Showtime: Getting Ready for the Return of 'Mad Men,' Season 5
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
March 21 2012 02:30 PM ET
After a 17-month hiatus, "Mad Men," AMC's 1960s era drama about life, love and betrayal on Madison Avenue, returns Sunday (March 25). The show has continued to grow in popularity even while it was off the air (Hollywood contract disputes), thanks in large part to Netflix.
Here's your guide to catching up on the series, just in time for the start of Season 5.
1) What's it about?
"Mad Men" centers around the life Don Draper, a creative director at a Madison Avenue ad agency, his business partners and family. The details of 1960s life are accurate, rarely is anyone without a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. But deeper issues are also addressed, including the Vietnam War, civil rights and sexism.
2) How do I catch up?
Netflix has all 52 episodes of seasons one through four, but that's enough TV to fill a 40-hour work week. For those who are looking for a 10-minute summary, read Wikipedia's "Lead Characters" and "Supporting Characters" sections. Go to AMCTV.com — skip the trailers and watch the four-minute "Where Season 4 Left Off." That's probably enough to prepare for the two-hour premiere, which is sure to provide some back story — AMC won't want to leave a new group of "Mad Men" converts confused or old fans trying to recall what happened nearly a year and a half ago.
3) What if I don't have cable?
Season 5 of "Mad Men" is available from iTunes for $35 in HD, $23 for standard definition. You can watch via Apple TV, an iPad or other Apple device, but will have to wait a day if AMC adheres to the same schedule they did for Season 4.
4) What if I want to go deeper?
Both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the first four seasons are available in boxed sets. Don't bother with the "Mad Men" Facebook page or Twitter account. Both are pretty empty. Sign up for AMC's "Mad Men" free e-newsletter for more show gossip and updates or check out its "Mad Men Party Guide" with — no joke — printable masks.
5) What else is there?
If you'll be shaking cocktails for the premiere, try the 99 cent iPhone app "Mad Men Cocktail Culture" and find appropriate nibbles in "The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook," available in retro paperback for $11 or a modern Kindle ebook for $9. Music from "Mad Men" is also available from iTunes.
Fans can expect three more seasons of Mad Men under the new contract, but all agree that Season 7 is the end.
“I don’t want Betty to be in her 80s and in spandex,” January Jones, the actress who plays Betty Draper, said in an interview earlier this year. “Kill me off before then, please.”