'Mad Men' Season 5 Premiere Recap: Is It Actually Happy Times for Don?
'Mad Men' Season 5 Premiere Recap: Is It Actually Happy Times for Don?
Yay! It's here -- the fifth season opener of Mad Men! Plus, it's two hours and two episodes at once. I am so excited, it's crazy. At the beginning of the first episode tonight, I have to admit I was a little disappointed because the tone seemed too happy and fun -- not like the deep, brooding, intense Mad Men I know and love. But then things started hitting more familiar ground with Don's personality.

Oh, Happy Fun Times

At the office, those goofy graphics guys are throwing water balloons -- well, really paper bags of water -- out the window. See what I mean? A little too much fun.

Don is having happy family fun times when all three of his kids are over at his and Megan's place. The baby is a toddler now who is wearing no shirt, just pajama pants and a bib. I laugh thinking that the bib is to make sure that we realize this is Don's baby from last season.

Bye Bye, Betty?

When Don drives the kids back to Betty's, he lets them out beside the lawn instead of taking them to the front door. Wait! This is not classy and I want to see Betty snark at Don like old times. Anyway, the new toddler is cute when he says, "Good. Bye. Dad. Dee."

Be My One and Only Baby

Well, there is still a baby in the show, but it's little Kevin, Joan's son. She changes him on a dresser instead of the bed, but I guess that's what they did in the mid 60s. Joan's mother is there and she is just the voice of doom. She tells Joan not to go back to work and that her husband probably won't "allow" it anyway and Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce probably doesn't want her there anymore anyway. Oh, Joan looks like she's aged 50 years every time her mother harps at her.

Happy at Work

Roger is all cheerful as he flirts with Pete's secretary, Clara. Then Don and Megan stride in all smiles. Yes, this is all too happy smiley for me, but I keep watching. I miss all the 1960s furniture -- especially the mod plastic and metal lamps!

Lane, Don, Pete and Roger stand in the hall for a few minutes and then say their meeting is over. Ha, what a way to work. Then Pete goes into Don's office and asks him who his dream client is and Don says American Airlines. Well, Pete can get Mohawk Airlines. It doesn't matter because Don is still all smiles like nothing in the world could upset him. Dick Whitman or Don Draper, I don't care, just give me the old personality back!

The Switch

Yay! Somewhere after the middle of the episode, things start to get paced a little more the way I want. It's subtle at first, but it's there. Pete's meeting with Mohawk Airlines is ruined by Roger showing up. Peggy's presentation for a bean company's account doesn't go over well. Pete is so angry about Roger that he smacks into the wall and gets a bloody nose, then screams at Clara that Roger wasn't looking at her breasts, but looking at Pete's calendar. Pete goes home and it's a poignant little scene when he stands alone in his kitchen eating cereal from a box.Yay! The real Mad Men is back!

Don's Birthday Party

Megan throws a 40th birthday party for Don on a Saturday. She's invited work people and it's supposed to be a surprise. It almost is a surprise for Don until he sees Roger at his front door. Peggy pisses off Megan when she says she can't stay long at the party because she has to work, which Don knows.

Pete has a really loud plaid jacket on and Roger tells him he should add some roller skates. Ha ha. Megan does a seductive little French song at the party. After everyone leaves, Don only wants to sleep -- clothed, face down -- in his bed. He didn't want this party, he tells Megan.

I like this episode now and can't wait for the second one tonight. What did you think of this part of the Mad Men season opener?

Mad Men Premiere Part 2 Recap: Roger and Pete Fight It Out >>>

Sheri Stirrs
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of AMC)