10 Bizarre Fan Theories on TV’s Most Popular Shows

In the year ahead we’re expecting to get answers from some of television’s most mystery-ridden shows, from How I Met Your Mother and Homeland to The Office, and even, one day, Breaking Bad (it’s hard to believe now, but that day will come). And so, while we still sit in the space between questions and answers, we decided to round up the most popular and/or bizarre fan theories we’ve seen (some spoilers may be ahead). Have some to elaborate on or share? Let us know!

Mad Men: Everything ends up being Kenny Cosgrove’s roman à clef

Last year Slate’s Julia Turner shared an interesting commenter theory on why Peggy didn’t take Kenny Cosgrove with her to CGC, per their “you go, I go” pact. It goes:

My theory/prediction about Cosgrove is that, in the end, it’s revealed that he’s written everything we’ve seen in the series, a memoir or thinly veiled fiction of his time in advertising. I think the episode with Pete’s dinner party hinted at that. He always seems to be hanging around the edges, no doubt observing what’s happening, keeping a low profile and writing in his spare time. So, a reason Peggy didn’t bring him with her when she jumped ship could be that functionally, he needs to stay so we have a witness to everything that happens at SCDP.

Our take: We love this theory, but also admit it totally plays on our uptick in warm feelings towards Kenny Cosgrove (after Michael Ginsberg, who’s still Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s most moral employee). As others have reminded us, in the pre-Alex Mack days he wasn’t always a good guy, but this idea is totally plausible and romantic in the context of his increasingly sensitive writer characterization. See the above clip from last season’s “Signal 30,” in which we got a taste of his short story about Pete Campbell, “The Man With the Miniature Orchestra.”