Mad Men Recap: Dawn of an Old Age

"The only thing worse than not getting what you want is somebody else getting it."  That Roger Sterling line, tossed off in tonight's two-hour Season 5 premiere  of Mad Men, refers to a specific moment in the show, but it also hints at the episode's themes. The time is 1966, right after Memorial Day weekend, and the elapsed time between this episode and the events of the last one (about seven months) suggest that many of the characters have traversed psychological distances far greater than calendars would indicate. Envy, disappointment and fear of losing what you've got: these feelings have always powered subplots on Mad Men, but they're front and center in "A Little Kiss," a classically structured, self-contained, long-form piece. If most installments of the show play like short stories, this one is more of a novella – as well it should be, considering the elapsed time between this chapter and the last one. We've got a lot of catching up to do: series creator Matthew Weiner (who scripted this episode) and director Jennifer Getzinger glide right into it, delivering an episode that would play like a tedious info-dump — practically a second pilot, or stealth re-boot — if the information weren't conveyed with such relaxed confidence and wit. Read More...


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