Now Here's some good TV news for local viewers: Baltimore is featured prominently in the premiere episode of Season 3 of AMC's Mad Men, last year's winner of the Emmy as the best drama on television. Mark your calendars for 10 p.m. Aug. 16.
In sending out the screener, the producers asked that plot points not be revealed. With the web being the web someone is sure to violate that request. But it won't be me. I love the series and like the writer-prooducers too much. This is one of the few dramatically rich viewing experiences left on TV, and I don't want to spoil one bit of viewer pleasure.
But I can talk a bit about the Baltimore stuff. At the heart of the season opener is a business trip Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Salvatore Romano (Bryan Batt) take to Baltimore to do a little hand holding with one of their clients, the father and son running London Fog. The episode is titled "Out of Town," and it is written by series creator Matthew Weiner, who spent part of his childhood in Baltimore and attended Park School. (Robin Veith, an Emmy-nominated writer on the series, was promoted this season to executive story editor. She grew up in Baltimore.) Photo courtesy of AMC
As the title suggests, the trip to Baltimore dominates the episode with Draper and Romano eating dinner at Haussner's, spending a night at the Belvedere Hotel and the next day at the London Fog factory.
I will say nothing about what happens at any of their stops. But it is sexy, deep, complicated and fabulous. I loved this show from the first five minutes of the pilot, and I was infatuated all over again 30 seconds into the opener of Season 3.
While it is set on Madison Avenue in the 1960s and absolutely steeped in authentic period detail, Weiner and his staff of writers like Veith have managed to make Mad Men speak more eloquently than any other TV drama to America today.
Season 2 ended with the Sterling Cooper advertising agency being taken over by the British firm of Putnam, Powell and Lowe. And now the downsizing begins. The level or anxiety, fear and anger at Sterling Cooper will seem all too familiar to many viewers today.