Thursday, September 3, 2009

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 3 “My Old Kentucky Home” (B+)

Watching an hour of this series is really like taking a trip back in time. This week, three distinctly separate plotlines explored the 60s life in fine detail just as terrific as the show has ever done. Roger’s party is perhaps the best example. Don’s frustration with Roger’s abandonment of his commitment to his wife is played out with his sympathizing with someone of the same class that he’d likely be in if he was still Dick Whitman. His impatience with insufficient supply of alcohol started out with an unexpectedly hilarious hopping of the bar (“there’s a door over there”) and turned into a very dramatic conversation about life and social hierarchies. Betty’s not-so-innocent flirtation was just another clue that she’s still incredibly unsatisfied. Pete and Trudy’s partner dance was wonderfully entertaining, and the first true indication that they share something real and equal together. Joan’s party provided a fascinating glimpse into her life and unearthed an unexpected talent. It’s too bad that she doesn’t feel fulfilled, but at least her husband can appreciate something about her. The less-than-effective happenings at the office proved to be quite interesting, and like everything else on this show, it feels perfectly dated. Going against the common trend of shows portraying their characters smoking pot and getting stupidly silly, the marijuana proves to be a gateway to a deeper bond between three underdeveloped characters on the show. Peggy was particularly terrific in this episode, and the scene with her secretary was absolutely stunning. I never liked Peggy from the start of the show, but her newfound confidence has won me over.

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