Monday, November 21, 2011

WHITMAN SAMPLER:  So I've been watching AMC's Sunday morning rebroadcast of Mad Men over the past few months (for those not following along, we just again shut the door and had a seat), and I couldn't help but wonder if this reaction is shared by others: the Don Draper flashbacks are, generally, a showy waste of time which don't illuminate all that much.

I recognize that when you have a character as deceptive and un-sharing as Don Draper, flashbacks may be the only way to unpeel that particular onion--certainly, I'll concede, it's better than hearing him voiceover a journal entry. And of course, I'll concede the scene at the train station when Dick/Don pulls out of town for the last time and his brother catches a glimpse of him.  On the whole, though, I'm a fan of show-don't-tell, and the storytelling in the flashbacks (especially when you see the episodes all stacked up like this) feels a bit lazy and indulgent compared to the remarkable things this show can do.

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