‘Mad Men’ Creator Matt Weiner Reveals Season Five Theme, Explains His Anti-Spoiler Policy

by | March 14, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Interviews, Mad Men

Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm in Mad Men Season 5 (AMC)

Matt Weiner, the creator of “Mad Men” refuses to divulge any spoilers about the show’s fifth season, which debuts March 25. Even the year that it will take place remains a mystery. Prior to show’s PaleyFest panel on Tuesday, Weiner slightly loosened his lips to tell XfinityTV what the Season 5′s theme will be and why he is determined to keep fans in the dark until the premiere airs. “I think last season’s finale was a little cliffhangery,” he said, referring to Don (Jon Hamm) asking his secretary to marry him and the precarious state of his ad agency. “Those questions will be answered and more.”

Then Weiner gave some oblique hints about Season 5. “I think the show is very much related to what is going on right now,” he said. “It was not deliberate. It was sort of on my mind and the writers’ minds. The themes on the show which I’ve been talking about are: when is everything going to get back to normal? And the other theme is really every man for himself. And both of those sort of thematic stories which are for Don and for everybody else on the show on some level, are really, I think, what we’re going through right now as a country, and as a culture.”

First Look: “Mad Men” Season 5 Photos

Weiner also discussed a little about “Mad Men’s” less esoteric elements. “As there always is, there’s lots of jealousy. It’s dirty. Everybody looks good. I think it’s entertaining. There are a lot of twists and turns. I think you’ll get the texture of the show the way we’ve always had it, but, more importantly, you will have a real feeling of, like, it being related to right now.”

Watch Jon Hamm Discuss His “Mad Men”-Related Injuries:

The show’s anti-spoiler policy is not merely about hype. “I believe that there is a certain kind of entertainment that is based on surprise,” Weiner revealed. “It’s just who I am. I put myself in the audience’s mind. I don’t think I know better than them. I think what would I like as an audience member, and it’s to not know anything,” he said. “I don’t mind being deceived, but when I sit down, let the entertainer take me through the story. I don’t look online before I see Bruce Springsteen to see when he’s going to play Born to Run. I don’t want someone telling me the last page of the book. So, for me, that’s just the kind of entertainment this is.”  Weiner waxed nostalgic about entertainment journalism in the pre-internet era. “In the olden days, people weren’t asking on a daily basis. There was a long lead time on the press. Maybe there was radio and TV. There’d be teasers and you’d find out who the stars were but they wouldn’t just tell you the movie unless it was a relatively popular book. In fact, when they would do a really popular book they would change it so you would have a surprise in it.”

At the Paleyfest panel, which was mostly a discussion of Season 4, Weiner stated that he anticipates that there will be seven seasons of “Mad Men.” “I think the plan is for seven years… I don’t want to overstay our welcome. It’s really hard to do it. I was on ‘The Sopranos’ the last three seasons of the show. What happens is you just start running into places that you’ve been over and over again and it just becomes impossible… It’s not like there’s some master plan, but I always thought that would cover it.” He added that, though he does not know every single beat of the next three seasons, “I know exactly how it’s going to end.”