Review this tv show
Apr 22, 2013Sorry to be Debbie Downer but after all these seasons, I'm finding Mad Men's formula is getting a bit stale. (Warning, this got longer than I expected.) Let's see:
Don is the same old angsty, misogynist womanizer, cheating and demanding to get his way, as always, even though it's apparent he's starting to become a relic of the 1950's in a rapidly changing late 1960's world. Roger, who used to be one of my favorite characters, has become a caricature rather than a meaningful player (the epitome of this shift was season 5's LSD episodes). Pete's the same jerk he's been since day one, just with more power, while Harry and Ken are still bit pieces who have never been compelling to watch. Despite the events of season 5, Joan is still the same old Joan, confident but angry because of the glass ceiling, yet happy to employ the double standard of exploiting her sexuality while complaining about being treated like a sex pot.
I find myself NOT missing Betty, Henry, and Sally at all and the characters of Megan and Trudy are exceedingly stereotypical and grate my nerves to the point where I'd rather mute the TV when they're on.
Peggy is the only character this season who has undergone MEANINGFUL change this season and it's sad to see she's getting minimal screen time. More screen time than Betty, at least. Barely.
I miss the Mad Men of the first three seasons. Characters like Paul Kinsey and the dynamic story of his beliefs on civil rights and interracial relationships or characters like Salvatore Romano and dealing with homosexuality in the early 1960's. Those were compelling stories that ran along side the main story lines and they were GREAT secondary characters. Even recently, the story of Lane Pryce and his relocation from England, coming to terms with being an immigrant, and his tragic end was a solid secondary story line, yet his contributions to SCDP have been all but forgotten except in scant one liners.
The show used to feel fluid and organic. We knew who the main characters were but the secondary characters were interesting as well. They could craft a story about even the most mundane aspect of advertising and make it watchable. Now it just feels completely predictable. We know how the main characters are going to act and react, there are almost no plot "twists" that could shock the viewers anymore, and there are almost no compelling secondary characters or storylines.… Expand
Apr 8, 2013Mad Men is back, and it's better than ever. Most shows at this point tend to hiccup as they find their identity and decide how to end their show. Not Mad Men. It would seem that Matthew Weiner, the shows creator and former Sopranos writer, has a specific ending in mind. The themes of existentialism still run very heavily through the show in the sixth season. The acting is superb as usual and the writing hews close the bone. Even though I've only seen the first two hours, I can easily tell this is shaping up to be a fantastic season of Mad Men.… Expand
Jun 24, 2013Don Draper. The man, the myth, the legend. His life is collapsing around him this season and he sees himself back in his old ways only to discover he's lost his touch. While it makes for a very interesting story, it also makes for a very dangerous one simply because we've seen it all before, which is why I think they shake it up. This season displays that. Very interesting and fun season to watch unfold in front of you. The finale left me disappointed and unsatisfied from a story sense as there are many doors still wide open and there's no closure or continuity. Next season is the last season, but it certainly won't feel like it. Can't wait.… Expand
May 24, 2013I am probably ruining the popularity flow here but I am not feeling Mad Men as much as had in the past 5 seasons. I have been a devoted fan up until the start of season 6. I am getting a little tired, as someone else wrote here, "of the Mad Men formula". I think the demise of my interests also stems from the ability to feel like the story line is going somewhere. I think this is the end of Mad Men for me and I must say with great sadness, "It has been a really great ride".… Expand
Jun 3, 2013The show is top class entertainment with great ingredients whether we are talking writing, directing, acting, music, fashion, history. You name it.
I love how every season brings me equal anticipation. I fear skipping a minute because I know I will miss a great line or some little detail about some fictitious character that for some strange reason is of great importance to me. It takes a great deal of genius to stretch fiction this far within one's own immigration. This is suddenly the time and place you badly long for although you are not from the Mad Men generation neither you lived in New York City.
I enjoyed seeing how the characters grew in their roles, some to the most unexpected demeanours. I make a special mention of how a new Pete Campbell emerges from the sleaze that he wore flawlessly to this likeable character with this occasional outburst of morality and social intelligence. I admire how the writers and cast are playing with our sense of judgement and it is very difficult to have a favourite character in this show.
