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"Mad Men: Dark Shadows (#5.9)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Mad Men" Dark Shadows (2012)

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Something seems to be building here

Author: tforbes-2 from Massachusetts, USA
14 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It surprised me a little that the "Dark Shadows" episode was set in November 1966. The series is definitely moving at a fast pace. But we finally get to see a episode focused more on Betty Francis, as well as her husband, Henry. We also learn that Roger Sterling's soon-to-be-ex is Jewish. And we get to see more drama unfold when Sally learns of Don Draper's first wife, Anna.

Oddly, the references to the TV shows of the day in Season 5 seem to be death related: Don Draper's calling his ex-wife and her husband "Morticia" and "Lurch" in the opener, a reference to "The Addams Family": and then to "Dark Shadows," which began broadcasting in June 1966. In this episode, Megan is scornful of the Gothic soap opera, and she had some justification: ABC had many soaps, such as "The Young Marrieds," which came and went frequently, and it looked like "Dark Shadows" would become another statistic. It was doing very badly in the ratings.

But the actress whom Megan seems scornful of would have the last laugh, because she gets the part for the show. And five months later, Jonathan Frid's character of Barnabas Collins debuts, turning the show around, and allowing it to remain on the air until April 1971.

And yes, it is ironic that this episode came out when the movie version of "Dark Shadows" did, and one month after the passing of Mr. Frid.

Beyond that, the episode adds to the notion that something is building here. Some have speculated that one of the major characters may pass away, but that remains to be seen. We do know that something seems to be brewing up ...

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A fitting title for a show that studies era so much deeper than this weekend's big release did

9/10
Author: tbmforclasstsar from United States
14 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While it is highly unlikely that Matthew Weiner and the writers and creators of Mad Men titled their ninth episode of the fifth season "Dark Shadows" before they knew it would be premiering the same weekend as the Burton/Depp adaptation hit the silver screen, it is incredibly fitting that they would give an episode of this show such a title. In fact, I had just been thinking about the new Tim Burton film (which I saw the night before) right before this episode premiered last night.

What struck me about the new film adaptation was how forced everything seemed. While staying relatively true to the time period the film is set in (1972), the film constantly seems to throw in extra set pieces or songs to beg its audience to buy that the film is set in the early seventies. Mad Men, meanwhile, is a show that is sometimes stunning to realize that it is being filmed a decade plus into the 2000s. Instead of putting a rock 'em sock 'em robot game on the screen or playing music that is some of the most popular from the period, Mad Men develops its era through character interactions, costume, and story arches.

Take last night for example. Our main story revolves around the relationship between Don and Betty as a split couple, namely Betty's attempts to make Don's life a little more unpleasant. While Betty is married to a very wealthy politician and she lives in an incredible and luxurious house, she struggles with many problems that women do around her age. As she stands in Don's apartment for the first time, she sees Megan in the bedroom putting a shirt on over her skinny torso. Betty can't look away for several seconds as she realizes this is what she used to be: Don's model/trophy wife that was everything the man could ever want. But who is Betty now: an overweight house wife that struggles with self-confidence and eating problems.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/mad- men-5-9-dark-shadows/

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

All Right Episode Which Never Reaches its Potential ***

8/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
13 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, it's true that Roger married a Jewish woman. While the two have supposedly separated, he brings her out to a client while pretending that they're still married. Roger soon shows his other side by assigning Ginsburg to a firm that is Jewish owned. He makes no bones about it.

Betty attempts to stir up trouble between her eldest daughter and Don by telling the daughter about the mysterious Anna, Don's first wife, who is now deceased. It's never clearly explained why Don and Anna were married. Evidently, Anna wasn't in trouble, was she?

Don shows that he can be quite curt to Mr. Ginsburg. His response that he doesn't think about him was an obvious put-down.

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