×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmys: Major Blows for Don Draper in ‘Mad Men’ Sixth Season

Crises hit peak for Don Draper

The sixth season of AMC’s “Mad Men” saw a haggard Don Draper drinking, lying and cheating more than ever. All of this led to the final scene in the season-ender, in which Draper was put on sabbatical from the prized job he has for years used as a crutch to avoid facing the harsher realities of both his own psyche and the outside world.

Series creator and exec producer Matt Weiner says Draper’s emotional journey was the key storytelling element when he mapped out the season.

“We started to embrace the start of the season in a really different way,” Weiner says. “As soon as we realized we could enter the season in Hawaii, we were entering into Don’s state of mind at the time, and a whole new world to be explored.”

Weiner reflects on the similarities between the intensely personal internal struggles faced by Don, and the more external struggles faced by the show’s female and African-American characters. Don wants to define who he is, but struggles while living through a facade. Similarly, both the female and the African-American characters are living a somewhat fictitious version of who they actually are, particularly in the workplace.

There are differences, Weiner acknowledges.

“Don is not facing discrimination,” Weiner says, “but he is certainly trying to figure out who he is supposed to be. I’m always telling a story about the underdog. It’s a story I identify with. Don is incredibly lucky to have what he has, and I think that fits all the characters — whether it’s Sal, Ginsberg or even Betty Draper. Each needs to figure out who they are in a world that is not going to just give them things.”

Keeping the characters’ respective storylines fresh and compelling has not been a challenge for Weiner and his writers, as each season builds upon tenets established by prior seasons.

“This quality of being an underdog, of being an outsider and working your way in, in some way, that’s the secret of success throughout history in America,” Weiner says. “But the question I had to explore is: How do you navigate that into these characters’ lives?

“There are repercussions for (Don’s) actions. We saw this from the other end of things. It may be the best thing that ever happened to him. His creative prowess is not enough to make up for the destructive selfishness of the way he behaved towards the firm, forcing them to merge and then going to war against their partner. No one’s creative genius can outweigh that. … There is a price to pay for all of this.”

More TV

  • Good Omens

    Religious Group Mistakenly Petitions to Get Amazon Prime's 'Good Omens' Removed From Netflix

    Upwards of 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for Netflix to cancel the fantasy series “Good Omens.” But the TV series, adapted from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s 1990 satirical sci-fi novel, is distributed by Amazon Prime, not Netflix. The petition was first launched by the Return to Order campaign, a Christian organization under [...]

  • Maura Tierney as Helen and Dominic

    TV News Roundup: Showtime Drops 'The Affair' Final Season Teaser (Watch)

    In today’s TV Roundup, Showtime drops a teaser for the fifth and final season of “The Affair,” and Kid Cudi and Big Boi join Shudder’s “Creepshow” anthology series.  FIRST LOOKS AMC has released the first trailer for its forthcoming anthology series “The Terror: Infamy.” Premiering August 2, the Ridley Scott-produced show features a cast and [...]

  • Bello Nock

    A&E Orders Stunt Series 'Impossible Live,' Special 'Volcano Walk Live'

    A&E Network has ordered a live stunt series titled “The Impossible Live.” The series, which hails from KEW Media Group’s Essential Media Group, will consist of five two-hour episodes featuring daredevils performing death-defying stunts such as parachute-less jump from a plane onto a speeding train, a motorcycle jump off a cliff in which the daredevil [...]

  • Monte Carlo TV Festival: Stars Mingle

    Monte Carlo TV Festival: Nominees, Jurors and Star Guests Mingle on Riviera

    The Monte Carlo Television Festival drew to a close Tuesday with “Escape at Dannemora” winning the Golden Nymph in the limited series and TV movie section, and “My Brilliant Friend” winning best drama series. “The festival is testament to the fact that as the industry adapts and evolves with the times, good storytelling never goes [...]

  • PMKBNC

    PMK-BNC Executive Joy Fehily Resigns, Will Consult and Manage Seth MacFarlane (EXCLUSIVE)

    Top Hollywood publicist and executive Joy Fehily has resigned from her post at public relations firm PMK-BNC, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. Fehily steps down in the midst of a five-year deal with the show business institution, insiders said, which reps A-list actors and below-the-line talent as well as huge brands like American [...]

  • Schitt's Creek Wigs

    'Schitt's Creek': Inside Moira Rose's Iconic Wig Collection

    Moira Rose, the family matriarch of cult classic “Schitt’s Creek,” is known for several things: her pronunciation of the word “bebe,” her love for her TV family (and sometimes Alexis) and her countless vibrant wigs. Played by the always delightful Catherine O’Hara, each episode (and wig) is a joy to witness on screen. “I think [...]

  • Brandon Flynn

    Brandon Flynn on Hollywood Double Standards and Never Actually Coming Out

    Brandon Flynn has a flourishing Hollywood career. The 25-year-old quickly shot to social media superstardom on Netflix’s hit “13 Reasons Why” with millions of devoted followers and, shortly after, was cast on HBO’s “True Detective.” And yet, the rising star has received just as much attention for his personal life as his professional career. In [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content