Saturday, May 05, 2012

Mad Men Season 5

So in a previous post I lamented my late arrival to the television series Mad Men and my damn near heroic efforts that I undertook to get myself caught up. No, it wasn't nearly as horrifying as it could have been, but getting through 54 or so hours of television in about a month is no small feat.

Anyway, I bring this up because season 5 is currently airing and boy howdy, is it good (see what happens when I start censoring myself a bit? I don't care for that...). I contemplated being one of the bandwagon jumping blogger who spouts off knee-jerk reactions to episodes, but that didn't really appeal to me, besides watching Mad Men and trying to figure out what is happening after one or two episodes is like trying to divine the true meaning of the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. You need time, space, and perspective to figure out that it is just Damon Lindloff's idea of how to see Evangeline Lilly in skimpy outfits every day... Anyway, here are a couple of thoughts about this season of Mad Men:

1. The writers have done a really clever thing in the way they are treating Don's marriage to Megan. Prior to the season premier there was so much speculation among critics and fans as to how they could get rid of Megan so as to not kill the show or how their relationship would be some sort of farce and the actions of Tomorrowland would be the series' shark-jumping moment. Neither has been the case, instead we get a complicated portrayal of two strong-minded people trying to make a strange marriage work. Don may have thought he was getting Julie Andrews-like nanny, but what he really got was a smart, driven young woman who isn't afraid to call him on his shit. Don had been so cloaked in secrets and lies that many thought their relationship was doomed before it started. The writer's have shown us how Don has changed, and how he hasn't, whithout a lot of clunky dialogue or hacky set pieces. It has been interesting to watch.

2. Nobody has missed Betty. We all got to see too much of her last year as she devolved into a shrew that even her new husband couldn't stand. This year she has been relegated to one episode and it has been the season's low point. They have reached the point where they either really need to ramp up Betty's role in the story or they just need to get rid of her altogether.

3. Finally, Roger Sterling is the Man...

It has been a good season so far, I am very interested in where they plan on taking this story, to see what this is all supposed to mean and how it all affects these characters who are as richly drawn as any that television has ever had. Oh, and good on Joan for getting rid of Dr. Raper this year too... He was creepy.

No comments: