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Mad Men Season 5, Episode 1: About As Interesting As Bean Ballet

March 26, 2012

I felt really meh during most of this episode, to be honest. A lot of it felt like well-worn territory. Peggy is awkward, Pete is petulant, Roger is an imminently-expiring asshole, Lane is tweedy and repressed, Don hates everyone, etc.  The only character I found compelling was Joan.

Overally I thought the whole storyline of Don and Megan was the most disappointing. It felt like a Don and Betty episode, and those were always the ones I slept through. This season adds the extra wrinkle of them working together, but that just brings domestic strife—typically the least interesting aspect of Mad Men—into the office, typically its most.

It was an hour and 45 minutes long, and that’s about all I have to say about it, which is probably the worse sign of all. Usually these premieres feel like they’re laying the groundwork for the rest of the season, but with the potential exception of a black-secretary plotline, I didn’t see much here to get excited about.

But I’m open to the idea that there were things going on that I missed. What’d you think?

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