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Mad Men


How many shows have reached such outstanding heights in the 5th season as Mad Men has done this year, episode after episode? The last 3 episodes especially have been just fantastic. And the comedic writing is so much higher this year. I find myself laughing out loud consistently, which I don’t remember doing before. Even The Wire slipped in season 5. I guess MASH and Seinfeld were pretty fantastic around season 5 and The Sopranos was always pretty great. But there’s not many shows still able to break new ground in their 5th season.

In other words, you west coast people need to be watching tonight.

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  • SEK

    We will be, you damn East Coasters.

    • I have abandoned my west coast roots as I am now a sophisticate. Next I am going to fly out to California and judge if you have any History.

  • Murc

    Simpsons was just starting to get rolling in Season 5.

    • I do tend to think of cartoons as a totally different genre, but the point stands. The Simpsons was indeed amazing in season 5.

      • This.

      • John

        I think it has at least as much to do with the fact that Simpsons is a sit-com. There’s plenty of sitcoms that were at full power in their fifth season, because sitcoms are about individual episodes, not long plot arcs. It’s much rarer for dramas.

  • Karla

    I’m loving seeing how the relationships among the women on the show are playing out.

  • Poor Sally. It really just breaks my heart.

  • Ahhh. What Sally saw. Sally was all of us at 12 years old in the early ’60s.

    Welcome to the awareness of the ’60s, that hidden part of the world that finally came out as people became aware of dirty, gritty side of life.

    This episode killed the innocence of the 1950s and launched the 1960s. This should get very interesting.

    • Holden Pattern

      How do you blame all of this on the 1960’s?

      Don’t get me wrong, I like to get a good hate on for the 1960’s as much as or more than the next guy, but Roger is a WW2 vet, and his paramour in the Sally-saw scene was at least 45.

      Or are you saying that the 1960’s were when people stepped away from the carefully-studied faux-innocence of the 1950’s?

      • Or are you saying that the 1960′s were when people stepped away from the carefully-studied faux-innocence of the 1950′s?

        Exactly that. The writers are doing a great job of capturing key features of the roll into the 1960s. Many of the characters each seem to represent a seed of some of the different larger social issues which dominated the ’60s.

        I think this is quite fascinating.

    • I love how the official starting point of the 60s gets later and later. I’m sorry, but 1966 is stretch. Soon we’ll be hearing that Altamont was when the 60s finally started, putting the innocence of the 50s away.

      • I think that these conversations about the 60s and Mad Men have become a focal point for the reality that everyone has their own idea when the 60s began and ended.

        • howard

          now there’s a worthy idea for a post/discussion, although, of course, everyone knows the ’60s started when four of the bravest 19-year-olds this country has ever known (3 of whom i’ve had the honor of meeting) “sat in” at the segregated woolworth’s lunch counter in greensboro, north carolina on february 1, 1960.

          (alternatively, the ’60s started when albert hofmann ingested a test chemical at the sandoz labs in switzerland and rode his bike home….)

        • Captain Splendid

          I’d go so far as to say that for the older, white-privilege crowd of Mad Men, the 60s would actually “arrive” at a much later date for them than other social groups.

          • howard

            not to hijack this thread, but captain splendid, i would say that your general point is well taken, but advertising was probably out ahead of many professional fields.

            that said, as a first-order anecdotal approximation, the ’60s arrived in many high-status, high-income households when the kids brought them home (it’s interesting, for example, how many early hippies and new lefties were from affluent families).

  • witless chum

    Buffy Season 5 was pretty great. Not the show’s best, though.

    • Rarely Posts

      This. It definitely broke new ground. It also sticks out because it managed to pull the show out of the relative doldrums of Season 4.

      Which brings us the next question: which are the best Buffy Seasons? I would go with 2 and 3, closely followed by 5 and 7. But, I would note that two of the most interesting, ambitious, and best shows occurred in “off” seasons-the (mostly) silent episode in season 4 and the musical episode in season 6.

      • John

        7? Really? 7 was maybe a slight improvement over 6, but it wasn’t good. 4 was better than either 6 or 7, easily.

      • The best season? Depends on which day you ask me. S2, S5, and S7 are all great; S6 might have been the best if not for the magic/drugs stuff.

  • dyz

    Season 5 of House was pretty interesting.

  • Patrick

    Wow. Disagree entirely. I rewatched 1 and 2 this summer, and I think that 5 has been just filled with clumsy, almost Desperate Housewives level of melodrama (lets have a fight! lets do LSD! don killed someone oh wait it was a dream!).

    • James Nostack

      Yeah, agreed. Season 5 has been kind of a guilty pleasure. It’s enjoyable, but the brush just gets broader and broader.

      I feel that they really should have ended it at season 3, when the band splits up and then gets back together, or season 4 when it looks like Don might make a personal breakthrough and instead just buys into yet another dream.

      At this point, I’m not sure what else there is to say.

    • matt

      I agree. This seems like the weakest season of Mad Men so far. Almost no sub-text at all: everything is right on the nose. While this episode was my favorite of Season 5, I think that it is increasingly a show without much to say.

  • Davis

    “How’s the city?”


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