Mad Men‘s fifth season premiere, A Little Kiss, lived up to its hype. There is a reason why this show has won four primetime Emmys. Every season is like a novel, with each episode a densely written chapter. The show has been gone for a long time. We are reintroduced to (almost) all of the characters. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is still married to Megan (Jessica Pare), who throws him a surprise fortieth birthday party. Don being Don, he can’t accept the party with the graciousness expected by Megan, who proceeds to make him very uncomfortable with a burlesque song and dance routine sung in French. Really!
Roger (John Slattery) is in fine form, and distributes cash to all and sundry during the episode. What gives? Has Roger become so mercenary? And why is he honing in on all of Pete Campbell’s (Vincent Kartheiser) client meetings?
Joan (Holloway) Harris (Christina Hendricks) is exhausted by her newborn, who also just happens to be Roger’s baby. It’s a looong story. Elizabeth Moss is her usual sparkling self as copywriter/working girl/young woman trying to make it in a man’s world Peggy Olson.
Mad Men‘s writers are merely setting the table with the premiere. It will be a while before we see any conclusions to the storylines now being developed. But Mad Men, more perhaps than any other show on television today, rewards close and faithful viewing. Stick with it. It is already well on its way to a fifth Emmy.