Friday, April 12, 2013

What I’m Watching: Mad Men (Season Premiere)

Mad Men: Season 6, Episodes 1 and 2 “The Doorway, Part 1 and 2” (A-)

So long into its run, you’d expect that this show might have lost some of its signature style and creativity. Yet that’s not the case at all, as this premiere was even more engaging and enthralling to watch almost than ever before. Starting out in Hawaii was a magnificent way to reintroduce the characters and to demonstrate just how dissatisfied Don still is, despite the fact that he has a gorgeous, intelligent, successful woman by his side. After an embarrassing overindulgence at the funeral of Roger’s mother, Don impressed as always with an intoxicating pitch, and the way he protested the reaction he got from the client was evidence that he needs to be the one running the show, and doesn’t want to listen to what anyone else tells him. His neighbor doctor provided both the framework for an excellent plotline and a complex illustration of how dishonest Don can be when he’s actually bothering to be social. It’s fascinating too to see that Peggy has become Don, though she treats the non-work people in her life better than he does, and she had to be told by her flabbergasted boss that she should let her underlings go home on New Year’s Eve. Roger’s behavior at his mother’s funeral was hardly surprising, but highly embarrassing nonetheless. Seeing both of his ex-wives wasn’t helpful, and to see Jane as the more respectful one was unexpected. There was a bigger spotlight on Betty than there has been in a long time as she got the chance to atone for the disturbing comments she made to her husband about her daughter’s friend, and it looks like her story will continue to be just as intriguing and worthwhile even though she’s so distant from Don. We didn’t see much more than new facial hair from most of the firm’s employees, and I’m sure this season will present countless opportunities for fantastic plot directions.

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