The Best TV of 2014 So Far

From purple weddings to female perps, Rob Sheffield lists the highlights of an already abundant year of great TV

'Mad Men' (AMC)
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Michael Yarish/AMC2/20

2. 'Mad Men' (AMC)

This space oddity of a Mad Men mini-season got a little lost at times, with too many Kubrick homages. But it all came together at the end,in a perfect episode where everything clicked — including the Kubrick homages. True, the seven-episode format doesn't suit a slow-burning drama like Mad Men. But two of these episodes rank with the best ever: Don Draper's road trip with Sally and the just-plain-magnificent finale. Spoilers ahead: Peggy Olson finally takes charge. Bert Cooper goes shuffling in his socks to join Miss Blankenship at the Montana cattle ranch in the sky, where he is no doubt devising otherworldly tortures for Dr. Lyle Evans. Roger Sterling wakes up and starts acting like a boss, after sleepwalking through most of the last two seasons. Freddy Rumsen gets his Yoda on. Pete Campbell yells things. Sally shares a patty melt and some secrets with her dad. Megan keeps trying to justify her absurdly prolonged existence on this show with some short skirts. And Don, that sensitive piece of horse flesh, finally gets back to work, with some musical coaching from Ghost Bert. Bravo.

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