Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mad, Mad, Men - Some thoughts on the Season 5 Premiere

Disclosure: I did not actually watch season 4 of Mad Men, of which a lot of scenes were used to promote this season premiere after a 17-month hiatus. However I did manage to do some digital sleuthing and fill myself in on some of the larger plot points. So here it goes....

Breakout scene: Megan giving Don his birthday present at the party, a rendition of Zou bisou bisou. I won't post the actual scene, I wouldn't ruin it outside the episode, but here is the original (very catchy!)

What I like about Megan is her innocence. Here we see her wanting to do something fun, throw a birthday party, yet it's met with obstacles and it's own set of challenges. Perhaps it's her naivety in which she hasn't been desensitized to the employees of SCDP. Though it is a little surprising that after a few months she hasn't picked up on this fact: none of them are good. Don understands this, probably more so than anyone else, as he assures her "they all had problems before you came here." Still, Megan is the one I will be rooting for this season. We will she if she can bring change into the agency, or if she will become another conniving employee who doesn't smile, but smirks.

Best One-Liner Character: Roger Sterling, hands down. I couldn't believe some of the stuff that came out of his mouth! Not only in his words, but his gestures are also very amusing. Sterling certainly has a way of commandeering a room. Whether it's bribing an employee to give up his office, mocking a colleague's wife, mocking his own wife, or waltzing in on other people's meetings, Roger thinks he's still got it.

Still, the future doesn't look glass half-full for him. After losing the Lucky Strike account in season 4, his one and only client, the bumps he is having with Pete Campbell will only be getting bigger. Which leads into the next category.

Least Liked, Most Significant Character: As much as my distaste for Pete is, I do think he is the hardest working in the agency and quickly rising to be one of the best (most valuable). He is attaining more and better clients for the agency, and expects that his resources should reflect that. Since he is only junior partner, this poses a challenge with Roger who remains stable at his position. I know Pete would execute a coup any chance he gets, as he's shown himself to do since Season 1, and this is the season he might actually pull it off, if he is able to give Sterling the boot.

I think this scene brilliantly captures Pete's willingness to weasel his way to a promotion, and Sterling's way of remaining a BOSS.

Don Draper: He was a little bit all over the place. I questioned how much he really knows his new wife, considering the speedy engagement (I think) until now. Emotionally he was a bit of a roller coaster. Though I admit an Angry Don is a man whose judgement is never clouded.

I wasn't sure if I was going to keep up with the season, but after giving it more thought, my curiosity wins out on what's happening with some of its characters. You can search Google for more substantive recaps of the episode itself if you missed it, or use the power of 21st century technology to watch it on your own time.

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