Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Mad Men

It was a season of big transitions for TV's great period drama, in more ways than one. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his wife Betty (January Jones) finally split as the revelation of Don's hidden past (he took a fallen comrade's identity to escape the Korean War) made the consummate adman into damaged goods that even he couldn't sell. Along the way, the Sterling Cooper agency was sold, a couple of key players left the office and one of the company's new British overlords horribly and hilariously lost a foot in an indoor riding-mower mishap. The show set these transformations against the backdrop of 1963, the year John F. Kennedy was assassinated and what we popularly think of as the '60s began. But it avoided period clichés and — more miraculously for a moody cable drama — actually ended its season on something like hope.