Okay kids, you all know I love Mad Men. Every season has brought me moments of joy, anger, and tears with its subtle storytelling and splendid acting. But this season, I’ve been thrown for a loop, and sometimes I feel just as aimless as Sally after she witnessed that unfortunate act of fellatio. So much has been thrown at us! Some wonderful, some god-awful, but I’m hoping that by the season finale, it will all make sense, just like it always does. Otherwise, I’ll be quoting Roger Sterling: When will things get back to normal? (no, I don’t expect them to) So here’s my middling take so far:
- The whole cocktail party scene in A Little Kiss and Megan singing Zou Bisou Bisou. Weiner wanted to recreate the atmosphere of a swinging party in a Blake Edwards movie and totally succeeded! All you needed was a cameo by Inspector Clouseau.
- Far Away Places and Lady Lazarus, both of these blew me away, as MM has done in the past. Excellent episodes that reminded me why I loved it in the first place.
- Megan’s Wardrobe — Betty who? This girl can rock just about everything she wears, from the black angel dress in A Little Kiss to the regency red grandeur in At the Codfish Ball
- Roger’s snide comebacks, sharper than ever.
- Joan gives Greg his walking papers. (Yes!)
- Betty attempting to be zippered into her blue brocade dress.
- Don being fatherly to the groupie, and feeling his age.
- Pete’s sad downward spiral
- Sally’s rebellion
- Peggy telling Don to shut up in the test kitchen.
- Good to see more of Ken, and glad to see Michael progress.
- Creative making the Devil look just like Don; he deserved that for such a sophomoric campaign.
And I want…These Shoes,
- Too much Megan, not enough Joan, Lane, Trudy or Harry. Our appetites were whetted for them in the season opener, but we need more!
- Shocking! Almost every episode has a WTH moment, which makes one wonder WHY??? Were some of these really necessary, or could they have been done with more subtlety?
- Don’s cringe-worthy ad campaigns. The devil for Sno-Balls Don? Really?
- Sales pitches in general. Both of Peggy’s Heinz Bean pitches were tedious and almost unendurable. I know the pitch is the heart of advertising, but we haven’t had a heart-tugging pitch since the Kodak Carousel.
- Bad acting in smaller roles. I don’t know if Megan’s friend Julia was supposed to be that bad an actress when she ran her lines for Dark Shadows, but even after reading her lines, she scrunched up her face and acted like a middle-school diva. And this years Bobby just isn’t cutting it for me — I really miss little Jared Gilmore, who excels in Once Upon a Time.
- Dark Shadows I watched this episode several times, hoping I’d like it better, but I couldn’t. It was just too uneven.
- Don leaving Michael’s excellent work in the cab.
- Pom-Pom Fringe! Oh, Betty.
- Michael showed up for his first interview in jeans. I know the show is trying to show the decline of NY, but this stretched the limits of believability. I can’t believe they let him into the building like that.
- That the door was unlocked when Sally walked in on Roger and Mrs. Calvet? Oh c’mon! This isn’t Desperate Housewives, you’d think the couple would find a more private venue for their tryst. Again, suspension of disbelief is crumbling. This could have been handled much better.
- More backstory on Joan and Michael.
- That Sally runs away.
- That Pete gets his head on straight.
- That Jane can still enjoy her new apartment.
- That we see Sal again, just to see where he’s at.
Anyone else have ambiguous feelings about this season? Let’s vent now before the next episode comes up and makes all these complaints null!