Maureen Ryan, one of the top television critics in the country, has moved to AOL. One of her first offerings at her new home is an examination of the current season of Mad Men. It’s an excellent piece, and I recommend it highly, with the caveat that it explores everything up through last weekend’s episode, so if you aren’t caught up, you’ll find spoilers. Here it is:
In season 4, the stakes are higher than ever for the characters, we know them better than ever as they continue to evolve, and the sense that anything could happen to people we (mostly) care about a great deal lends the proceedings an extraordinarily delicious tension.
The neatest trick the show has pulled off has been to make the audience feel as unsettled -- and as exhilarated -- as the characters. The sense of possibility the characters feel infuses the show with an addictive energy; we want to know what's around the corner as much as they do.
What's coming next could be good or it could be wrenching, but this season on 'Mad Men,' it's almost always been deeply (or comically) compelling.