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‘Mad Men’ (BBC4/BBC2)

By David Herman  

The hype about ‘Mad Men’ has been considerable. ‘Utterly brilliant,’ wrote Lynn Barber in ‘The Observer’, ‘this could be one of the all-time greats.’ ‘Television has a successor to the Sopranos.’ (‘The Independent on Sunday’). Newsnight Review also put it up there with early ‘Sopranos’ and ‘The West Wing.’

It’s hard to see any link with ‘The Sopranos’ except that creator Matthew Weiner is a ‘Sopranos’ alumnus (he worked on the 5th and 6th seasons) and that for a certain kind of critic, ‘The Sopranos’ is code for classy TV (see Clive James’s long essay in The TLS — it’s…

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