Monday, August 02, 2010

Mad Men, Season IV: Disappointments

I watched Episode 1 off the DVR at 3 am this morning (jet lag; more about it later) and I have several disappointments. I realize that not every episode would match the dramatic force of the Season III finale, but that wasn't really it. What bothered me were the inconsistencies. Don Draper, for instance, does several things that would have been out of character in previous seasons:

  • Hires a prostitute. Don never needed to do this before.

  • Acts out a fetish with said prostitute. Where did this come from? We've never seen Don interested in kinky sex.

  • Gets grabby with a date. Don has never before lost a seduction.

  • Storms out on a potential client. Don has always kept his professional cool with clients.

  • Gets judgmental with said client. Don has always been aloof from the moral implications of both the products he sells and the means he uses to sell them. But when a "two piece" bathing suit maker is concerned about competition from "bikinis", Don derides them as prudes. This is especially ironic considering that Don himself objected to a swimsuit that Betty was wearing back in Season II.

On the other side, the character development that supposedly took place last season is missing. We had been lead to believe that Don's relationship with Peggy Olsen had reached a better equilibrium, yet here he goes off on her in a particularly humiliating way. (Granted, she deserved it for being a bonehead. Still . . . .)

I was also disappointed with certain aspects of the story. After hollowing out the old Cooper-Sterling, Draper and his renegades should have seen their original offer to buy back the company accepted, and at much more favorable terms. Obviously, it was not. Why not? If OCS survives, I would have enjoyed seeing how its personnel were getting along. Will Ken Cosgrove and Paul Kinsey still make appearances? And I hope we will start receiving updates about Joan's relationship with her husband.

No comments: