Mad Men Season 5
The two-part season opener of Mad Men was spectacularly underwhelming. It was so listless and uneventful that I experienced several microsleeps during part 2. For all the critical adulation the show's received, the season opener made the show look like nothing more than a soap opera set against a backdrop that gets too much of its energy from the everything old is new again retro vibe. The problem with the show at this stage is that we are all intimately familiar with each character and their behaviors, and there are no surprises left anymore. There certainly weren't any in this episode, and I'm afraid that what Pete Campbell says about Sterling Cooper applies equally well to the show itself. It looks like it's treading water, just running out the clock with the same kind of quotidian, trivial crises that occupy soap operas. Pete Campbell demands and gets a new office! Wow, that's hot stuff. Mad Men, the thrill is gone.