The Late Movies: Baffling "Next on Mad Men" Clips

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I'm a big fan of AMC's Mad Men. I've been watching it faithfully since its debut. But one thing has been bugging me since the third season -- the "next on" segments at the end of each episode reveal virtually nothing about the plot of the next episode. They're a kind of dada art in which the producers of the show show clips of unrelated dialogue; even if you know exactly what's going on with the show, they don't show enough actual interaction to figure out what the next episode is about. It's almost as if the producers are contractually obligated to provide some kind of "next on" segment, so decide to put meaningless stuff in there to fill time (either that, or they're driving you to their website for a meaningful video). In tonight's Late Movies I'll show a few examples, then some hilarious parodies.

Warning: in theory, there might be spoilers here. However, I think you'll see pretty quickly that these things are nonsensical in the extreme. Also note that in the first two seasons (like this clip from season 2) the "next on" segments did actually seem meaningful on their own, so are full of spoilers.

Season 3 Episode 12

On the next episode of Mad Men: "I have what is rather disappointing news." (About what?) "If they wanted to fire you, they would have fired you." (Who is he talking to?) "What are you doing here?" (Who is she talking to?) "Bert Cooper still has a say around here." (Regarding what??)

Season 3 Episode 11

"It's unfair but it's over." (What's over? Who's he talking to?) "I'm curious why you won't answer the question." (Who? What question?) "I like that you thought of me. You want to be on some people's minds." (Who??) "What are you doing here?" (Remember this exact line from the episode above?)

Season 3 Episode 13

"I'm deeply disappointed, Don." (Why?) "What if this is my time?" (What/why?) "You are in over your head." (Who?) (Crying, throwing things, kissing, tender moments, breaking a vase...huh?) Spoiler alert: to be fair, there is a little actual content in this one -- the stuff with the kids and Betty has clear meaning, and so does the bit about Sterling Cooper.

Parody - The Room

Update: these are all apparently the work of John Duffy, and he's making more! Check out his YouTube channel for more; I particularly recommend the 30 Rock video, featuring Jon Hamm.

Apparently I'm not the first person to notice this madness. Various parodies have popped up on YouTube, substituting similar clips from other shows and movies, in a similarly disjointed manner. You can find them by searching for the fourth episode of the fourth season ("Episode 4.4"). Here's one from The Room:

Parody - Arrested Development

Parody - Curb Your Enthusiasm

Warning: swearing.

Parody - The Office (Original Series)

Parody - Jurassic Park

Mostly dinosaurs.

Sesame Street: Mad Men

Oh, good old Sesame Street. "This doesn't make me happy! The raccoons are running off with the bear's honey! This makes me mad!" Best closing line ever: "Good work, sycophants." I gotta use that more often.

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August 25, 2010 - 6:00pm
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