The Ministry cannot proceed without a declaration: Christina Hendricks is beyond beautiful tonight in her flattering, fitted crimson gown. Smashing. Gorgeous. You go girl.
That said, the actors of "Mad Men" really dig their show -- in a good way.
"We're all very nervous every season when we come back," Hendricks said -- excited to see what's happening with the characters. "Oh gosh, we haven't done this in so long," is the mood at the start of each season, she said, "so it doesn't feel like old hat at all."
"We really love this show and get very excited" she said, "so it always feels fresh."
Excitement's not the only emotion the show evokes. Commenting on the last season's plot, Rich Sommer
shared a connection with his own life: "For me the most personal moment felt like the dissolution of the marriage.
"My parents got divorced and the way it went down was not dissimilar to the way it went down in the Draper house," said the show's Harry Crane, whose relationship with his "Mad Men" wife has seen some bumps as well. "Hopefully it's a relatable show. We hope that a lot of it resonates with a lot of people."
The history is something a lot of the show's fans -- hello, Ministry's mom and dad -- relate to intensely.
"It's very interesting to see a TV show taking place in a time that goes back to the '60s, which people thought was just this good golden age," said Bryan Batt
, who plays closeted Salvatore Romano. "'Mad Men'," he says, "showed how there was so much racism and sexism and homophobia and how it's still relevant today."
"It makes us look forward to how far we need to come, and I don't think any other show is doing that."
[For the record, 5:01 p.m., Jan. 24: A previous version of this post misquoted Rich Sommer as saying that he, rather than his parents, had gotten divorced, and that the way it went down was not similar to the show's plot, when he actually said "not dissimilar." The correct quote appears above. And might I add, right now the Ministry's face is about as red as Ms. Hendricks' gown/cdz]
-- Christie D'Zurilla and Amy KaufmanPhoto credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times