What Do You Think? Mad Men Season 3

November 9, 2009
By | 2 Comments


With Season Three drawing to a close this past Sunday night, what did you think of the finale and the season as a whole? Need I mention: spoiler alert.

Let me get the ball rolling –

Overall, it was a good season. This was the first one I had to watch week by week, which sucked, but I still love the pace of it. It’s refreshing when a show can buck the go, go, go pace seemingly required by most of American television. I sense I liked the earlier seasons better, but this one worked well enough.

More specifically, what I disliked:

  1. Where’d Peggy go this year? I missed her.
  2. I also wanted way more Sterling, and don’t think it’s a coincidence that the best eps included more of him.
  3. Early on, the editing to ads was atrocious. It seemed as though they just picked when the ads would come in by random. For a show that’s all about advertising, they should know how ads work better than this.
  4. The proposal. Betty didn’t even look surprised. They just had their second kiss, and now he’s proposing? Gimme a break. I love how Mad Men doesn’t race things, but this was raced, and totally unbelievable. Henry Francis is a schmuck too.
  5. The Brit stereotypes were just too much at times.
  6. Poor Sal. Dude can’t catch a break
  7. Betty. January Jones does an excellent job, but Betty got more and more annoying. Big baby much? Some notable reprieves, but I found it so hard to like her. I know that Don’s a jerk, and that he’s just as guilty as is she, often moreso, but since they’re giving him flashbacks, chances to be awesome at the office, and since Don has the general coolness of Jon Hamm on his side, the show needed to work harder to let me like her a bit more. I didn’t like the feeling of taking sides

What I liked:

  1. Great finale. Getting the team back together again. Pete and Peggy get their validation from Dad. Joan’s back. Peggy shows some long overdue strop (and does it so much better than does Pete, but what do you expect?). Nice twist. More Slattery.
  2. Underdone, but I like that they at least tried to say some things about race this season. About time.
  3. The JFK assassination was handled well. Nice to see the personal reactions, and original footage aplenty
  4. Pete dancing. Too funny.
  5. I kind of love how this show is able to do with Don what Lost does with the island – the more that it gives us answers, the more questions come along with them. I feel that I’m getting to know him better, yet they always draw him back from arm’s reach. He’s a fascinating character, cool, flawed, an asshole, a nice guy, deep, shallow, etc. This should be Hamm’s Emmy year, and if it’s not, it’s not for the writers’ lack of trying.
  6. Joan’s storyline was really well done, showing how such a capable woman could run up against the wall of the (in)capability of her man. Extra points for the vase on the head.
  7. The lawnmower/foot scene was truly unique in television history.

Please feel free to edit this post, and start your comments below this one, marking them off in some way as yours


Tags: ,

2 Responses to “ What Do You Think? Mad Men Season 3 ”

  1. Nick Marx on November 10, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    I agree with all of the above except JFK. Felt tacked on, and it was foreshadowed waaaay too much in preceding episodes. It seemed only to exist to disrupt the Sterling girl’s wedding and toss us one of those “HEY EVERYONE, REMEMBER THE 60S??” bones.

    Also, the more backstory I get on Don, the bored-er I get. I waited for Betty’s confrontation with him re: the Dick box (see what I did there?) to be a little bit more, um, confrontational. I get it, the show’s about subtlety and slow-burn, but Don’s still not been made to suffer any real consequences for his transgressions past or present, and we’re 3/5 of the way through the series. Does anyone really believe that the Henry/Betty thing will last? Aren’t we drawing a Tony/Carmella arc of winning-back-the-wife for season 4?

    Also, it’s a great show etc. etc. etc. Just wanted to pick nits.

  2. Matt Sienkiewicz on November 11, 2009 at 3:36 AM

    Just caught up with Mad Men. More than anything, I’m pleased that the Dear Penthouse narrative formula seems to have subsided. On the one hand I enjoyed Don’s weekly parade of Housewives and Barely Legals as much as the next guy who would never admit to that out loud, on the other hand it I’d lost patience trying to make meaning out of the various Freudian role plays. The Mom, the Lost Childhood, Le Belle Juive and so on. In the end it was amounting to little more than really well lit softcore with a discouragingly handsome man.

    As much as I like Slattery, the two wives and the daughter are insufferable. I’m kind of shocked it took this long to bring Hendricks back into the mix. There’s a legitimate depth to that character that has yet to be investigated.

    The hostile takeover finale was excellent, but really because it was the opposite of what most of the series is. It was fast, clear, to the point and had a resolution. Like a little sports movie in the midst of the not quite Dreyeresque talk-talk-sigh-talk that the middle of the season was. But maybe that’s just what they were setting us up for.