Mad Men Season 6

Sam Favate

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The premiere is tonight. Does anyone know in what year the new season is set?
 

mattCR

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So many plots floating right off the bat, but such a great intro to the season; I especially enjoyed everything on Peggy's end. Betty as a brunette.. hmm. But the rebellious daughter storyline and the late 60s feel is right on; had a very Simon & Garfunkel feel to the facial hair ;)

One thing I really missed about Mad Men is the "next week on mad men" with a trailer cut up so fine that you can't tell anything that's going on and none of it means anything.
 

ScottH

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I thought it was a pretty good premiere, but I'm really at my last wit with the Betty stuff. I'm pretty much to the point where I think I'm just gonna skip over any scene with Betty (unless she's interacting with Don or one of the other regulars). I didn't think it could get any worse than last season, but her scenes just bring the show to a grinding halt. At least last season we didn't get much of her due to January Jones' pregnancy (at least I think that's what it was). I really don't understand why she needs to even be on the show.

I knew something was up with Don, but I admit I didn't see it coming with the doctor's wife. Thought maybe it would be Joan or something.
mattCR said:
One thing I really missed about Mad Men is the "next week on mad men" with a trailer cut up so fine that you can't tell anything that's going on and none of it means anything.
Yeah I wish all shows did that.
 

Sam Favate

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The funny thing is that I am always compelled to watch the next week teaser, even though I know it's not going to tell me anything! Last night was no exception. Show went long too -- to 11:07.
 

Stan

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Sam Favate said:
The premiere is tonight. Does anyone know in what year the new season is set?
I read a couple of reviews that say it's 1968. None of the reviews were very positive. Haven't watched the premiere yet. Gave up on this series a few years ago, but thought I'd try again.
 

Josh Dial

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Stan said:
None of the reviews were very positive.
It was a great premiere. Every review I read this morning (HuffPo and Rolling Stone, for example) was quite favourable, also.

Mad Men is the best show on television: two hours into season 6 and it shows no signs of slowing down.

In particular, the symbolism, callbacks (to previous episodes) and use of themes were all quite strong in the return. I could write a page just pointing out all the subtle touches the premiere had. One of my favourites, though, was the scene in the kitchen where Sandy rudely-stated "it's incredible how fast some people come up with lies." This is almost word-for-word what Betty told Don way back in season 2. The reference to (and new use of) the "Carousel" was also quite well done.
 

mattCR

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Yes, I loved the moment with Sandy.. and you really get the feeling Betty is trending on becoming a bitter old woman who just sees the world as a giant let down. They brought up again her modelling career, and with her new body type she feels the sting.. Sandy dressed her down for her failure to hold onto anything "real" and to accept the illusion.

While it's too easy to predict, you know the Vietnam vet that Draper met will get it.. or is already dead. But that's what Don is running into; in 1967, lots of death in the world.

Weiner has setup 1968 to focus a lot on death, and it's hard to avoid that. They will be confronted with the assassinations of MLK and RFK, and a growing conflict in Vietnam.

What stood out to me was that when you looked around the rooms, everyone had late 60s hair and style; Pete flashing sideburns, beards everywhere, pot in use.. and yet, Don has steadfast held on to his 1950s sharp dressed man look.. are they trying to signify that he hasn't quite moved on from where he was? Or that he's struggling with the new world?

Peggy, on the other hand has really come into her own; she is the "Don" of her agency but her abilities are just hitting a real stride and people around her recognize her for it. It was good to see her work in a pinch and come up with something for Koss headphones.
 

TravisR

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Josh Dial said:
It was a great premiere. Every review I read this morning (HuffPo and Rolling Stone, for example) was quite favourable, also.
I thought the episodes were great but for a laugh, I took a look at the comments section at Entertainment Weekly, Yahoo and other places and you can see plenty of intelligent criticisms like "BORIng!!!!! THSI EPISODE WERE TERIBBLE! SHOULDVE ENDED IT LASTY SAESON!!!". I chalk nearly all of that type of dopiness up to people wanting to go against the grain and say something critically lauded sucks or if they think these episodes were boring then they've forgotten that 90% of this show is talking and 10% is 'action'.
 

ScottH

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mattCR said:
Yes, I loved the moment with Sandy.. and you really get the feeling Betty is trending on becoming a bitter old woman who just sees the world as a giant let down. They brought up again her modelling career, and with her new body type she feels the sting.. Sandy dressed her down for her failure to hold onto anything "real" and to accept the illusion.
I won't disagree that the scene at the table with Sandy wasn't well done, but I just feel like Betty and her world is so far removed from what the show is really about. To me, the only link Betty has to the core of Mad Men is that she has the kids with Don. It seems her story lines the last two seasons could just be on a completely separate show as a spin-off or something. To me, the core of Mad Men is Don, Peg, Roger, Pete, and to a lesser degree Joan. I'm not sure if there are clauses in January Jones' contract that she has to have a certain number of scenes, but in my opinion they would be best served to write her out of the show. I don't even mean kill her off necessarily, but if they just stopped giving her scenes would it really impact the show at all? They could still have story lines with the kids (when they're with Don). Hell, I wouldn't even have a problem with them re-casting Betty if they felt they absolutely had to have here appear in a few scenes throughout the season (and January Jones didn't agree to a drastically reduced role).
 

