Darrel Manson

Mad Men

325 posts in this topic

I just finished the first season last night. It's a well-done show and it gets the look and feel time period right (at least, I think so; wasn't around back then), but I don't think Weiner really cares about these characters. Definitely not the way Vince Gilligan or David Simon care about theirs, at least.

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I just finished the first season last night. It's a well-done show and it gets the look and feel time period right (at least, I think so; wasn't around back then), but I don't think Weiner really cares about these characters. Definitely not the way Vince Gilligan or David Simon care about theirs, at least.

We just started watching season one over the weekend, and are two episodes in. Based on those two episode, I'm definitely getting this vibe.

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... but I don't think Weiner really cares about these characters. Definitely not the way Vince Gilligan or David Simon care about theirs, at least.

Having seen all the seasons, I can say that Mad Men never quite makes you as emotionally invested in its characters as the best HBO shows do. But that said, there's this undefinable addictive quality in Mad Men that makes it hard to look away. I always get the feeling while watching the show that something is terribly wrong, that something bad is about to happen, that there are a whole number of just under the surface hidden details to the story that exist but are never really put into words by any of the characters. I can't say I've gotten the same feeling from any other show.

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I don't know about you guys, but I thought the two-hour premiere episode was great.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Hosted a premiere party at my place last night. Not sure how I felt about the two-hour format. Some scenes seemed longer than they needed to be, but I also really just hate the secondhand embarrassment of scenes like "Zooby Zoo" "Zou Bisou Bisou."

The characters were in fine form though, especially Peggy, Joan, and Pete.

Harry Crane! What happened to you!?

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Looking forward to where season five goes. Also looking forward to watching the show in a new way. Since we don't have cable right now, we're going to be driving out to Plano (about 40 minutes away from Denton) to watch it at an art house theater that shows AMC shows for free on the big screen. It certainly gave the premier a more cinematic feel than it might have had if we'd just watched it on TV, and if you know of a place near you that's doing this same thing, I'd recommend it.

As far as my reaction to the premier itself, I don't have much to say yet. I enjoyed it, I liked seeing everyone back in action, and I have high hopes.

One thing I'll be keeping an eye on is how the theme of "power" plays itself out over the course of the season, as that seemed to be the recurring theme of the premier: the advantages of power, how those in power are perceived by those with less power, etc.

Also, this is an interesting listen, if you haven't heard it already: http://www.npr.org/2...-for-don-draper

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One thing I'll be keeping an eye on is how the theme of "power" plays itself out over the course of the season, as that seemed to be the recurring theme of the premier: the advantages of power, how those in power are perceived by those with less power, etc.

I wonder if this means Mad Men season 5 will be a lot like Buffy season 7? (Probably not.)

After managing to get my wife to watch a few more episodes, I'm happy to report that we're liking the show a lot now. We're almost done with the first season. I still can't look at Pete Campbell without seeing Connor from Angel, though.

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I still can't look at Pete Campbell without seeing Connor from Angel, though.

I can't look at Campbell without wanting to pound his face in.

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I still can't look at Pete Campbell without seeing Connor from Angel, though.

I can't look at Campbell without wanting to pound his face in.

I share this Campbell problem, from episode 1 on.

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I still can't look at Pete Campbell without seeing Connor from Angel, though.

I can't look at Campbell without wanting to pound his face in.

These two comments are not unrelated.

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One thing I'll be keeping an eye on is how the theme of "power" plays itself out over the course of the season, as that seemed to be the recurring theme of the premier: the advantages of power, how those in power are perceived by those with less power, etc.

Oh, definitely. I think there are going to be many power struggles in season 5. The show has taken us to dark places for individual characters before, but I think this seasons is going to give us a collective breakdown of the whole ensemble of characters as they are all pitted against each other. This opener had a pretty ominous undercurrent, and the creators have explained that this is the season where everyone seems to be out for themselves. I'm bracing myself for all these relationships to crumble.

I still can't look at Pete Campbell without seeing Connor from Angel, though.

I can't look at Campbell without wanting to pound his face in.

I share this Campbell problem, from episode 1 on.

I was warming to Campbell--it seemed he was making progress--but it seems that he's going to regress this season.

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Who saw last Sunday's episode? Anyone?

Okay, well here goes. Watch out, people. Spoilers ahead:

Does anyone have any thoughts on

Betty's close call with cancer? Personally, I'm wondering if she's really out of the woods. Part of me thinks she may actually have cancer but is hiding it from Henry and the others. That sounds cruel, but in her mind I think she'd be doing it to spare them any grief, much like her friend hasn't told her kids about her own illness. Anyway, that's my take. Otherwise, I'm not sure why they'd take the episode in that direction. I hate it when shows throw in cancer as a red herring, just to make us feel something, and I'd like to think that Mad Men wouldn't resort to such a cheap tactic unless they had a good reason for doing it.

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Andrew:

If it truly was just a scare and nothing else, I'm don't know that it necessarily was "just to make us feel something." It served to wake Don up to his own age and mortality in a way that even Anna's death didn't. The chasm between him and "I just want to hang out with my friends!" Megan has grown very deep over two episodes, and meeting that rosy-cheeked tween at the Stones concert made it worse, because now he's worrying about Sally's innocence and worrying about Betty's life expectancy, and by extension his own. He knows that he lives harder than Betty in every possible way.

It is possible Betty's faking the close call and she really does have cancer. I hadn't thought of that but I wouldn't be surprised. At any rate I'm feeling more empathetic toward Betty than I have since season 1.

Also, Pete Campbell is my favorite character on the whole show. "It's a Chip-and-Dip!"

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Is it just me, or is this the best season of MAD MEN yet?

Last night's episode was dynamite.

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Is it just me, or is this the best season of MAD MEN yet?

Last night's episode was dynamite.

Last night's was absolutely a killer episode. I don't know where they're taking Pete, but they're doing it very well. I loved the repeated dripping motif, and I thought that, visually, Slattery did a great job--the cutting from scene to scene was fantastic.

But the

face-off between Lane and Peter

? That was absolute gold. One of my all-time favorite Mad Men moments ever.

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What was astonishing to me was that Don was the voice of Pete's conscience. And I *loved* Cosrgrove's Ray Bradbury-like short story to close it out. But I'm a Ray Bradbury nut.

And yes, the Lane/Campbell fight is pure gold.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Just popping in to mention I finished the second season, and it's *much* better than the first season. I can see why people get excited about this show now.

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Just finished watching season 3. I liked the season overall quite a bit, although I have to admit The Office did the whole "going rogue and starting their own guerrilla company" storyline better (and 7 months earlier) with the Michael Scott Paper Company.

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Heresy, Tyler. (But I never did much care for THE OFFICE, even when it supposedly good.)

Anyway, the most recent episode--"Far Away Places"--is getting a lot of conversation because of the drug use, but I was more struck by how bleak and depressing the episode was. I don't think MAD MEN has had such a downer of an episode before. I don't think things are going to get lighter, either. These episodes has established that the trajectory of this season is a downward spiral. It's going to get ugly.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I don't think MAD MEN has had such a downer of an episode before. I don't think things are going to get lighter, either. These episodes has established that the trajectory of this season is a downward spiral. It's going to get ugly.

I didn't think this one was quite as depressing (or creepy at the very least) as the last one, with Pete. But I would agree, wherever this is going, it's not going to be pretty.

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