Mad Men Returns after a 17 Month Hiatus

Mad Men Returns after a 17 Month Hiatus

  1. March 25 brought about a record breaking 3.5 million viewers that tuned in to AMC for the long awaited Mad Men season 5 premiere. Man Men was on hiatus for 17 months due to disputes between Matthew Weiner, the creator, and AMC, the network. 3.5 million viewers is a 21% jump from their other season premieres, and the two hour premiere did not disappoint.

    There were things that I loved about this episode and things that made me even more confused. A lot has changed since the last episode (we assume that about 9 months have passed since the season 4 finale):

    • Joan has had her child with Rodger Sterling as the father, if you remember correctly.
    • Peggy has been dating a liberal journalist but is still dealing with gender stereotypes in the workplace.
    • Don Draper is married to Megan whom he made a copywriter.
    • Pete Campbell and his wife have had their child and seem exhausted (we catch him complaining about how she doesn’t take care of herself anymore).
    • Betty and Henry Francis, whom Don "lovingly" deems Morticia and Lurch, have moved into a large mansion (although that is all we hear about them this episode).

    Don Draper Turns 40

    The event that the episode is centered around is Don’s 40th birthday (which in reality is not his real birthday since he is Dick Whitman, not Don Draper). Don struggles with managing a balance between his young, energetic, hip wife, and his increasing age. Megan throws Don a surprise birthday party, and performs a song for everyone at the party entitled "Zou Bisous Bisous" which is more of a burlesque dance if anything (and it embarrasses Don, along with the party).

    Campbell vs. Sterling

    Another highlight is the Pete Campbell vs. Rodger Sterling struggle for power. Pete is bringing in the high-end clients but is still a junior partner. Rodger is a partner, but doesn’t really bring in new business (which entirely angers Pete). Rodger keeps trying to poach Pete’s leads, so Pete beats him at his own game sending Rodger to Staten Island for a made-up meeting with Coca Cola. Rodger and Pete seem to both be living an increasingly more unhappy and superficial lifestyle. We will see if their personal or professional lives fall apart.

    Civil Rights, Womens Rights

    Finally, the overarching theme is the civil rights movement in New York City. Due to an ad mix up and personal joke, SDCP is obligated to hire an African American staff member. I assume that this will eventually parallel the women’s rights movement that will be undoubtedly headed by Peggy and Joan on this show.

    Mad Men Season 5

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