So after watching the season 5 premiere of Mad Men, I realized a couple of things –
1 – It didn’t need to be two hours long
2 – I was expecting too much, and so was the rest of the world
Now let’s make one thing very clear. I am a huge MM fan. I want to use Wonkavision to send me into the TV so I can join the characters in their fashionably messed-up world. It bothered me that there was SO MUCH hype about it though, and the reason was made very clear when I watched the 2 hour premiere.
Now, I do not really care as to why I had to go through Mad Men withdrawals last year. TV politics. Whatever. Just because a year is skipped does not mean that you need to turn what could have been an amazing 1 hour show into a so-so 2 hour show. This also means that you do not need to show an actress singing an entire song, and then try to promote it afterward. The song was stupid, and took up way too much time. The entire party was too long in my opinion, and nothing moved along. The scene was standing around looking bored just as the people at the party were.
I did like the fact that time had passed with Don married, Joan having a baby, Pete moving, etc., but where was Betty???? I’m sure January Jones was too busy giving birth and eating her placenta (Betty would cringe at the thought), but 2 hours without seeing Betty? The power of television trickery could have done something to hide her belly or weight gain, and it could have been a simple, short, scene just to establish what is happening in her life.
Oh, and I am all for bringing in the news of the day, but to bookend the civil rights movement felt lazy. Why not find a way to REALLY bring it into the lives of the characters?
My favorite storyline of the episode was the friction between Roger and Pete. It was fun, and it was the plot that had some movement. I also enjoyed seeing Pete’s life turning into what Don’s life used to be. Am I wrong, or is his kitchen almost exactly like Don and Betty’s old kitchen?
Basically the fat should have been trimmed to make it a great show. It was boring. Plain and simple.
But…it was still Mad Men, and going into it I think I was expecting too much. I was expecting a big reveal like the end of the pilot, because, well, it was the length of a movie! Yet when I think back, it’s just Mad Men. It continued to have the same pace, the dialogue, the tension, and the drinking as before, so how can I complain?
Matthew Weiner mentioned in an interview that after the first 2 episodes the fans will ask, “what happened?” This makes me nervous, but will it stop me from watching? In my best Joan voice,