Perfect Pitch

As I mentioned on marathon night, I've been working through multiple seasons of multiple shows concurrently. I've finally wrapped a bunch of them up, and can move on to the next batch! While all of the shows were successful to some degree (I wouldn't watch an entire season of a show I found unbearable), one stands head-and-shoulders above the crowd. Season 5 of Mad Men will likely rank among my favorites that the show has done, and will definitely find its way onto my best-of list at the end of the year. This season was utterly engrossing from start to finish. There wasn't a single bad episode in the bunch, and several were out-and-out brilliant.

I tried to impose a rule on myself that I'd only watch one episode per day - An hour of Mad Men is always so crammed with meaning and symbolism that it benefits from some time to digest and reflect on the theme. I have to say, though, that towards the end of the season, I couldn't stop myself from plowing through episodes; the season arc was so engaging that I just had to know what came next. Naturally, the show tackles multiple stories and themes, but if there was one central idea to Season 5, it's that everyone is always aching for something or someone that they don't have. And even when we achieve what we want, it doesn't stack up to the ideal we imagined it would. And there are always more things to want. If only we had that job. If only we had that house in the country. If only we had a wife and 2.5 kids and a mistress in the city, we'd surely be happy forever. Except life doesn't work like that, and the show's characters spent the season learning that in a multitude of ways.

This isn't a show that people can jump into at any random episode. The characters are so layered that I think it's important start at the beginning. Hell, the entire first season was largely just the laying of a massive amount of groundwork. Fortunately, anyone with access to Netflix Instant can catch up, though they'll have to do it quickly. That's right, it's Save the Date time!

Event: Mad Men - Season 6 premiere
Date: Sunday, April 7

I canceled cable a few months ago, and haven't regretted it for a moment since. Until now. I didn't mind waiting for this most recent season to be available on DVD before diving in, but I'd really like to watch Season 6 along with everyone else. It's time to do some scheming. Pete Campbell would be proud.

Mad Men - Season 5: A


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