This Sunday, at 9 p.m. on AMC, Matthew Weiner's Mad Men returns for its sixth season. As each season of the show has been better than the last, expectations are high. Early reports indicate that the two-hour premiere won't disappoint.
What is disappointing, though, is the gap between the ratings and the conversation about Mad Men. Despite being one of the most respected and talked about show on the air, it's not one of the most watched (that would be everything on the TV hospice that is CBS). Thankfully, AMC won't cancel the show. Still, it would be nice if more people watched art as dynamic, moving, and unpredictable as Matthew Weiner's chronicle of inevitable despair and era-defining change in the ad world of the 1960s. (That it feels unpredictable and inevitable is just one incredible paradox that speaks to the idiosyncratic quality of the show.)
So, please watch the show. We've prepared this recap of the first five seasons so that you can watch this Sunday. Please understand that in no way are the following 73 slides of GIFs a substitute for the experience of watching the show. The day that GIFs replace programming like Mad Men is the day we shut off the lights and walk away.
In the meantime, enjoy this appetizer before Sunday's feast.
Compiled by Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)