Mad About “Mad Men” (Or Maybe Not So Much)

It’s a hung jury on the much-anticipated fifth season of AMC’s critically acclaimed/declaimed series “Mad Men.”

The good (from Barbara Lippert’s Mad Blog at MediaPost):

Frankly, my two major fears about the coming season are: a) that Don will actually marry Megan; and b) polyester.

SPOILER ALERT: We do know that Megan is in the season opener, and even has a musical number; and thankfully, the drama is still set in the 1960s (1967 or so) with nary a leisure suit in sight.

Oh, but there’s so much deliciousness ahead!  As an Englishman previously said, “Enjoy your champagne and delicatessen!”

What I relish most,  Mad Blog-wise, are the genius commenter threads. Please go ahead and comment on your feelings about the coming season. I will post my reviews on Tuesday mornings.

Meanwhile, here’s to the returning Mad Men! Let’s hope it’s all that, and a box of Velveeta!

The bad (from Nancy deWolf Smith’s Wall Street Journal column):

The two-hour premiere ticks by mainly as a series of vignettes where familiar characters strut their familiar stuff and talk about work that no one ever seems to do. When it’s over fans will have gotten their “Mad Men” fix, if not much of a high.

The ugly (from Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times review):

The two-hour premiere feels long and is a little dreary, repeating many of the same themes that were so new and unexpected when the series first began. Certain genres have inherent limits, and just as there are only so many ways zombies can storm a stalled car on “The Walking Dead,” there are only so many jokes to be had from an adult’s cradling an infant in one hand and a cigarette in the other on “Mad Men.”

The downside of success is too much devotion. “Mad Men” fatigue is brought on by all the fuss and cute imitation: the Banana Republic fashion line; copycat shows like “Pan Am” and “Magic City,” a new Starz series set in 1960s Miami;  ’60s memoirs, coffee table books, cookbooks, cocktail recipes and magazine spreads; “Mad Men” costume parties; and “Mad Men” drinking tours of Manhattan.

It’s not fair, really, but a show that became a hit because it seemed so original has been so co-opted that it now looks like a cliché.

See you Sunday night at 9.

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