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Mad Men returns and reviewed
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Mad Men returns and reviewed

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USA Today gives it four stars (out of four) and says:

… There is always meaning to Mad Men’s madness and passion under its control, along with an uncommon level of style, flair and wit. On a TV shelf crowded with cookie-cutter products, Mad Men is an original. You don’t have to buy it, but you should at least try it out. …

Entertainment Weekly gives it an “A-minus” and says:

… As with so much about Mad Men, some of it is overheated but never half-baked, and the opening hour rises like a nearly flawless soufflé of sex and salesmanship. … New business strategies (firings, job shifts) get implemented by the ad agency’s new owners, embodied by Fringe’s Jared Harris, who is dry, conniving, and quietly contemptuous of his American counterparts. Hoo boy, is this Brit going to be a jolly good villain to secretly root for!

The New York Times says:

… Over dinner, an eager stewardess chirps to Don about her travels. His reply is typically inscrutable. “I keep going to a lot of places and ending up somewhere I’ve already been,” he says. It’s the third season, and we still want to go with him.

The Los Angeles Times says:

… This is a moral drama, a show about deciding who you are and who you want to be, of character as the sum of small choices. There are no heroes or villains here, only people working out or being carried toward their individual destinies. And in who we root for and in what we root for them to choose, we also define ourselves.

The Washington Post says:

… Never has a show soared to such critical altitude and niche devotion on the art of the cold stare, the unfinished sentence, the trailing plot point. … Everything “Mad Men” claims to be about — from the deception of advertising and the idea that nothing and no one are really as they seem; to the moments just before postmodern American culture exploded; to the imbalances of gender, sexuality and sometimes race, then and now — it comes by in such a subtle way that at times it has been quite irresistible. But also disappointing. Boring, somehow. Heretical as it may seem to say, “Mad Men” is the truest example of style over substance. It is shackled by its attention to subtle detail and early-1960s clothing, objects and furniture.

The San Francisco Chronicle says:

Beyond being the finest series on television, “Mad Men” is both ambitious and exquisite, two of the ultimate rarities in the business. The Season 3 premiere on Sunday begins and ends with two wonderfully conceived and executed scenes and, when the hour closes, it leaves no doubt about its lofty goals. “Mad Men” wants to be indelibly brilliant. And after two seasons of accomplishing just that, there’s no reason given in the premiere to have any doubts about the third. …

The Newark Star Ledger says:

… remains the best show on television. … I enjoyed the season two premiere, but I imagine that its sedate, introspective style was a turn-off to the new viewers who were lured in by the $25 million promotional blitz AMC launched for that season. Sunday’s episode feels much more like a typical hour of “Mad Men,” yet it’s also far more welcoming of new viewers. The hour offers up office intrigue, romantic complications and a classic Don Draper pitch, not to mention the usual brilliant acting from all involved. …

The Boston Herald says:

… Despite the welcome humor, Weiner can’t give up the heavy-handed tricks he learned while scripting “The Sopranos.” … Like “The Sopranos” before it, “Mad Men” only has a 13-episode order. You just want to yell at the TV: Hurry up and use the time. Stop being stylish and start getting real. …

The Boston Globe says:

… In even the smallest details – watch how a stick pin travels through the episode – “Mad Men’’ remains TV at its most artful. Like Don Draper, it’s beautiful, stealthy, troubling, and, above all, addictive. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

… A return to form, spellbinding and elusive as Don Draper himself. … As a “Sopranos” alumnus, the “Mad Men” executive producer graduated from the David Chase School of Storytelling. You not only don’t give the viewers what they want, you confound them by toying with their expectations. Maybe you even make them question those expectations in the first place. Want tidy resolutions to cliffhangers? Go watch “Desperate Housewives.” …

Variety says:

… Despite series creator Matthew Weiner’s “The Sopranos”-like approach of telling the stories he wants at the pace that suits him, the first hour hits the ground running a little bit faster, creating interesting plot lines for several of the returning characters while adding a compelling new presence. …

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