What's the verdict on 'Mad Men's' premiere?
April 8th, 2013
11:15 AM ET

What's the verdict on 'Mad Men's' premiere?

[Note: This post may contain spoilers to the season six premiere of AMC's "Mad Men."]

In Sunday's return of "Mad Men," we see that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) hasn't changed - not even to grow some clearly en vogue sideburns, a la Pete Campbell. (Quipped Slate, "it's like he went to bed Charles Grodin and woke up Bert Reynolds.")

Welcome, "Mad Men" fans, to 1968.

But as the New Year rushed in, something that ordinarily signals the promise of a new beginning, we were ruminating on endings. Death loomed large over the two-hour sixth season premiere, from the actual demise of Roger Sterling's mother to the metaphorical image of death others see in an ad Don worked on for a luxury hotel in Hawaii. Even Don's untouchable creativity seemed to suffer.

"No matter how many times Don lights the same cigarette, the decade is ripening around him," observed Time magazine. "Don is still virile and dominating, but there’s more than ever the sense that he and we are feeling his age."

Yet he's still, as Esquire notes, very much alive - as are some of his old habits. He leads us into the episode with a little Dante's "Inferno," and spends the majority of the episode "brooding ... about the fact that some day he, too, will die."

It seems before that day comes, Don is content to continue on the path he's set in prior seasons, as he stepped out on his new wife, Megan, just as he did when he was married to Betty.

TVLine cutely alluded to Don's infidelity with the headline "Don, Ho," but the New York Times pointed out that we shouldn't be surprised.

"We know who Don is by now, and where he is most likely headed," the Times said. Instead, "it’s the women in his life who keep us guessing."

Indeed, Elisabeth Moss' Peggy Olson wielded her power at her new office, and little Sally Draper isn't so little anymore. Her mother, Betty, joined in the parade of new hairstyles, dying hers a dark brunette hue.

Yet even with the gloom that lingered over the two hours, The Hollywood Reporter notes how invigorating Matthew Weiner's writing is.

"'The Doorway' is a beautiful episode and moves with ease throughout, managing to stare down the big existential issues and surprise viewers with new twists as well. It’s difficult to write overtly about death when it’s more of an abstract than a reality, but Weiner does a brilliant job here," THR says in its review. "Based on that – and there are many more death references – season six should really be special."

What did you think of "Mad Men's" premiere?

Filed under: Mad Men • television

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Darnell Pashia

    Good Website! I want to visit daily. Thanks

    November 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jacinta

    I too was looking at the clock about 30 minutes into the show. For the first time I wasn't imgrossed. I was planing on watching Game of Thrones afterwards, but changed half way through missing the second half of Mad Men. Boring. And Don Draper not speaking for the first 15 minutes just shows how arrogant he is. It's getting old. And oh good, we are delving in to the "who is Don Draper" plot again.... yawn.

    April 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rigged let us too toshiba....


    April 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 3 turds...think they are these women...

    you know the filthy 1 right?

    April 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. california

    even lindsey lohan can't do that.....

    April 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tot movie

    she bought the whole script thanks

    April 10, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |


    April 10, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bob N. Ferapples

    I've never watched the show – no nudity, from what I'm told, so what's the point?

    April 10, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    I found myself looking at the time about halfway through; it seemed difficult to keep the viewer's attention for two hours, minus lots of commercials.

    Don Draper is hooking up with another women who is not his wife....yawn. Got anything new this season, Mr. Weiner?

    The Draper daughter is turning into a spoiled brat....another tired stereotype.

    We'll see how episode 2 fairs.

    April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. tdevinem

    i see.

    April 9, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rock

    Puking at wakes is awesome

    April 9, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    I was left scratching my head. Is there seriously nothing more to happen in a two hour show?

    April 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hannah Lebowitz

    Love the show. I think that the premiere sets up a great season. Draper is back to his old ways, and also seems to be questioning life and possibly trying to find himself. I was also happy to see that Peggy still seems to have a pretty big role.

    April 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lee

    Hated the show .. will not continue to watch. Too confusing, flitting from character to character ... no closure as to what happened the progressed years ... just awful and of course the endless commercials, made the show choppy.

    April 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. busybee527

    What's with all the gay comments?? I didn't and don't see any of that–maybe because I lived through the 50s and 60s. I was slightly disappointed as a whole and felt there must have been an episode I missed.

    April 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  16. The show failed months ago but now the show appears worse.

    its time for it to retire

    April 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Mike

    Don Draper gay? What show are these idiots watching?

    April 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Surfer

    Those people look like hippies. Dang hippies.

    April 8, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  19. Pedro

    Why are there any Mexicans on this show? I think it's racist.

    April 8, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |


    April 8, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  21. Observer

    Best show on the air!

    April 8, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  22. Nance

    I watched it. It was miserably bad.

    April 8, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.