand why Weiner would now want to focus on gender role reversal. I was excited before I knew that Mad Men would become Mad Women. NOW, I will seriously be waiting with bated breath for season 5!
Are you excited that Mad Men is becoming Mad Women? What do you think will happen to your favorite characters?
UPDATE: April Fools!
Image via AMC