|Second in a series of Mad Men character sketches by my
daughter Katie–collect them all
A friend–let’s call her the Media Mistress of Mill Street–suggested recently that it was time to warm up Don Draper’s jet ski: Mad Men had jumped the shark.
Sacrilege, I thought. This is a show I’d watch in German or Mandarin Chinese if just for the look and feel and mood. Yes, Draper’s an unpardonable cad, sneaking around on his doll of a wife with his new doctor pal’s woman a few floors up. The guy is brilliant but damaged, doesn’t know who he is or what he wants–what’s your point?
Her point was that he has become such a dick she doesn’t care a hoot about him or his show anymore. “Call me,” she said, “when Roger gets his own show.”
Nonsense, I said to myself. Creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner, he’s building up to something BIG. Draper’s gonna get his comeuppance, and its going to be as explosive as the end of the ’60s. It’s all building up to something that will make the black out at the end of The Sopranos look like a rerun of The Mentalist.
Then I read this brilliant post by Ken Levine.
Levine is a comedy writer who has worked on some of TV’s finest sitcoms, including Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons and Everybody Loves Raymond. He’s created his own shows (Almost Perfect), written movies and just to make you hate him even more, has been a play-by-play announcer for three major league teams, the Orioles, Mariners and Padres. He is hilarious in person, killing during a TCA Awards appearance a few years ago while accepting a heritage salute for Cheers. The guy is to comedy and creativity what Don Draper is to philandering.
He says Mad Men has lost its mojo, and he makes a damn good case.
Levine comes from a place of awe and respect. He’s such a fan of the series, he writes, that after the first few seasons, he “almost took up smoking.”
It is bugging him, however, that Draper has turned into “television’s biggest prick.” He worries that Weiner “has stopped loving his characters.” Everybody on the show now seems irredeemable, he says.
I’m not ready to miss a minute of this series yet, but I see Levine’s point. Read his full blog post here.