Facing ‘Mad Men’ Return Anew

I’ve done my best to obtain early looks at most of what’s reviewed in this blog, but failed utterly to get on the mailing list for “Mad Men” (AMC, 9 p.m.).

I like to think I was there on the ground floor, giving a rave before the first episode, getting to know the cast at the memorable launch party, being a constant supporter ever since. I seem to be somewhat out of the loop now, or at least their mailing list.

Not since HBO had a series been so richly detailed and subtly paced. And not since “The Sopranos” had such an acclaimed drama been off the air for such a length of time – 18 months – between seasons.

It may have caused more hype than ever – it is the fifth season of a show that doesn’t draw much more than a third of the audience for the show whose time slot it’s taking, “The Walking Dead.”

But there is some pent-up anticipation for it. Still, if I had an advance copy it would have been impossible to write about. They always kindly ask reviewers not to reveal any detail so as not to spoil the surprise for viewers. So what’s to write? That you should tune in? I could tell you that right now.

And what would be left for me to do when it does premiere? I would have already seen it. I might have had to watch “Celebrity Apprentice” instead. HBO did the opposite when their last big dramatic season of an original series began, sending the whole of “Luck,” which I watched in a couple of gulps, giving me the best idea of what it would accomplish, but little incentive to tune in again on Sundays to watch it all again.

While I’ve been dismayed by the empty mailbox these past weeks, I can only share the anticipation for Sunday’s two hour start.

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