I’ve always had a complicated relationship with Mad Men. On the one hand, it’s visually stunning, the writing is unbelievable, the costumes are nearly flawless, and it gives you a reliable conversation starter (should you ever need to talk to grandpas or professors or, like, anyone who thinks they’re too good for Pretty Little Liars). It’s critically acclaimed for a reason– and I’m not just talking about Jon Hamm‘s junk. On the other hand, though, you know how boring people describe TV shows as emotional roller coasters? For me, Mad Men is one of those. If roller coasters were terrifying death traps that slammed you repeatedly into the ground while reminding you that your future husband will probably cheat on you with his secretary while you chain smoke and use your college degree to mop wine stains off your girdle.
This second half of the series has been depressing me even more than ever, because my passionate hatred for every male character has almost spread to every female character. They’ve written complex and fascinating Betty Francis into the ground, and while I appreciate that Peggy Olson is multi-dimensional, my attention is starting to slip away from her. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll see Joan and Megan and Dawn succeed in their careers, and I’ll love Sally and her eyebrows until the end of time, but I’m running out of steam. It’s getting a lot harder to stomach so much adultery/misogyny/ennui/racism/alcoholism/general misery, and last night’s Season 7 premiere did nothing for me.
I took notes while I watched it, expecting to have pages and pages of comments to share with you guys, and this is all I got:
- That opening is solid. Nice.
- Don really is exceptional at not giving the tiniest shit about anyone. Did you know you’re a husband? Did you know you have three kids? Get a job, asshole.
- The costumes. The costumes. Someone’s job is dressing Joan Harris. Lucky bastard. They should create a new Emmy category for Outstanding Performance By One of Christina Hendricks‘ Dresses. She looks great in purple.
- Roger Sterling can continue to be naked if he wants. I’m okay with that.
- All I’ve ever wanted in this life is to wear Megan’s blue dress. She looks better just exiting a car than I looked on prom night.
- Shouldn’t something have happened in the show by now?
- Bring Megan’s blue dress back.
- Nothing’s happening. This is the premiere. Something should be happening. They’re getting a little cocky about the fact that we’re all hooked.
- Go to hell, Pete Campbell, and take your little sweater with you.
- Oh, it’s nearly over. So… nothing’s happening tonight? Okay.
- Wait, is Don going to jump off the balcony? Has the opening sequence been literal foreshadowing all this time? They don’t have to write a good episode if the main character jumps off a building at the end.
- Eh? Eh? You gonna jump, Don?
- So unfair. You got my hopes up.
- Where can I buy Megan’s blue dress?
I’m never going to give up on this show, obviously, and even its lamest episodes have more to offer than a lot of what’s on TV right now, but come on. Here’s hoping next week will gives us a little something to work with.
Photos: Mad Men on AMC