It would be an impossible to say praises to the cast in few words but I can say that the choice of actors is masterful. Jon Ham has certainly fulfilled his mission on earth by bringing to life the legacy of a Don Draper. That this pure power. The list goes on and on: Peggy Olson, Betty Draper, Joan Harris, Roger Sterling, Lane Pryce, Megan Draper, Lane Pryce, Trudy Campbell, Ted Chaough, Bert Cooper, Ken Cosgrove, Harry Crane, and a very long list of unforgettable characters
The urge to write this review is predominantly to say that it is too early to close the curtain on this show. It still has a great deal of steam and because it will leave an obvious void in the TV landscape.
This is what I call "Bravo TV"… Expand
Nov 27, 2013Season 6 of Mad Men had some excellent, memorable scenes. The season especially picked up during the second half, with episodes The Crash and In Care Of being some of my all-time favorite Mad Men episodes. The episodes didn't seem as focused as episodes of previous seasons. Let me expound: In previous seasons, an episode would follow multiple story lines, and at the end of the episode you could look back and realize that they were all connected somehow, perhaps symbolically. Season 6 has less of that, but it's still there occasionally. Overall, I believe season 6 was an excellent season, worthy of the Mad Men name, and set a grand stage for the final season. I'll leave my review with a prediction about the end of the series: Don Draper jumps out of his office window to his death, making the intro sequence not only an excellent metaphor for the series, but an accurate representation of reality.… Expand
Jul 11, 2013Another consistent season, from one of TVs landmark shows for quality. Well written, directed and acted once more. However, despite keeping up with its own level of excellence, this was not my favourite season of Mad Men. Themes are revisited, a new mistress for Don, another drug-fuelled episode, trips to the West Coast, Pete loses a parent and the season doesn't feel quite as fresh as others have.
As always the show manages to amuse me greatly, with some smartly written exchanges between Harry and Pete, Pete and Bob, Roger and Bob and Pete and anyone else to be fair. Despite not featuring as prominently this season, Pete came unstuck and appears to be following Don's footsteps, only in a more amusing fashion.
Circumstances conspire to give Don a new bull to butt horns with in the form of Ted Chaough. His arrival brings an influx of characters that provides the writers an injection of new dynamics to play with that might have been needed as at times the main cast have started to become slightly predictable.
Despite featuring the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and MLK and the backdrop of riots in New York, season six was not as dark as the previous season, there was too much humour for that, but the show remains a complex, dark beast straddled by many unhappy characters and anti-heroes. For me the season culminated on the up as Don found a sense of terribly mis-placed honesty, following a moody descent into unhappiness that saw him lose his mojo at home and most shockingly at the office, that may just have been the end of the Draper dynasty at SCDP.
Only one more season to go. How much will set in California?… Expand
Jun 11, 2013I qualify my earlier statements below because with episode 9 of season 6 Mad Men has returned to form, and episode 10 was quite a whammy. So, it seemed relatively aimless for the first 8 episodes, and too focused on Don Draper, but now with episodes 9 and 10 it is much better.
The first five seasons of Mad Men are among the very best television, perhaps the single overall best show, I have ever seen. But in season 6 the show is faltering and losing its focus. Themes and events are repeating themselves and episodes stumble one after the other without leading anywhere. It feels as if there is no longer a season trajectory, but just happenstance scenes cobbled together. The show is also now too focused on Don. The secondary characters used to have more significant stories. Now one gets almost nothing of Betty but also not that much of Megan, not much of anyone else. I haven't timed it but I would venture that most other characters have lost at least half of their original scene time and Betty has lost almost all of hers. And why did they completely get rid of some of the best characters, starting with Sal Romano, moving on the Lane Price, and Paul Kinsey? I don't think you should keep characters around just to keep them around, but they were interesting. The only new interesting character is Ginsberg but even he's getting marginalized now (I'm sorry but Don's new mistress is so been-there-done-that I have no interest (it's not the actress's fault that she got stuck in season 6; in season 1 it would have been great)… Expand
Oct 19, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my eyes, the series best season. I loved seeing how the characters grew even more. Seeing the impact of MLK's assassination affected the community is one of the season most memorable moments. With more flashbacks to Don's childhood we can see deeper into his character and start to see where his actions are coming from.… Expand
May 6, 2013Does anyone understand that what they are seeing is four terrific portrayals of different versions of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, plus one of the confused opposite thereof? Don, Roger and Pete played =so= well by the under-appreciated Vince Kartheiser are the sons of (respectively) alcoholic and abandoning, smugly prideful and over-controlling, and barely conscious but achievement-obsessed parents.
