Mad Men – TV Series (Season 6)
Running Time: 45 minutes per episode
Created by: Matthew Weiner
Starring: Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Rich Sommer, Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Pare, Kevin Rahm
The series revolves around an ad agency in the 60s, focusing on the creative director and partner, Don Draper (Hamm), and this season has opens to Draper’s continuous spiral into alcoholism, his relationship with his wife, Megan (Pare), his children, and ex-wife, Betty (Jones), his work at the agency, his constant search for happiness and his reminiscence of his past. Meanwhile, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is looking into an IPO for the agency, which makes every account they can get their hands on extremely vital, and this sends everyone in the firm searching for more accounts.
As mentioned, season 6 have focused primarily on Don and his past, with side storylines with Pete and his struggle to keep his personal life afloat, the constant attraction between Peggy and Ted, Sally’s gradual rise to adulthood, and the quizzical character, Bob Benson. Similar to the previous few seasons, the show had shifted its focus towards the personal lives of the characters, allowing the audience to further understand the characters. All the while all these storylines were tied around the company, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and this time, the company faced some tough competition from rival agencies. I was a little disappointed that there was barely any emphasis on the creation of ads for the clients which was one of the main things that drew me toward the show. And I’ve missed Joan’s presence in the series. Aside from this, I did enjoy that the show explored more in depth with Don’s past, and his relationship with his family, and women, and the newcomer , the mysterious yet charming Bob Benson.
The acting this time has focused again mainly on Jon Hamm’s portrayal of Don Draper’s seemingly endless suffering and quest for life’s answers. Hamm delivered a convincing performance throughout the season, but there were moments in which the delivery was a little shaky. A lot of attention was given to Kiernan Shipka who played the troubled teen Sally Draper, and it seems like there might be big things coming on the way for her. Vincent Kartheiser definitely stood out this season, with his interpretation of the menacing yet timid Pete Campbell. I sure hope the writers will continue challenging his character in future seasons.
Lastly, the costume department did a fantastic job as usual by adding more flavors to the characters which helped with the storytelling. The set designing and props department continued to deliver on the show with their detailed research on the period. Overall, this season was not the best from the show, with notable episodes such as The Doorway Part 2, For Immediate Release, Man with a Plan, Favors, and In Care Of, but aside from these ones, it was a pretty mellow and at times draggy season. Hopefully there would be more to come with Don’s alcoholism and search for contentment, Sally’s discovery and understanding of her dad’s ways and past, Pete’s continuous search for acceptance and power, Joan’s desire to be more than a secretary in the company, Bob’s past and his intentions, and the dynamics of the company after the merger, their clients, and hopefully more focus on the development of the ads.
Rating: 6 out of 10