Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mad Men Season 6 (Episode 1): The Doorway

Why Mad Men Episode 1 (Season 6) Worked:

  • The problems with the clients that both Don and Peggy faced at their respective agencies.  Once again, as in previous seasons, the troubles of running an ad agency generated the most tension and drama, and offered the best opportunities for razor-sharp writing.
  • Photo of JFK in Peggy's apartment.  Nice touch.  But the apartment was a dump for a frump.  
  • Roger's one-liners.  When Don returns from a holiday in Hawaii, Roger says, "Hello Don Ho."
  • Use of music.  Nicely done from the Hawaiian music in the opening scenes to the violin music played by Sally's friend Sandy.  Very subtle but deft.  

Why Mad Men Episode 1 (Season 6) Didn't Work:

  • The two-hour length.  Felt slow and pointless for most of the lonnnnng 120 minutes.  No real narrative drive.  
  • Betty.  She's gained weight and lost her mojo.  Her scene in the village crash pad was poorly staged and poorly written.
  • The prosperity of Don's agency.  Huh?  How did it become so successful?   That needed a few explanatory lines.
  • The death of Roger's mother.  Most scenes about her passing almost single-handed put the nail in the coffin for this season-opening episode.  
  • Dr. Arnold Rosen.  Paging all ethnic stereotypes...please report to AMC on Sunday night.
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 1 (Season 6):  

  • D.    A real hodge podge.  Feels like the show has jumped the shark.  Not sure "Mad Men" will work in the groovy part of the 60s.  

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