Has the show jumped the shark? The most recent episode, which aired on Sunday, features Betting going to Weight Watchers (I didn’t even know it existed in 1966), Sally turning into a bratty teen and Pete is sleeping with his commutermate’s wife. Not to mention that Roger and Don are acting like a-holes and have been all season. The sophistication is definitely gone. It’s a very different show from season one.
Trailer of the episode aired on May 13, 2012
I realize that we are heading deeper and deeper into the 60s – we are almost at the “Wonder Years” timeline (1968-1973), but focusing on the young crowd isn’t what Mad Men is supposed to be. Besides, with Megan gone from the office, the “young crowd” basically is made up of the “creative team” – Peggy, Stan and Ginsberg. These people are more workaholics than fun types (not that they don’t have fun while working) and are just slightly out of the age range that the 60s tend to focus on. At the same time, I did like seeing the more formal look of earlier seasons. It’s something that we don’t get in the 21st century. Actually, I don’t think we’ve had anything like that since the 80s, if at all. My generation – basically the children of people Sally’s cohort (or Glen, to be more accurate, since I’m in my early 30s), didn’t exactly grow up with much formality, and our children in an even MORE casual environment. There are people my age who can’t hold a fork and knife properly and men who can’t tie ties (even those who went to schools with uniforms!) and I think my generation was the last to NOT address adults by first name without adding Uncle or Auntie in front of it (even if these adults weren’t related to you). Anyway, formality is not the point here. It’s about the show itself.
The problem is, as we head towards the 70s, we’re getting to the part of the 1960s that is overplayed in movies and television. We really don’t need to see any more Vietnam/Summer of Love (which would be at least hinted on in Season 6) and Woodstock. Of course, getting it from an adult-adult’s perspective rather than a teen or early 20something would be a bit of a change, but still, I’ve seen that time period before. I’m also not a fan of the fashion of that era. As youth became the focus, everything about how one dresses changed – and went downhill from there. Oh well, at least we aren’t going to see the 80s, the first decade I remember well.