Mad Men – Season 5 – **1/2

Posted: June 11, 2012 in 2012, Drama, USA, XX1/2

Hm. It Happened. Mad Men became boring. Season 5 just finished and there’s nothing left to anticipate. Most questions have been answered and the ones that remain unanswered are of little importance. Will Betty ever get her weight back? Will Don Draper ever cheat on his (new) wife? My favorite tv show has become a stylish soap that just drags on and on and only focuses on personal issues.

All mystery is gone. Don Draper has become the most boring main character ever. He’s faithful and he has nothing to hide! His (new) wife Megan gets a to play a huge part in this season, but she can’t deliver her importance as much as Betty Draper could. Megan is very likable and it suits her that she gives up a copyediting job to invest in her dream of becoming an actress. But she turns out to be a very fragile and moody character, who doesn’t know what she wants and leaves the viewer confused. Is she a smart, positive individual or just a whining & childish housewife? Betty Draper (well, Betty Francis now) is so much more intriguing. She has almost no screen time this season, but when she does she steals the scene! Literally: she has become fat. Too bad we didn’t see more of her and of her relationship with her daughter Sally, who’s quite the character as well. At the office, it’s business as usual. We don’t learn new things about the world of advertising. And the employers also have nothing new to tell. Peggy is Peggy. Pete is Pete. Roger is Roger light. Joan is Joan strong.

And what about the references to the time period of this show? Sure, the fashion and set design have a late sixties/early seventies feel, but the thing that made Mad Man so intriguing was the fact that it showed us how New Yorkers reacted to certain changes or events in society (equal rights movement, Marilyn Monroe’s fame, the Cuban crisis, JFK’s murder, avant-garde artists, etc…). This season they kind of explore the experimental drug movement, the weight watching obsession, etc… but it’s not as fascinating.

Season 5 is over and I’m not sad. Apart from the episode where Joan has to make a tough decision, there wasn’t any moment that I was in awe of the ingenuousness of this show. I just took the great acting for granted. If this season wins another Emmy in the category for best DRAMA, it will still deserve it because, in the end, most scenes have DRAMA written all over them.

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