I don’t watch a lot of live TV.
So, when I enjoy a show enough to make the time to watch it live, it really means something. One of the shows that I make the time to watch is Mad Men, a drama on the American Movie Channel.
Last Sunday night, Season 6 of Mad Men began with a 2-hour premiere, and it did not disappoint.
Following the events at a New York-based ad agency, the show follows the life of Creative Director Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm). The show follows other characters including Roger Sterling (John Slattery), an account man who is past his prime, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), an ambitious account man, and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), a secretary-turned copywriter.
The agency landed its first car at the end of the last season, which is a large accomplishment for the growing agency. After fighting for every penny for a season, the characters again are able to fill the setting of a prosperous agency.
After a season of Don Draper acting out-of-character as a family-man, he returns to his old ways of cheating on his wife with the charm that only he can wield. Despite the fact that part of me enjoyed seeing him become a family-man, evolving as a character, there is something special about classic Don Draper. He also goes through a rather-traumatic experience–watching a man nearly die right in front of him. This affects him throughout the episode, which culminates in him getting sick at the funeral for Roger Sterling’s mother.
It is refreshing to see the characters all back in the setting of a thriving agency, as opposed to the scratching and clawing they had to do in previous seasons while establishing their new firm. Instead of having to drive the progress of the agency, the plot is instead able to develop new characters and themes more effectively.
One character who was not within their normal boundaries was Roger Sterling, but that ended up with some hilarious moments from him. In this season, he is visiting a psychiatrist and has about as amusing an exchange with them as one would imagine Roger Sterling would. On a more serious note, Sterling struggles with the fact that he is getting older and wonders what he has truly accomplished in his life. This point is brought to a rather lazy climax when he reconnects with his daughter, but I trust that the writers of the show have more in store for that particular angle.
Seeing Peggy Olson finally finish her transformation into female-Don Draper was interesting (if not rather abrupt). After she left the agency, it was rather predictable that she would follow a similar path as Don, but surely not this rapidly. Everything from the way she handled herself with clients, to her ability to come up with a brilliant ad in a time of crisis is reminiscent of seasons 1-3 Don Draper.
Despite not all of these themes being fully-developed in episode 1, the writers are sure to work with them throughout Season 6.
It should be a blast.