There are certain things you can count on whenever a new “Mad Men” season begins, as the final one did on Sunday: (SPOILER ALERT. STOP READING AND SCROLL DOWN TO THE NEXT VIDEO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET)
— Roger Sterling will be entertaining. His very-1969 forays into group orgies in the season premiere certainly was very much in character, and delightful.
— Pete Campbell will give me reasons to hate him. Although Pete seemed like a new man out in California when the show begins, his obnoxiousness came out quick once his realtor girlfriend showed up.
— Peggy Olson will be aggrieved, and Joan will be disrespected. Check, check.
— And Don Draper will engage in some self-destructive behavior and generally bring misery down upon himself.
But actually, that last one didn’t happen, which made Sunday’s premiere pretty interesting to me. Given a chance to once again cheat on his wife Megan (who I really thought we were done with after last season, but nope, Matthew Weiner continues to inflict her on us), Don turns down the mysterious woman on his flight (Neve Campbell! And where the hell has she been?) and goes back home to his bachelor pad he’s now sharing with Freddy Rumsen, improbably.
Is this a new chapter for Don? Might he actually be giving up alcohol? He’s still kind of a cad; his interactions with Megan were stilted and he seemed like he’d rather be anywhere else, but it feels like the show is going to try to redeem Don after 6 seasons of awful behavior by him. That would definitely be an interesting turn.
The other characters also seem to be in a lot of flux; Joan is finally getting a chance to be taken seriously by clients, poor Ken is overwhelmed by his new job, and I can’t wait to see what little Sally Draper has been up to.
Only about a dozen “Mad Men” episodes left, and it’s all happening in 1969. Should be a really fun ride.
**Next up today, this video is a few years old but I’d never seen it: A father entertains his quadruplet children by making them laugh hysterically. The table is genius, by the way.
Nothing sweeter than babies laughing.
**And finally today, another story that angers those of us who believe our criminal justice system is so very flawed. A man who spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was just released, as it turns out his original alibi, that he was at Disney World at the time and not in New York City where the murder happened, was finally verified.
Jonathan Fleming, now 51 (hugging his lawyer, above), was convicted for a 1989 slaying where the key witness was a crack addict who later recanted his testimony.
Yet Fleming sat in prison for a quarter-century until his lawyer urged New York’s new district attorney to look into the case, and phone records showed that Fleming was indeed in Orlando when the crime happened in NYC.
It’s amazing how many innocent people are sitting in our prisons. Truly amazing.