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Mad Men: The Streak Continues

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Mad Men is, sadly, off the air till the summer. But it is definitely on a roll. On Saturday night it won the Writers Guild Award for best dramatic series. In the three weeks before that, it won the Directors Guild and Art Directors Guild awards.

Earlier in January, it won as best dramatic series at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Producers Guild.

Star Jon Hamm even reprised his much praised October 2008 hosting turn on Saturday Night Live at the end of January. Hamm, who is apparently not at all like Don Draper, is a very relaxed, funny guy.

Jon Hamm drew plaudits again for hosting Saturday Night Live on January 30th.

Mad Men won the Directors Guild Award at the end of January, with Lesli Linka Glatter honored for her work directing the great "Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency" episode. That's the one in which, literally, a guy named Guy walks into Sterling Cooper, on top of the world when he arrives as the young corporate star picked by the Brit overseers to run the advertising agency. He never walks out though, after running afoul of hapless Lois driving a big lawn mower through an office party.

In mid-February, production designer Dan Bishop won the best dramatic series Art Directors Guild award for his work on "Souvenir." As we all know, the design of Mad Men is absolutely critical to the show's success.

"Souvenir" is the episode in which Don and Betty Draper, swept into the world of Connie Hilton, go to Rome. Betty dazzles, proving to be brainy as well as beautiful, showing herself to be a very valuable partner in Don's potentially skyrocketing career, only to be left at the end with only a new charm for her bracelet. Bishop won last year for "The Jet Set," in which Don disappears from a business conference in LA, falling in with a crew of roving aristos in Palm Springs before seeking out his first wife. And the year before for "Shoot," in which Betty is inveigled back into the world of modeling by a big agency (McCann Erickson, which later buys Sterling Cooper's London owners) trying to headhunt Don.

On Saturday night, Mad Men won the Writers Guild Award for best dramatic series, with the entire writing staff sharing in the honor with series creator Matthew Weiner.

Jon Hamm played new Senator Scott Brown on Saturday Night Live.

Mad Men won out over the nominees field of Lost, Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Friday Night Lights.

But Mad Men did not win the award for best episode.

Mad Men had two episodes nominated, which probably split votes, as the other shows only had one episode nominated each.

The Mad Men nominees were the aforementioned "Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency," by Robin Veith and Matthew Weiner.

The essential milieu of Mad Men is not all that admirable.

And "The Grown Ups," by Brett Johnson and Weiner. That's the stunning episode set around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Camelot wasn't the only thing that ended in the episode.

Instead of either of those, the episode writing award went to a two-part episode of House, in which the acerbic titular doctor suffers a breakdown and is hospitalized.

Sounds like showy stuff.

Of course, this suggests a way to not only guarantee winning the best episode writing award next year, but also finally wrap up the best actor Emmy for Jon Hamm.

I can see it now ... It's 1965 and Don Draper is out in LA again. Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is out of that room at the Pierre Hotel and flourishing in a glass-and-chrome tower. Don is on top of the world, the Ad Man of the Year. But as he drives down the California coast in his Mustang convertible, the Beatles' plaintively antic "Help!" playing on the car stereo, there's something just a little off.

The Mad Men episode "Souvenir" won the top dramatic series award from the Art Directors Guild.

Actually, there's a lot off, and he engages in a picaresque adventure. After which he shows up again on the doorstep of the former Mrs. Don Draper. The first former Mrs. Don Draper, that is. Don hasn't really gotten over his split with Betty. And his feelings for Anna Draper, who after all was the wife of the real Don Draper, haven't been fully explored.

A great deal of angst, with a romantic edge, ensues, until finally Don is wading into the cleansing waters of the Pacific, as he did in the key Season 2 episode, "The Mountain King." Only this time, part one of the two-part episode ends on a cliffhanger. Don begins swimming west, out to sea, a la Bruce Dern in Coming Home.

As the conclusion of the two-parter begins, we see Don in a hospital ward. A figure approaches his bedside, just as he approached Peggy Olsen's after her surprise pregnancy. And it's, yes, Peggy. They talk, and ...

Don Draper is on top of the world right up until the fall. The seeming fall, that is.

Surefire Emmys all around, don't you think?

Man, it is a long way till the Season 4 premiere.

Here are the Mad Men writers sharing in the Writers Guild Award for best dramatic series:

Lisa Albert
Andrew Colville
Kater Gordon
Cathryn Humphris
Andre Jacquemetton
Maria Jacquemetton
Brett Johnson
Erin Levy
Marti Noxon
Frank Pierson
Robin Veith
Dahvi Waller
Matthew Weiner

You can check things during the day on my site, New West Notes ... www.newwestnotes.com.