With all due respect to “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner who wants absolutely no “spoilers” about the season opener revealed — including the smallest details such as in what year the season will take place — I’ll do my job, and you do yours.
I can understand his plea. He wants — and should be allowed — to put out his product for the audience to enjoy without them knowing every single detail in advance. On the other hand, it’s hard to write a review of the show’s long-overdue return without mentioning some key points.
However, his idea of a spoiler is different than mine (Not mentioning the year is a little too protective). I’ll try to restrain as much as I can and still provide you with enough to form your own idea whether you want to come back to “Mad Men” (returning with a two-hour episode at 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC).
As much as I adore “Mad Men” for its moodiness, its strange sense of humor and paralyzing moroseness, this lighter and ironic opener is woefully empty. Mind you, fans of “Mad Men” know this is a show that moves at a snail’s pace.
For its entire run, “Mad Men” is not so much a drama about grand things that happen but about the smaller moments. Boiling it down, “Mad Men” is an office soap opera bereft of the melodrama and long, nonsensical faraway looks.
“Mad Men” has always used style as a metaphor for life. But, in this opener, style is all “Mad Men” has going for it.
The story, set just a few months after season four, is plodding. By the time the episode is done, you’ll remember Don (Jon Hamm) and Megan’s tiff, the petty war at the agency over office space and new mom Joan’s crankiness.
And that’s it.
I actually adore “Mad Men” for the most part. Season four was one of the best periods any series has ever produced. If “Mad Men” is like a masterpiece of art, this opener is akin to watching paint dry.
Maybe AMC has spoiled me with the adrenaline rushes of “Breaking Bad” and the near perfection of “The Walking Dead.” To get the most-hyped return of “Mad Men” delivered with so little happening is a bit jarring.
“Mad Men” has always been far better than this.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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