Originally Posted by MWM
It's just my opinion, but what I loved about the show was the depth of the characters and how little the underlying plots really mattered in my enjoyment of the show. It was all about exploring the complexity of these people. My perception of season 5 is that they've said "ooooo, everyone's watching now, let's see how creative we can get with 'intriguing' plot twists." It's become way to soap opera like for my taste.
IMO, the long delay between seasons gave Matthew Weiner so much time to come up with ideas that he's struggling to fit all of the story arcs into a single season. This season seems to be aimed so heavily at giving every character in the ensemble something meaty to do, that it's sacrificing depth.
Frankly, in previous seasons, I was turned off by some of the pugnacious quotes by the actors about the earth-shattering importance of this show to the medium. It's still just a show, it's not a cure for cancer. But it's also a good show and if the mistakes of this season take some of the air out of those inflated egos, I don't mind if it slips a bit.