If the drunks in Times Square seem particularly well dressed on Sunday night, it’s not your imagination. They’re just diehard Mad Men fans getting into character for the premiere of the show’s fourth season. On July 25, AMC is hosting a World Premiere Screening Event in Duffy Square—the northern triangle of Times Square between 46th and 47th Streets—and it’s sure to draw scores of stylish advertising enthusiasts and a few motivated couch potatoes anxious to find out what 1964 holds for the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The event will feature trivia games, costume contests, celebrity appearances, and a big-screen showing of the first episode of the new season—an hour before everybody else gets to see it.
Things get rolling at 7:00 p.m. with the Last Mad Men Standing trivia contest, followed by a 20-minute film clip entitled Mad Men Rules, which depicts the everything-goes era in which the show takes place. The Mad Men Style costume contest gets underway at 8:00 as designers Chris March and Rachel Antonoff and stylist Nolé Marin select ten women and ten men in period costume who best represent the style and attitude of the show. One male and one female winner will get an AMC Mad Men prize pack with posters, t-shirts, and the kind of stuff that seems neat at first but you’re not sure what to do with once you get home. Maybe they’ll have liquor flasks or cocktail shakers for era-appropriate Belve concoctions. That would be worth holding on to.
The premiere itself starts at 9:00, with the show projected onto a big screen facing the ruby-red steps atop the TKTS booth. The weather’s looking good, and the whole area is a lot quieter than it used to be now that Times Square is closed to cars, so you might even be able to hear the show’s heavy breathing and cutting dialogue.
One or more members of the cast will be on hand as well, but who exactly shall remain a mystery until Sunday. At last year’s premiere, the secret cast member was Bryan Batt, who plays Sal Romano. As watchers of season 3 know, the closeted gay art director was summarily sacked in episode 9 for rebuffing the advances of Lucky Strike executive Lee Garner Jr. Will this year’s talent meet a similar fate? Watch and see.