"Mad Men" is a show I like quite a bit, but at the same time think is vastly overrated. While the first season really was quite excellent, the two subsequent seasons have been far less compelling. Much like stylistic forebearer "The Sopranos" (not to mention later issues of The Sandman, in my opinion not widely shared), the show seems to be already resting on its' laurels, having established a standard of impeccable, if sometimes dull, storytelling sure to win awards and accolades.
Last night's episode felt like more of a return to form, at least for one episode. Though last season was often quite tedious (the nadir, in my mind, came in the episode in which the most notable thing was that Pete Campbell and his wife danced the Charleston), it did change the dynamics at both work and home for Don Draper. This was our first chance to dip our toes into the new status quos, and it was mostly successful. Of course, it helps that at least half the episode went by before we saw Betty Draper. She's long been the show's albatross, a vain, vapid nitwit who is impossible to root for even when she's in the right. At least the show finally disposed of the neverending "will she or won't she?" teases that Betty might have an affair by having her have an affair
Of course, my new favorite character to ever appear on "Mad Men is seemingly Henry's mother, who referred to Betty as "Dirt". I hope this means we're not supposed to try and like Betty any more. I still can't decide if January Jones is just a terrible, lifeless actress, or if that's actually part of the performance. Anyway, I'm all for hating on Betty, so keep that coming. I want at least one scathing insult directed at Betty per episode (per scene if possible).
One last thing: It's a really odd tonal shift to go from watching "True Blood" at 9 to "Mad Men" at 10. And when was the last time anyone actually drank any True Blood anyway?