Joan is likewise the daughter of an obsessively controlling mother, and Joan =needs= to be in =control=. Peggy is the daughter of working class fools who sabotaged her at every turn, leaving her without a sense of identity, as well as much self-awareness. (Does it take a Scientologist to nail a role like that one? Could be.)
All five are simply trying to live up to the expectations either programmed into them by their domineering parents... or struggling to find some "rules to live by" in a world where (only) money talks... and =matters=. (Listen carefully when old Burt speaks.) All five are half-conscious "false selves" trying their best with what limited awareness they have to play a game that is way over their heads. Thus far, Roger has it more figured out than the others, but he's as often caught in his own blind spots as the almost-as-perceptive Joan and Don.
Don and Joan will make up. They =have= to. Because they need need each other's awareness to stay in The Game. As good a "player" (rather than a "piece" like Peggy) as she is, Joan is not going jeopardize her standing as the office manager in a shooting war with New York's most charismatic creative director... unless she forms an alliance with the CD at Peggy's old agency. Just like the rest of them (save possibly for Pete, who's too immature, rule-bound and self-righteous to understand the realpolitik), the other principles will continue to rescue Don from his alcoholism. Not because they "understand" why he drinks, but because as long as he keeps hitting homers, he's their "franchise player."… Expand
Jul 31, 2013This review contains spoilers. After years of watching this show, I feel like all they're able to do is repeat the formula of the first few seasons. Don travels from being a depressed, unfaithful husband with Betty to being a depressed, unfaithful husband with Megan.
It is a relief to see his coworkers grow as tired of his routine as I have, but I find little to keep my interest in this show. And after seeing Top of the Lake in which Elisabeth Moss takes a lead role, I start hating the producers of Mad Men for not putting her talent to more use.
There are a few good lines and a few good moments here and there, but I can't help but wonder if the writers acknowledge any irony by having Megan play two roles in a soap opera on the show while the show has largely become exactly that.… Collapse
Jan 6, 2014Jimmy Spoiler-free reviews 2013 things:
Mad Men Season 6...
Like most good dramas that lack action or strange twists to keep you watching, Mad Men is often ignored. This season was probably the least eventful of them all, and it’s one of the most brilliant. From snowy New York streets to an old whorehouse, the scenery is always varied and refreshing. But that's not what makes season 6 unique. It throws away most conventional draws to a show in favor of full character development. After all, the main reason anyone watches Mad Men is it’s exquisitely developed characters not the 60’s atmosphere, interesting plot or moments of excitement.
The fact that it’s a period piece of the 1960’s is, however, interesting, and many adults who may remember the era might find that a reason to watch it. Yet I can’t say many people my age are that interested in the show. But I can tell you, it’s not just for those 50-something year olds that appreciate costume drama, its for anyone that enjoys a quality tale of loss, power, and (particularly in this season) admitting one’s flaws, mistakes, and troubled past. Since this season takes place in 1967-1968 America, there are some... interesting scenes involving drug usage and counterculture, but that’s not what’s affecting these Madison Avenue ad men. Their own struggles are affected by these movements of the 60’s, sure, but they don’t completely revolve around them.
People would like Mad Men, particularly the sixth season:
-Those interested in period/costume drama
-Those who don’t mind shows lacking excitement
-Those interested in the 1960’s, particularly the counterculture of the late 60’s
-Those who like good drama
-Those who enjoy well written television shows
-Those who are fans of Jon Hamm & Elisabeth Moss
-Those who enjoy strong female characters
-Those who like reflective and emotional shows
-Those who enjoy shows about an office space
-Those who like shows set in New York City
People would not like Mad Men, particularly the sixth season:
-Those who like actiony shows or shows with a lot of twists
-Those who bore easily
-Those who can’t get into a slow-paced show
-Those not interested at all in 1960’s America
-Those who like shows where you can clearly see where it’s going next
-Those who dislike shows that are too intelligent
-Those who like their shows to have the same feel season by season
This show is excellent, but I'd like to see it gain more popularity.
10/10 for Mad Men Season 6… Expand