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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Mad Men" season 4 preview: All I can tell you is that it's good

The arrival of a new season of "Mad Men" is always marked by two things: excitement and secrecy. Those like me, who love the show, are positively atwitter with hope for each new season and the show's fourth season, which starts Sunday at 10 p.m., is no exception.

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.

1 comment:

Lee said...

When I say "wet fart," it sounds really really classy. Also, no one has said this, but I'm pretty sure everyone in the newsroom will be secretly hating you until they all see the next Mad Men, too, making us all equals once again.