It was an even-keeled premiere, laying the foundation for what will be eventually be a turbulent season both at home on the social front and in the work place.
Even though the premiere was subtle and the characters seemed stuck in their ways — Don the cheating husband, Pete the shmarmy child, Ken the golden boy, Roger the absentee boss, Joan the alpha secretary, Peggy the quietly confidant worker, et al. — it’s evident that enough of a foundation has been layed to guess where this season is heading.
We’ll try to go spoiler free as much as possible for those that haven’t watched yet, but here’s what stood out to us.
- In the office, Sterling-Cooper is being taken over by the Brits and instead of the old boys network, a cold-scientific business model is being used to lay off 1/3 of the SC work force.
- As television has grown, so has Harry’s power in the office. It’s clear that he’s the future of Sterling-Cooper or maybe even the present. By now Don Draper, the focal point of the show, is rooted in an archetype of the past, or what the stewardess said “a Ty Power” type.
- Can’t wait to see Pete and Ken duke it out for accounts. Ken seems too nice and Pete too ambitious to not do anything to win, but show creator Matthew Weiner has always defied expectations, cutting left when we think he’s going right, and this may prove to be the show’s surprise outcome.
- Sexual identity is going to play a large role this season. Not just with the repressed homosexual Sal coming out of the closet (the bellhop! Caught by Don!), but even when Betty called her daughter a lesbian for playing with Don’s tools.
- Joan’s new nemesis is a male secretary. And he’s British! This should be fun to watch their catty rivalry play out.
- No wonder Don wanted to escape his past. The premiere opened with a flashback to his mother and father, a still born baby and then Don’s father getting a prostitute pregnant and Dick, nay Don Draper, being born into this world.
- I could’ve watched the scenes between Don and Sal in Baltimore with the stewardesses all day. As for their business with London Fog, well, it’s evident Don’s a dinosaur with the terrible branding advice he gives the company. It’s going to be sad to watch this series neuter Don by taking away his relevance in the work place — the only emasculating power source he has.
So, have at it? What did you like, not like, notice, etc? If this gets a good response we’ll do it week to week after every episode.