Tuesday, July 20, 2010
"Mad Men" season 4 preview: All I can tell you is that it's good
As always we can't help but wonder what the tortured Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his lovable gang of miserable ad people will get up to this season. What year will this season be set in? What real-life historical events will it intersect with?
But, due to creator Matt Weiner's constant scoldings that all critics reviewing the show remain tight-lipped, the weeks leading up to each season's debut are filled with reviews that reveal almost nothing about the season to come. In fact, New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley has already drawn fire for an overly spoiler-y piece (you'll find Variety's take on Stanley's piece here).
Far be it from me to ruin the vastly entertaining premiere but offering too many juicy bits. But if I can't tell you anything, what can I tell you?
Well, I suppose I can tell you that, when we meet up with our beloved scoundrel Don, he's asked a very pointed question: "Who is Don Draper?" I won't reveal the context of the question, but it is one that's been posed over and over again throughout the series' run. And, it's one Don is constantly asking himself -- perhaps now more than ever, as he faces a whole new set of challenges set in motion by last season's game-changing finale.
Again, I won't reveal the nature of those challenges. But I will say that most of the key "Mad Men" characters make at least an appearance in the premiere, including erstwhile copywriter Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss, looking more mature and confident with each passing season) and Don's witty colleague Roger Sterling (John Slattery, as dashingly acerbic as ever).
It's probably not spoiling anything to reveal that Roger, as always, has all the best lines. Also, I believe Slattery is the only actor on TV who can make the phrase "wet fart" sound classy.
Other than that, there's not too much I can say about the premiere, except to tell you that it's good. It's good and it's smart and it bodes well for the rest of the season.