“Mad Men” is one of the most addictive shows on television. Every episode of the Emmy winning AMC drama has a watercooler moment. Every subtle nuance is analyzed and re-analyzed by dedicated legions of critics and fans. Every man wants to be Don Draper and every woman fantasizes about being the one who can ensnare him. None of this is surprising. But what might come as a surprise is that the stars of one of TV’s most buzzworthy, compulsively watched shows have their own binge watching obsessions — and some of their choices may amaze you.
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In honor of “Mad Men’s” entire fifth season being available to catch up on during XFINITY Watchathon Week, we sat down with series stars John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm to find out what shows they haven’t been able to stop watching, and asked them for tips on how you can make the most out of your binge viewing experience.
Take a look below and then try to imagine Roger Sterling and Kenny Powers riding tandem jet skis during a drug-fueled weekend bender on the Hudson.
Get Started on Season 5 of “Mad Men” Now:
JOHN SLATTERY (Roger Sterling)
His Binge Viewing Obsessions: “Eastbound & Down” and “Homeland”
How He Watched “Eastbound & Down”: That was the first season of that show, I couldn’t get enough of it. I watched it all in like a day. And then I was like, watching the “Making Of” videos, too, which was a mistake. I would caution against that because then it’s all shattered. You’re seeing these people and you’re like, “Oh, they’re actually people.” I mean, Danny McBride is a real guy but I wanna live with Kenny Powers in my head and not have the illusion shattered. All of those actors, I mean, they were great. Watch every season of “Eastbound & Down” during XFINITY Watchathon Week.
How He Watched “Homeland”: I watched the first season in a couple of days. My wife [Talia Balsam] was on it in the second season. She played the Vice President’s wife. [During Season 2] I was working or something and couldn’t catch up with it and people kept telling me what was happening — I guess because they felt compelled to because Talia was on the show… But it’s hard not to be made aware of it…Then how do you talk to anybody anymore? If I’ve seen four episodes and you haven’t seen any, or I’ve seen eight and you’ve already seen three, what are we talking about? What the hell is left to discuss? No one has that kind of self control! It’s like, “Oh, wait ‘til you see what happens to Blah Blah Blah,” or something. People kept saying to me [** SPOILER ALERT** after the Season 2 finale of “Homeland” ], “Oh, sorry they blew up your wife.” And I was like, “Great.” Watch “Homeland” during XFINITY Watchathon Week.
How to Binge Watch Season 5 of “Mad Men”: I would do the full season in a weekend. You start in the afternoon when it’s late enough to drink. [You’re] probably [drinking] a Bloody [Mary]. You watch so you don’t have to stay up until 4 in the morning — you watch half of it. Then you watch the other half on Sunday morning. I would do that.
Are Bathroom Breaks Allowed?: Yeah, you’re taking bathroom breaks! What are we, savages?! You have to take a bathroom break. But do it in between episodes. Then you order in [takeout], maybe? It depends on where you live. It’s civilized.
ELISABETH MOSS (Peggy Olson)
Her Binge Watching Obsession: “The Sopranos“
How to Binge Watch Season 5 of “Mad Men”: Well, I’m a total binge watcher. Like, that’s how I watch TV is five episodes in a row, just mind numbing. But I think that probably the best way to watch “Mad Men” is taking it in just a little bit at a time, even if that means three episodes a day. Just take it a little bit easy so you have time to think about it, let it sit with you for a second. But I would not blame anyone if they just watched all of it at once, because that’s what I do. It’s hard, I get it.
How She Binge Watched “The Sopranos”: When I was in New Zealand doing “Top of the Lake,” I binge watched “The Sopranos.” So I would work all day on like really intense material and then my way of relaxing was watching “The Sopranos.” I’d watch, like, three episodes a night. And I’d be like, “Oh, that’s so much better. I’m so relaxed now!” But it was, because it was so different from what I was doing all day. So I watched all six seasons of that in a month while working everyday, all day long, which is binge watching. I think it helped me to keep my sanity. I think it really did. Watch every episode of “The Sopranos” during XFINITY Watchathon Week.
Her Recommendation for What to Wear or Eat While Watching “Mad Men” Season 5: Nothing, obviously. Wear nothing, and then [drink] whiskey. That seems like the most logical thing to be doing, whether you’re with someone or by yourself! Just get comfortable!
CHRISTINA HENDRICKS (Joan Harris)
Her Binge Viewing Obsession: “Deadwood”
How She Binge Watched “Deadwood”: I think a lot of people binge watch shows. I think a lot of people wait and they watch them all at once, or they watch a couple of seasons at a time. That is how I watched “Deadwood.” I watched it years after everyone else. [I’d stay up late] Then I was literally bleary-eyed and I started dressing like them! Watch every episode of “Deadwood” during XFINITY Watchathon Week.
JON HAMM (Don Draper):
His Binge Watching Obsession: “The Wire”
How He Binge Watched “The Wire”: You can watch TV on your phone now and you can watch it in your car — Please don’t, by the way. I’ve actually seen that and I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?” Driving a car and watching a television show! It’s personal for people. I think people that like the show like the show and they want to watch it how they want to watch it. Some people come to the show late. I was a late adopter of “The Wire.” I started with Season 5 and then I watched Seasons 1-4 on my phone on a movie set over the course of about two weeks. Watch every episode of “The Wire” during XFINITY Watchathon Week.
Watch: TV Stars Offer Tips on Binge Viewing During XFINITY Watchathon Week:
The two-hour Season 6 premiere of “Mad Men” airs on Sunday, April 7 at 9/8c on AMC.