Tag Archives: Jon Hamm

Final Thoughts: Mad Men Season 1

At the outset of these reviews my stated goals were to figure out what I was missing or pinpoint what doesn’t work about this series for me.  Strangely, I think I’ve succeeded on both counts.  I always appreciated how well-crafted this series is but didn’t find that alone to be enough to make it worth watching.  Having watched it with the critical eye, that’s changed; Mad Men is a clinic in unconventional storytelling.  But that’s all it is.  I watch television to be swept up in the story but Mad Men, even at its very best, seems driven to keep the audience at arm’s length.  Much as I enjoyed analyzing this series, I can’t quite say that I enjoyed watching it. Continue reading

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Long Weekend

I can think of worse ways to induce a heart attack

Well now, that was… great; not the caveat laden great that I’ve ascribed to nearly every episode of Mad Men thus far, but (finally) great on an emotional as well as technical level.  I expect great narratives to take me on some sort of emotional journey, and it’s been frustrating to see this series be so good at so many things while missing this fundamental necessity.  “Long Weekend” not only delivered the emotion, it did so in a way that actually felt like a culmination of the series up until this point.  I’m not saying that this made those first nine episodes worthwhile, but I think I get it now, and it’s so simple that I’m a little embarrassed.  I can’t connect with the characters on Mad Men because they’re all disconnected people. Continue reading

5G

I've got some bad news

Well, it took five episodes but Mad Men finally stumbled.  Not that this was a bad episode by any stretch, it just lacked the technical excellence that’s characterized the series up to this point.  This show has done a remarkable job balancing disparate tones thus far, but making Don this disturbed by his past while still being cryptic about it doesn’t really work.  We’re too busy wondering why he’s upset to really care about his pain and his farewell to Adam just didn’t have the emotional weight it should have.  That said, a weak episode of Mad Men is still better than 90% of what else in on television, so I’m not too disappointed. Continue reading

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

I may or may not enjoy this

First off, a confession; I’m behind the curve on watching Mad Men because I didn’t particularly like it the first time around.  It’s not that I actually disliked the first season; the series is well shot, written, acted, etc, but there was nothing there that compelled me to keep watching.  I make no apologies for not sticking with “the best show on television.”  There’s just too much quality TV to choose from these days for anyone to waste their time on a series they don’t love.  But it’s been four years and friends and critics I respect are still raving about this show.  It’s enough to make me think it’s time to give Mad Men another shot.  Perhaps I’ll see what I’ve been missing this time around, or perhaps I’ll finally be able to pinpoint what doesn’t work for me about this series.  Either way, it should be an interesting few months. Continue reading