Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mad Men Season 4

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Mad Men Season 4 - 5 out of 5

Everything that's familiar is still here in AMC's amazing show about advertising in the 1960's. A thick cloud of cigarette smoke is still in the air, heavy drinking at 8 in the morning is still prevalent, guys are still smooth as silk and sleeping with every woman they can get their hands on and the show is still as addicting as hell!

Often when a show gets to the point where they hit a fourth season the real threat of the show becoming stale and repetitive becomes apparent but it seems the writers of Mad Men were prepared for this. The events the ended the previous season really set up a fantastic fourth season. The new agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce has given the show new life as we watch this newly formed agency try to make it from the ground up. The Draper Daughter also starts to become a real player in the show and is no longer an accessory to the hard smoking, hard drinking and hard loving Don Draper. Finally, watching the torment Don goes through as he deals with the formation of the new agency but also must deal with the divorce that he and Betty are currently going through truly makes this season spectacular. The roller coaster we see him go through make the first half of the season fly by as we watch him spiral out of control in a storm tormented sea filled with alcohol and prostitutes.

The best part, however, of this season was the evolution of the times in the era the show takes place. Small changes like the decor in Roger Sterling's office to the new younger employees filling the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce really shows how, to quote Bob Dylan, the times are a-changing. Even more interesting is how during the last half of the season the show begins to give heavy emphasis to the civil rights movement as well as women's lib as we see the often under-appreciated female characters of Joan Holloway and Peggy Olson start to realize that they are living in a man's world and aren't getting the respect they are entitled too. This new emphasis was particularly interesting to me because it seemed like the show was openly acknowledging and challenging the people who criticized the show for being sexist and racially insensitive.

Every other aspect of the show: the style, the authentic look of the times and the stellar acting are all still here. Jon Hamm is still tearing it up as Don Draper, Christina Hendricks is still hot as hell and Vincent Kartheiser still has the creepiest smile I've ever seen as the character of Pete Campbell. All the amazing qualities that make this show great are still here and the writing seems to get even better. I can't wait till season 5 starts!

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