Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 4 “The Arrangements” (B+)

Whenever a minor character who’s recently begun appearing on a show starts taking over a disproportionate amount of screen time, it’s likely that something major is going to happen and that the character is going to be grabbing a more prominent role, at least for a bit. Unfortunately for Betty’s father, that means his death. Fortunately for the show, it means that a somewhat stalled plotline is now down with, and it’s given an additional peek into the relationship between Don and Betty’s brother, and into the shockingly mature development of their children in traditional 1960s life (the line “go watch TV!” seems rather oft-repeated). Peggy’s search for a roommate is rather tragic and ineffective in its commencement, but it seems a fun way to spruce up her life and introduce Judd Apatow regular Carla Gallo, who’s also familiar with period roles after her part on “Carnivale” a few years ago. I’d love to see what Peggy’s more relaxed side is really like, and having Joan open up to her and give her advice was fun. The way that office politics and just society in general worked back in the 1960s is perfectly demonstrated once again here, when the employees turn to a client’s father to suggest that his idea is immature at best. The situation really takes a surprising turn, however, when the client tells Don that it will be his fault if he can’t sell this preposterous product. I think it’s a spectacular challenge suited only for Don.

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