Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mad Men Season 7 (Episode 4): The Monolith

Why Mad Men Episode 4 (Season 7) Worked:
  • Freddy's rah-rah speech to Don after he goes on his bender. Finally, someone gives Don some useful advice and some harsh medicine to swallow.
  • The computer installation in the office.  Yes....computers represented disruption in every sense of the word.
  • Lou's salary increase to Peggy -- with nasty strings attached. 
Why Mad Men Episode 4 (Season 7) Didn't Work:

  • Don's degradation.  It doesn't feel like an interesting plot twist now; it's more like he's being dragged through the mud for 60 minutes.
  • Don's alcoholism.  Yes, we know Don has a drinking problem but this episode really brought it front and center instead of keeping it in the background.  And that pushes the show in a dangerous direction. We don't want Mad Men to be a program about substance abuse, we want it to be about the 60s and advertising.
  • Roger's visit to retrieve his daughter at the commune. Grade D melodrama featuring some of the worst writing and plotting of the season. It was like a watching a completely different show.
  • Peggy. She used to be one of the show's most interesting characters.  Now she's a one-note bummer.
  • Lloyd, the computer installer. It was hard to figure out his role in tonight's episode. The interactions with Don were strange and stilted.  
Overall Grade for Mad Men Episode 4 (Season 7):  C-. This episode was way too downbeat.  Don's boozing in the office. Don's degradation. Roger's dysfunctional family.  There was nothing remotely entertaining or upbeat about "The Monolith." Let's hope Don comes roaring back with some great copy and takes his place at the top of the food chain.

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