Doug Smith

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He's back! Another great "Rogerism" - when Don throws up at the funeral Rogers's quick reply "he was just saying what everyone's thinking". Look forward to even more this season!
 

SteveSs

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I give you guys credit for seeing the positive. I've been with this show since day 1, and this is the worst I've felt about an episode. I found it very confusing. New year, new people, new jobs, ... I wish it had been more obvious what year it was. And what Megan's job was. And who the clowns in office are. And who Peggy's staff are. Of course, it might just be me. I have the same problem when I read a book. If the author introduces too many new people or ideas too quickly, I get confused and frustrated.
I will give credit to whoever dresses Harry, however. His outfits come right out of my dad's closet!
 

Josh Dial

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SteveSs said:
I give you guys credit for seeing the positive. I've been with this show since day 1, and this is the worst I've felt about an episode. I found it very confusing. New year, new people, new jobs, ... I wish it had been more obvious what year it was. And what Megan's job was. And who the clowns in office are. And who Peggy's staff are. Of course, it might just be me. I have the same problem when I read a book. If the author introduces too many new people or ideas too quickly, I get confused and frustrated.
I will give credit to whoever dresses Harry, however. His outfits come right out of my dad's closet!
Avoid Game of Thrones, then :)

In all seriousness, Mad Men tells its stories with a certain level of respect for the audience. The writers barely use any exposition: they simply toss their players on the screen for the audience to drink in. Along with this, however, comes a required level of trust on the part of the audience--trust that the show will eventually make everything clear, or at least, give us the tools to figure everything out. A lesser show, for example, would have simply opened with a title card saying "6 months later..." or the year, or whatever. A lesser show would have had throw-away lines where all the new characters are named and placed within the hierarchy. That Megan was a soap actor, for example, was slyly referenced with the "fan" in Hawaii.

Mad Men isn't a lesser show, of course. Heck, excluding the excerpt from Inferno, Don didn't speak until something like 8 minutes in! "Army," he says. Is that the only part from his real life that is also true of the fiction he's constructed?

Highly enjoyed the episodes.
 
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TravisR

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SteveSs said:
I give you guys credit for seeing the positive. I've been with this show since day 1, and this is the worst I've felt about an episode. I found it very confusing. New year, new people, new jobs, ... I wish it had been more obvious what year it was. And what Megan's job was. And who the clowns in office are. And who Peggy's staff are.
Last season left off in April 1967 so if it was now Christmas time, it was pretty likely that it was the end of 1967. The rest of your questions seem like things that will either become more clear over time or may just be unimportant. Peggy might really only interact with Ted Chauogh at her new agency and the rest of the people there might be glorified extras or who they are will become more important over the course of the season.
 

Quentin

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Chalk me up as another "why is Betty still in this show" person. In an already slow and contemplative episode, her scenes dragged it to a halt. I see no thematic or plot-centric reason for her to show up at all unless it is when Don is interacting with his kids.

Meanwhile, Joan is cut nearly entirely out. She had more lines in the whiskey commercials between breaks.

Don is searching again...and, that's a good thing. However, he no longer finds solace in the arms of other women. He'll have to find something else to answer his ennui.

And, I liked all the Roger scenes EXCEPT his therapy sessions. Talk about laying it on thick. And, I already know Roger is a narcissist who likes to hear himself talk. I don't need a shrink to react to it to confirm my thoughts. I was surprised Joan didn't come to the service. Wonder what's going on there? I see him trying to make her and his new child more a part of his life. His daughter sees him as a wishing well...he needs to groom some new intimate relationships or die alone.

Who will achieve contentment first? Roger or Don? Maybe neither...
 

TravisR

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Quentin said:
I was surprised Joan didn't come to the service. Wonder what's going on there? I see him trying to make her and his new child more a part of his life.
I hadn't even thought of that but that is strange. I don't think she's still that mad over Roger being of one of the guys who pimped her out to the sales guy from Jaguar but maybe it's as simple as she was holding down the fort at the office.

As for Roger being a part of their son's life, Joan basically told Roger that she didn't want him to be part of their lives in that way last season. Not in an f-you way but more in the sense of wanting to protect herself and son from people knowing that she had a kid with someone other than her then-husband.

Quentin said:
Who will achieve contentment first? Roger or Don? Maybe neither...
To me, Don seems like he'll always be looking for something better but Roger might find happiness.
 

Matt Hough

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I have to join the chorus of people dissatisfied with Betty's scenes. If the Greenwich Village sequence was supposed to show a generation gap exisiting, it didn't have to go on so long to make that point.
 

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