Another teaser for Mad Men's hotly-anticipated fifth season, which premieres March 25, was released Tuesday, and once again, it contains absolutely no new footage, instead rehashing images from past seasons. (Watch the video below.) Meanwhile, media sites are leaking a letter that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner penned to critics who were given early screeners of the show's two-hour premiere. In the letter, Weiner implores those reviewers not to spoil a single plot point of the episode. "I know you are aware how strongly I feel that the viewers are entitled to have the same experience you just had... I know that this is best accomplished when key storylines are not revealed in advance... I truly look forward to your spoiler-free thoughts and insights." In a further bid to keep the plot under wraps, Weiner has reportedly given gag orders to all cast members doing promotional interviews. Is Weiner going overboard?
His anti-spoiler mania is out of hand: I'm getting "a bit weary of Weiner's self-importance," says Judy Berman at Flavorwire. When producers of other TV series, even highbrow or critically adored shows, distribute preview footage, none of them has the gall to instruct critics how to do to their jobs. Give fans some credit, Matt. If they desperately want to avoid spoilers, they're more than capable of doing so. It's almost hypocritical that Weiner is trying so desperately to control this media conversation, when his show's very "popularity and mystique is the direct result of constant media evangelism."
"Why won't Matthew Weiner reveal any Mad Men season 5 footage?"
It's completely fair: "Call me wacky," says Brian Lowry at Variety. But, even coming from a "notorious control freak," this "doesn't sound like an unreasonable request." I, for one, will be adhering to Weiner's request because it's in my own interest: "Why should critics risk alienating their customers by potentially undercutting the viewing experience?" A wise journalist would never reveal significant plot twists without at least warning his readers first. "In this climate, who can afford to be cavalier about chasing away people who actually read reviews?"
"Will critics heed Matthew Weiner's 'mad' plea?"
This could backfire: Maybe the premiere isn't up to snuff, says Chris Spargo at New Now Next. OK, that's "most likely not the case," but the longer that Weiner makes fans wait for any new information about the upcoming season, "the more critical they may be once they see the first episode." Consider this: It's been over a year since Mad Men fans last saw new footage. Current promos have given away nothing, and expectations are increasing exponentially. "How angry will everyone be if the first episode doesn't hit it out of the park?"
"Will Mad Men suck this season?"