Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What I’m Watching: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season 3, Episode 6 “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency” (B+)

This episode feels very different from the rest, but it’s still absolutely terrific. The invasion of the British becomes even clearer as a young new face bursts in prepared to take over all the operations. The rather glaring omission of Roger on the new organization chart was pretty crazy, but nothing made him seem even more irrelevant than his needless repeating of Cooper’s statement that he wasn’t on the chart. Seeing Don get so excited about the possibility of a new job and Roger noting how the suspense was killing him was a rare treat, and Don’s very suggestive but subtle conversation with Betty was a real delight. The concurrent depiction of Joan’s marriage and how she is the stronger party fit so well in contrast with the Drapers, and seeing Joan calm down her crying husband and put him to bed was a great showcase of Christina Hendricks' acting abilities. The John Deere truck incident at Sterling-Cooper was pretty shockingly bloody, and it’s certainly not something that the poor secretary who was operating it will soon forget. The most jarring part of the whole incident was the emphasis on the fact that the man wouldn’t be able to play golf and therefore couldn’t possibly continue with his career in advertising. It’s reassuring that Don stood up for him and defended his future potential since he’s usually much more stoic and cool, and his very personal conversations with Peggy and especially Joan in this episode were very moving. Don’s meeting with the head of Hilton was another fantastic moment for the show. The quip about Don being hard to find because he’s not one for long conversations was amusing, and the way he told Don that he should ask for more next time someone asks him what we wants was an incredible moment. Don, always ready for any situation, responded with an even more astounding parable about biting off more than you can chew, once again proving the fact that this show is a cut above the rest.


Richter Scale said...

Abe, why don't you ever mention Sally? I think they're doing wonders with her character this season, and I love seeing her deal with the grief over losing her grandfather and dealing with a new baby brother in the house, and I love how Don calmed her down at the end of the episode and had her finally touch her baby brother. That was beautiful. I love seeing Don as a father. He may not always be great at being either a husband or a father, but when he's good, he's really good at it, especially for Sally right now.

Movies with Abe said...

I actually considered mentioning Sally and opted to leave her out since I'm not really sure how I feel about her storyline. It's not as effective for me as the other elements of the show, and while I do like seeing Don as a father, it just doesn't do as much for me as I would have hoped. I'll make sure to mention it next time if she appears in the episode.

Richter Scale said...

Fair enough. It's just that the little girl who plays Sally has really impressed me in the last few episodes, and I love her scenes with Jon Hamm. I actually make it a point of watching Mad Men twice in one night, because I always get more of the story the second time. That scene you were talking about with Joan and her husband, I didn't really get the full gist of it until I saw it a second time (and was truly impressed).