Of all the American television shows right now, with the possible exception of the philharmonic playing on PBS every now and then, Mad Men seems like the most carefully orchestrated—and creator Matthew Weiner's secrecy seems like a good indication of that. But in his first partially revealing interview ahead of season six, with the New York Times's Dave Itzkoff, Weiner claims that the AMC show's legions of fans might have more control over the show—and the mystery of Don Draper's love life—than anyone thought. Sort of.
Itzkoff asked an obvious question: Does Draper's almost lecherous look at an approaching woman at the end of last season foretell where this one is going? The answer is, not exactly. Weiner actually uses all of the Mad Men chatter to construct the coming seasons—including, apparently, the new one:
When the season ends, that’s the end of the show for me. I’m out of stuff. I never know what’s going to be the tension in between the seasons. I didn’t know that after Season 3 the audience would not be convinced that Don was divorced. As soon as I heard, “Will he get divorced?” I’m like, well, I guess they don’t know. That’s the tension. “Will he start a new agency?” I guess that’s the tension. What I start hearing over the break starts to inform where I start the next year.
Of course, that's not to say Weiner goes where everyone thinks he's going—or that quotes like that aren't perfect bait for the season premiere. (And we mean perfect, but no spoilers here.) In fact, what this mostly tells us is that Weiner likes to toy with all of the serious emotions we build up at the end of each season. His penchant for going in whatever direction he damn well pleases is evident in the Betty-centric interview he gave to Ali Trachta over at LA Weekly, in which he explains his desire to keep Betty part of the action despite seeming somewhat irrelevant to the central plot lines. So-called "fat Betty" was wrought out of January Jones's pregnancy and Betty's own "domestic conundrum." As has long been anticipated, Betty will have a big role in this coming season. That's something even Weiner is willing to admit.
Devotees of the show, however helpful they may be, now just have a couple more days to wait until the premieres this Sunday. AMC has dropped some pictures of said premiere. So feel free to read all you want into Megan Draper's sun hat, the Christmas decorations in the office, and the toast thereafter.