Monday, June 24, 2013

Finally Mad Men Delivered!

Mad Men is the series I used to watch avidly for season after season.
This year I found any reason not to watch. The show had become just another TV soap opera as far as I was concerned.
And Sunday night I hesitated again because I was in the midst of watching a superior Inspector Lewis on PBS's Mystery.
But my obligations as a TV critic finally kicked in and I'm glad I turned because MM finally delivered.
MM's Sixth Season was so very familiar. Maybe because I remember 1968 so well but I found the take on that period to be so so.
And let's face it everyone ages even Don Draper, even Peggy, even Pete Campbell with his receding hairline.
And 1968? It's the year the American people chucked out ole Southern Liberal Lyndon Johnson for the cynical conservatism of retread Richard Nixon.
And frankly after so many episodes what was left for MM to shock us with?
Don has had many liasons besides being married twice. Pete has had even more as his life has disintegrated into farce.
In fact Pete had a terrible season Six which culminated in the news his mom had been tossed overboard on a pleasure cruise and may even have married her male care provider just before "the accident".
And wasn't it mom Campbell who used the line he was as sour as a little boy as  he is as a man?
The most talked about new character Bob Benson (played by James Wolk) was supposed to be some kind of government agent according to the fan sites.
But he turned out to be an accomplice for Pete. Whether Bob comes back for another season is problematic --Wolk has already signed for the new Robin Williams sitcom.
Other surprises: Ted (Kevin Rahm) wooed and won Peggy then his nice guy image surfaced and he gave it all up for love of his family --and coaxed Don into giving up a coveted job in California for him.
And Don? He had to confront his alcoholism and the idea he may have damaged his daughter who caught him with the next door neighbor.
But my favorite new character is Jim Cutler as sarcastically played by Harry Hamlin from L.A. Law --remember?
As the Sixties spin out of control the series gets darker and darker. Crime is everywhere and this gang have lived through three major assassinations and the start of the Nixon years.
That means next season, the seventh and last, must sum up a hell of a lot of lives in just 13 episodes.

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