By Wayne Harada
Say aloha to "Mad Men."
The hot AMC series webbed in the 1960s lifestyle and spirit, which has won a bunch of Emmys since its launch five years ago, apparently is filming scenes in Hawaii this weekend for its Season 6 premiere.
Deadline.com reports that Jon Hamm and Jessica Pare, who play Don and Megan Draper on the advertising agency show with a New York framework, will undergo a secretive two-day on-location shoot in Honolulu.
Of course, exec producer Scott Hornbacher is mum on precisely what or where the Hawaii segment will involve. Probably by the time anyone recognizes or spots the actors from the elegantly classy TV series, filming will be over and the gang will be homebound.
If it’s the 1960s, which is the timetable for "Mad Men," Hawaii is in a post-statehood glow, Don Ho is the reigning heartbreaker among women audiences in Waikiki, and Kalakaua Avenue is abuzz with nightlife and street action. It’s a Pacific idyll for Mainlanders of the era, a place for pleasure and relaxation in the sun and the surf.
Script-wise, a fashionable couple would be ensconced in the most elegant hotel at the time, the iconic Pink Palace formally known as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It's still a swanky joint today, with a distinguished history.
The look will be retro, down to the smallest detail, which is characteristic of this trend-setting show.
Nothing much has been revealed about the ad agency honcho coming over here, but just possibly, it might be to scope out another pinkie — Spam, the beloved canned meat in Hawaii — to kick off a campaign? To taste-test? Who knows? Maybe even encounter the Spam Musubi?
And if it’s the late 60s, the Jack Lord “Hawaii Five-0” is launching a pilot that would evolve into a 12-season run on CBS.
Which could remotely be linked to the show. When Season 5 ended, Draper was alone in a bar, after booking Megan on an acting job thanks to folks he knows. Hmmm, would she be destined to take on a role in “Five-0”? Book ‘em, Danno.
According to the Los Angeles Times, series creator Matthew Weiner and producer Hornbacher reportedly scouted for locations for the episode in September. Clearly, the shoot comes with a somewhat hefty budget, considering the destination and the brevity of the filming.
Lionsgate TV is producer of the series, acclaimed for its detailed attention to style and mood and costumes and scripts evoking the heartbeat of Madison Avenue of the 60s. The show won has amassed 15 Emmys over its first four seasons, but was denied any laurels in its fifth season, despite beaucoup nominations.
Prime-time series have frequently made the trek to Hawaii to authenticate time and place. In past years, shows like “ER,” “The Jeffersons,” “Knight Rider,” “The Thorn Birds,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Saved by the Bell,” “Hart to Hart,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “Charley’s Angels” and “Gilligan’s Island,” and “T.J. Hooker.”
"Mad Men" boasts a devoted viewership and a plug on the show, whatever the time warp, would be a boost for Island tourism, particularly since Hawaii will be Hawaii in context — like the rebooted "Hawaii Five-0" (Alex O'Loughlin version ) on CBS now, but not like the Hawaii that is supposedly an island in the Indian Sea, on ABC's "Last Resort."
If you see anyone or anything "Mad" around town, post an impression here.