"Mad Men" is within reach of the beginning of its end. So, naturally, the time for zou bisou bisou of the TV industry-order is necessary before the much-hyped public unveiling of the first leg of its final season.
The '60s-set high-powered drama held its premiere screening at the Arclight in Hollywood on Wednesday night, with Matthew Weiner, the don of the
"There is some bittersweetness, obviously .... There's a lot of bittersweetness. Mostly bitterness, actually," Weiner joked. "No, there's no bitterness, there is just the joy of remembering. Honestly, I've had a flash once in a while the last few weeks to typing on a computer the pilot [episode] and imagining it and seeing it as a stack of papers and then thinking about this rocket ship that we've all been on for the last few years. Here we are, Season 7."
"Tonight is a celebration of the reality the people around you have created, and the celebration of all those people in the dark who have welcomed us into their homes," he said. "We're very proud to be a part of your life."
Cut to 9:30 p.m. across town, following the screening, where stiff drinks were being poured as if a new moneyed client was signed at SCDP.
Weiner, a wide grin fixed on his face, fielded handshakes and congratulatory back pats at the after party held at Chateau Marmont. All the while three of his four sons huddled nearby before one, Marten Weiner -- who has appeared on the show as Sally Draper-admirer Glen Bishop -- whispered into his father's ear, momentarily pulling Matt's attention away from the procession of felicitations.
About a hundred feet away,
Across the way, a scruffy
As if to underscore the psychedelic-theme of "Mad Men's" promotional poster, an unusual selection of songs served as a backdrop to the night's affairs -- tunes such as Ace of Base's "All That She Wants," TLC's "No Scrubs" and Outkast's "Ms. Jackson."
But as 11 p.m. approached, even Don Draper needed a breather. With a scarf wrapped around his neck, Hamm lingered outside a side door, enjoying space away from the mad house. And perhaps ready for the beginning of the night's end to get underway.