It's no secret in our house that Matt likes Mad Men. Up until last Sunday, he had seen every episode from the first two seasons, but had yet to see a single episode from the third season. As a way of cramming in order to stay current with the fourth season, he rented the third season on DVD and finished watching it last night. He asked me to DVR "Public Relations" on Sunday and wanted to watch it last night.
Sitting on the couch in the TV room as he asked to watch it, I decided to say hell to canon, watching an entire series from the beginning, and asking questions, and just watched the episode with him.
That's right, me, Mr. Must Watch Every Episode In Order jumped past three whole seasons of a critically-acclaimed show and wanted to see an episode of Mad Men. I think I kinda understood what Diana went through when she watched LOST for the first time, starting with the final season.
I think there's a lot of value in watching an episode from a show not really knowing about the ongoing plot. It's not like watching an episode of Cheers where almost of the characters' stories and development are reset to zero from the previous episode. And it's not like trying to explain all the alternate timelines, flashbacks, and flashforwards found on LOST.
The key is to watch and wonder if you want to double-back or not. Myself? I hope there's a teaser for The Walking Dead on AMC shortly, so I'll stay tuned.
I will say that this is not the first time I jumped into a show not really knowing much about it before. People I knew strongly urged me to get into LOST, but I resisted like crazy until I caught a recap episode shortly into the second season. I quickly double-backed and never really looked back from then on.