Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Late to the Party - Mad Men, season 3

It'd be wrong to talk about season 3 and not give you the amazing Joan Harris on accordion
Overall season 3 was fine.  The first season, as with many shows, was still the best.  This season felt a bit more like it exists only to set up the big change for season 4.  The second tier folks were around but had much less to do.  I don't remember them doing the thing I loved most about season 2 which was that final shot of each episode holding so much symbolism it was ridiculous.  There was one awesome last line of an episode which people who have seen the show would appreciate.  On Halloween one of Don's neighbors says to him, "And who are you supposed to be?"  Who indeed guy who is now on Buffy's new show, who indeed?

Here's where I'm at with the characters:
-I still don't like Betty but I'm pretty sure the writers have stopped trying with her.  Don went off on her towards the end of the season and I rewound it and watched it again.  Have I mentioned how much I dislike January Jones?  I'd say hate but I don't know her personally (but I hear people that do know her personally don't like her much either). 

-As much as I don't like Betty I'm starting to love any time her daughter, Sally (played awesomely by Kiernan Shipka), opens her mouth.  That girl not only gets some great lines but gets to ask the questions no one else dares.

-I never thought I'd care much about Peggy but I'm liking her more and more.  She lacks a filter (usually with Don) that most on which people would pride themselves .  Of course a woman like Peggy asking for more money (really to be equal with her male counterparts) probably didn't happen nearly enough back then. It's refreshing to see a woman ask for what she's worth, even if she gets shot down. Also she's a woman who is down for new experiences and you have to respect that.

-Speaking of worth, it was great to see everyone realize they were up a creek without their Joan paddle.

-Burt Cooper, who is largely ignored on this show in deference to Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm), is just adorable.  He's not as much of a push-over as people would like to believe.  Honestly I just think he's a realist who would retire but loves his work too much.

-Pete would be NOTHING without Trudy.

Episodes of note:
-3.2 "Love Among the Ruins"
As soon as Don spotted his daughter's teacher frolicking with the children around a maypole (?) I said out loud to no one in particular, "Oh he's so gonna hit that."  He did but at least she held him off for a little while.
-3.3 "My Old Kentucky Home" aka John Slattery in blackface.
Wow.  Just wow.  This would probably be as close as they get to a musical episode and there was plenty of singing and dancing. It was great to see so many people could sing or dance. Plus Peggy tries illegal drugs and is still the smartest person in the room.
-3.6 "Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency" aka the John Deere episode
Even though I had never seen the show I knew at some point a John Deere mower got ridden through the office. I had no idea what the result of that was and I'm glad I didn't.  I won't spoil it either except to say that I loved how the guy's bosses wrote him off as being totally unable to do his job anymore. Priceless.
-3.12 "The Grown-Ups"
JFK is dead and now so is Don's marriage.  But all will be well because...
-3.13 "Shut the Door, Have a Seat"
We're outsmarting the Brits and starting a new agency!  They start the agency on Friday the 13th, ominous? Probably not.  Peggy's filter is still off with Don, "You look awful." No 'Hi" or "Hello" or "What are you doing at my house on a Sunday?"  Just, "You look awful." Peggy rocks.

Favorite exchange:
Paul Kinsey: "This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends - not with a bang, but a whimper."
Smitty: We get it, you're educated.
--from 3.3 "My Old Kentucky Home"

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