The Big Cultural Event tonight is the return of Mad Men after a hiatus of what seems like five years.

I’ll be watching, but not with great enthusiasm.

I mean, I like Mad Men and all, but it just seems like so much work.

There hasn’t been a new episode of Man Men since June of 2013. It’s a complex show, with multiple plot lines and all sorts of profound statements being made. To be honest, I’ve actually forgotten what the hell is happening in Don Draper’s universe. I’ve had to read up on what was happening just to prepare myself for a new season.

I don’t really know if it’s worth the effort. Honestly, I like Mad Men, but I don’t love it.

I loved Breaking Bad, the only other show that comes close to the critical rapture and fan passion that greets Mad Men. There’s no denying that Mad Men is a ‘quality’ TV show (sometimes I get think it is so wrapped up in being a quality TV show it forgets to be entertaining), and is infinitely superior to 90 per cent of the formulaic murder-of-the-week dreck on network TV. But I’ve never found Mad Men to be as emotionally involving as Breaking Bad, as flat out entertaining as Justified (the just concluded season excluded), or as involving as Boardwalk Empire. But it seems that everyone takes this show so seriously — ponderous magazine articles about what it all means, Wikipedia entries that drone on for thousands of words, charts and graphs outlining what the characters were doing when last we met, the inevitable use of the word ‘zeitgeist’.

Sheesh. As Alfred Hitchcock said to Ingrid Bergman when she was struggling with her character in one of his films: “It’s only a movie, Ingrid”. And Mad Men is only a TV show — a good one, sometimes a great one, but quite often ponderous and wordy, and very full of itself. I’ll watch it, of course (since I’ve already invested 78 hours of my life to this show). Maybe I’ll PVR all eight episodes and watch then in a batch to get the full feel of what’s going on.

But I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to enjoy it.




One thought on “I’ll watch Mad Men … but I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it

  1. You’ve expressed my sentiments precisely in all the shows you mentioned, with the exception of Boardwalk Empire, which I was never able to get into. I think the thing that makes Mad Men such a chore is the unrelenting gloom that seems to permeate the show, thanks in no small part to the character of Don Draper.

    But, like you, I will be watching, with the same lack of real enthusiasm that you express here.

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