Monday, July 26, 2010

Mad Men Season Premiere Recap: Stage Fright -- Vulture

A recap of the season 4 premiere:
The gangs-all-here feel makes for a satisfying sort of reunion show, but in many ways, it's also a show about role-playing: How Don's most challenging creative account is his constant performance and spin — the brand management of himself. Seeing that his old answer to "Who is Don Draper" has become obsolete, Don, and the show, are refreshing and rebranding. Welcome to the reboot.
Which is true, but then again it isn't really. Like all great TV, Mad Men isn't really about its storylines or its historical moment. It simply asks the question: what is the good life and how does one live thoughtfully and authentically in a world of surfaces and commercial transactions? Existentialism 101; authenticity in the face of absurdity and contingency. "Who is Don Draper" is always the only question. The move toward and the dread the comes along with a self-authenticating self-awareness.