Killing Don Draper: AMC’s plot to ruin TV

AMC, we’re about to have some words.

After a much-too-long hesitation period, secret contract negotiations have been worked out between “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner and AMC for another three seasons. Those three seasons are likely to be the show’s last, Weiner said, according to the most recent Chicago Sun-Times article. While there was never an agreed start date for the new season, fans will have waited a year and five months by the time it airs.

Although I truly just want to complain about how I have to wait until March 2012 now for my doses of martini swigging, womanizing, Don Draper and fabulous 50s and 60s fashion, my real issue is with AMC: in essence, what were they thinking?

In case you haven’t realized, the quality of television has gone down significantly as our generation has grown up. I probably don’t need to give examples, but just in case you forgot: “Jersey Shore,” “The Bachelor,” “Greek” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

“Mad Men,” for a change, has given us real drama with intelligent writing, fully developed characters and plot development that makes sense while still managing to surprise us. The past season, the show’s fourth, shone with how much better it was than anything else on TV.

The season finale had its legions of fans positively brimming with theories and questions of what had just happened.

Therefore, I am beyond puzzled as to why AMC has been hesitating since October—when the season ended and Weiner’s contract expired—with the details of the show’s contract. The company was, according to a recent interview with Weiner, insisting on cuts to the cast budget and length of the episodes.

Weiner has consistently made great television. Cutting his creative reigns is possibly one of the most idiotic moves I have heard.

What other TV show has given us episodes like “The Suitcase,” with the best on-screen duo in recent history, Peggy (Elizabeth Moss) and Don (Jon Hamm)?

No one has, that’s who. No one has created such literature for the least intelligent of entertainment sources—televison.

Thankfully, AMC changed their tune once Weiner’s interview came out and they realized the fans would rise up in rebellion to AMC’s idiocy.

The hero has officially won. The new deal for Weiner is worth $30 million—one of the biggest payouts in cable television, according to the New York Times. In addition, the Times also reported that Weiner’s contract states that he still has artistic freedom and any characters removed will be only for creative reasons—not financial.

I’d sing my rejoice to the heavens, but I still have to wait until 2012 for my fix of Don Draper’s dreaminess.


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