The first few seasons I was blown away by it. The last couple of seasons were hit-and-miss. Mostly miss. And now I watch it because I’ve invested this much time into the series that I might as well see it through to the end. But I find I’m enjoying it more this season. So why? Are the storylines more compelling than in recent years? No. Are there surprising turns? No. It’s all pretty much more of the same. Don can't find happiness. Pete is a dick. Peggy's searching for her place in a man's world. Roger goes through life pickled. Beenthere/donethat, beenthere/donethat, beenthere/donethat, beenthere/donethat.
But here’s the big difference: my mindset. And if you’re disillusioned with MAD MEN too, I invite you to try this as well. Are you ready? Here we go:
Just think of MAD MEN as another show.
Simple as that. Don’t expect to be watching the most amazing drama you’ve ever seen. Don’t study each tiny moment and analyze each line for its hidden significance and major import. Don’t think you’re holding a mirror up to society. Don’t fret that the themes aren’t resonating and staying with you for days. Don’t feel guilty that your DVR is filling up with unseen episodes.
I doubt if I’ll be having many discussions around the water cooler this year. There is hidden meaning in almost every line that now goes cheerfully right over my head. I’m fine with that. I like most of the characters, I love the time period, the dialogue is always snappy, I appreciate the intelligence, there are some good tunes on the radio, and every so often we get a killer scene.
And I don’t need MAD MEN to be a great show. I have THE GOOD WIFE for that. I had HOUSE OF CARDS. I had TRUE DETECTIVES. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK returns very soon. I’m getting my superb television fix.
And now that I approach MAD MEN with this new mindset, it is once again a show I look forward to watching. Give it a try. The scene in the season premiere where New York native/gentile Pete was raving to Don about how amazing the Jewish delis are in Los Angeles was a riot! You don't get that on NCIS: LOS ANGELES.