'Mad Men' Song Change Is One More Reason the Premiere Will Be Spectacular

AMC's wildly popular drama about a 1960s advertising agency hasn't been on the air for 17 months, but you can bet the folks at Mad Men haven't exactly been resting on their award-winning laurels during this unusually long break.

Among other things, Mad Men is beloved for its ability to represent the era with pitch-perfect accuracy—and a recent creative decision from showrunner Matthew Weiner shows just how serious he is about the detail work.

Like, DEADLY serious, you guys. Either that or he's just serious about pleasing the most anal-retentive Mad Men viewers on earth.


Apparently at one time the show's fifth season premiere—you know, the upcoming two-hour episode that's airing this weekend, can I get a hallelujah for something that replaces the Walking-Dead-shaped hole in my Sunday evenings—included Dusty Springfield's 1967 track "The Look of Love." However, some critics who received early copies of the episode complained that the song wasn't actually released until six months after the episode takes place.


I think I'd be tempted to tell any critic who bitched about a six-month oversight in a FICTIONAL SHOW to go fish, but Weiner not only changed the song, he sent out an explanatory note to the press:

Dear Journalist:

As you know, one of the things I love best about 'Mad Men' is the passionate response I get from members of the press. Recently a few of you have mentioned that the song "The Look of Love," used in our season five premiere episode, was not actually released until six months after the episode takes place.

Because of this we have replaced this song with one more suited to the time period and you, along with our audience, will hear it for the first time during our March 25th broadcast.

Although we take license for artistic purposes with the end-title music, we never want the source music to break from the time period we are trying to recreate.

As someone who has a deep appreciation for details, I want to thank you for bringing this to our attention. It's a privilege to work on a show that generates an ongoing dialog with you and our amazing fans so please -- keep those notes and comments coming!

All the best,

Matthew Weiner

Okay, actually, I'm pretty sure this was pure genius on Weiner's part. Not only did he appease a bunch of television critics who are in the position to help boost his viewership, he's reinforced the intriguing premise that Mad Men's period accuracy is damn near bulletproof. For picky detail-oriented nerds, this creates an extra compelling reason to watch ("Surely I can spot the chronology failure!"), and for everyone else, it reassures us of the show's high quality and creative standards.

Well played, Mr. Weiner. Well played. Especially considering the season two episode "Maidenform" included a montage set to the Decemberists' 2005 song "The Infanta." Hey, sometimes you have to loosen up on that source material just a little bit, right?


What do you make of Mad Men's concession on the Dusty Springfield song? Was it a sincere decision, or a clever way to play to critics?

Image via AMC

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