There’s no denying that most of the times, Mad Men is a masterpiece. However, the show can also be quite slow and tedious, which this episode unfortunately exhibited all too well.
My main gripe with the show is the fact that you really need to get into a certain mood to enjoy it. A lot of times that necessitates binging on a slew of episodes in order to transport yourself into the show’s very specific tone. While I’ve missed Mad Men a great deal,I found this premier frustrating to watch and far from the brilliance the show is capable of.
Don will always be one of the most fascinating characters on television. Jon Hamm is a true revelation – always managing to make a guy who should be quite despicable, extremely likeable. However the opening scenes in Hawaii weren’t as effective as they could have been in conveying the next chapter in Don’s life. In addition, I think I’m pretty much done with Megan. Season five gave her way too much importance, and it’s time for Don’s next dalliance to take center-stage (looks like his neighbor’s wife will be lucky gal).
It’s easy to point out the episode’s biggest flaw: Betty. The character used to be one of my favorites in the show’s first three season. But when she left Don, the writers just didn’t know where to take her next. Henry was never a compelling character, and having her on the outskirts of Don’s life made her pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things. Her fat season last year was admittedly sort of entertaining in a cheap sort of way, but this year looks like it will be a disappointing one for January Jones. That line she sputtered about holding Sandy down while Henry rapes her? That had to be one of the most disturbing and bizarre lines a character’s ever said on this show (or any show for that matter). And then to have her wander around a hippy house for two hours, well that was just painful to watch. Here’s hoping her new brunette locks will signal a more intriguing direction for the character.
How weird was the double scene with the doorman fainting? The specter of death was really looming over this episode and gave the hour quite the morbid touch. If anything, Roger was the highlight as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s passing only to completely lose it after his shoe-shine guy bit the dust. It was also a treat to see both of Roger’s ex-wives again, particularly the gorgeous Jane who I wish was still on the show.
Peggy deserves special mention. It’s amazing to witness her transformation throughout the course of the series from shy secretary to Don 2.0. The way she decimated those junior execs? Outstanding; Don would be proud. But please writers, can Joan have an actual storyline next week? She is a partner now after all.
Pitches & Pieces
– Loved Betty not eating candy in the movies. Nice to see she’s still trying at least.
– I guess adults really did let kids smoke up back then. Or was it just Betty?
– Roger’s over the top sobbing secretary was hilarious (especially as she chugged down the vodka).
– I laughed as the photographed kept trying to snap Don in his office lost in “confident thought”.
– Megan’s career is taking off. Wonderful. Let’s hope it takes her far far away.
– Don vomited in public (during the eulogy no less). Shocking.
– I guess Bob the eager guy is going to be a new recurring character this season.
Roger: I suppose I should handle the funeral arrangements.
Secretary: You wanna call your aunt back?
Roger: Nah she’s a fruitcake, she’ll wanna do a seance.
Roger: You know… we sold actual death with Lucky Strike for 25 years. You know how we did it? We ignored it.
A disappointing and slow-moving premiere. Step it up show.