The fourth season of Mad Men takes the much-lauded show to a new level as the characters have almost gotten too comfortable on Madison Avenue. It is to be assumed that Don Draper will sleep with any woman, so when he did not do so on the first night it was shocking. It is expected that Roger will make some inappropriate comments; that did happen.
But with this comfortability comes a familiar trap that a lot of shows have fallen into: they do not try as hard. In its early years Mad Men had to be creative to get an audience, but just because the episodes are easier to write now, that does not mean they are just as good. The dinner scene, for example, felt incredibly forced here. The banter was lacking, the directing was more pretentious than arty.
There was a lot to like in Season 4 of Mad Men, but frankly, there was a lot to dislike as well. For all of its originality that the show importunes to its viewers, there is a scene with the recently divorced Don and Betty bickering like couples have been doign since The Flinstones.
Mad Men may revitalize summer TV, but frankly this premiere disappointed.