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Mad Men: Season 3
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Returning for its third season, the two-time Golden Globe®-winning series for Best TV Drama bursts with one scandalous surprise after another. Jon Hamm and the rest of the award-winning ensemble continue to captivate us as they contend with a world on the brink. Welcome to “Mad Men” - a shocking portrait of a time that was anything but innocent. Nothing is as sexy. Nothing is as provocative. Nothing is as it seems. “Mad Men": Where the Truth Lies.
Everything about Mad Men is stylish, even when it's all falling apart. And in season 3 of this Emmy-winning drama, many things fall apart--marriages, childhood, even the ad agency itself--but the unspoolings play out delicately and tragically, making for utterly compelling television. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) appears to dedicate himself to being a devoted family man, with the impending birth of his third child with Betty (January Jones), but the premiere episode, "Out of Town," has him right back to his philandering ways. While the Drapers do enjoy a romantic interlude during a business trip to Italy that makes you wish those darn kids could just work it out, the writing's on the wall that this marriage is sputtering out. Adding to the complication is Betty's discovery of Don's identity-switching past, her own dalliance with a politician, and their oldest child Sally's growing petulance as she observes her world crumbling around her (9-year-old Kiernan Shipka is a revelation). Meanwhile, the Brits infiltrate Sterling Cooper after a merger, leaving Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Ken (Aaron Staton) competing for the same job; Conrad Hilton (Chelcie Ross) brings in his business and his idiosyncrasies; the closeted Sal (Bryan Batt) nearly gets pushed out of the closet by some compromising situations; Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) asserts herself in the workplace and experiments with loosening her collar (this includes a surprising fling); and Joan (Christina Hendricks, arguably the sexiest woman on television) finally leaves the agency to be a housewife, only to find herself looking for work when her doctor husband comes up short in the promotion department. As usual, the comic relief lies in the reliable hands of the razor-sharp John Slattery as agency partner Roger Sterling, whose marriage to the much-younger former secretary of Don's drives tension between the once-chummy colleagues. At the end of the season, JFK's assassination provides a tragic backdrop for people preoccupied with their own troubles. The top-drawer writing and staging feels very much like a play, especially in the way it merges Don Draper's past with his present. Each episode also includes commentary by creator Matthew Weiner, various writers and directors, and pretty much all cast members (some are entertaining, some pretty superfluous). Also included are featurettes on the history of cigarette advertising and civil-rights documentaries on Medgar Evers and the "I Have a Dream" speech. The latter features, while substantial and well made, feel curiously out of place next to the materialistic and ethically challenged characters on Madison Avenue. Although not as consistent as the first two seasons, Mad Men's third season has enough power to keep it the best series of 2009. --Ellen A. Kim
Stills from Mad Men: Season 3 (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
The show is very entertaining with their one-liners that leave you laughing in stitches. I would not want us to go back to this type of work environment, but it is entertaining to watch how things were. You will not be disappointed in this series.
It has been said ad nauseum that Mad Men is a show that "requires careful watching". I will agree. It's sensitively done and nuanced. You have to actually watch the characters faces, tone of voice, interpersonal interactions and more. Not that it's a chore to do so! This exquisite level of intractate character development is what makes the show so very fascinating.
Here are some specific Season 3 Alerts.
This was the DVD, I would go with the BluRay if you can afford to.
Betty his wife finds out that she is pregnant and they both decide to give their marriage one last shot. Apparently, women in the 60s had more chores and rights. There was no way she was going to leave even though she was aware of her husband's ways. Draper's marriage isn't the only thing that is in the verge of breaking. The advertising agency where Draper works merges with a British company leaving Pete, Don's colleague, fighting for his job with Ken. Meanwhile, Joan quits her job to be a house wife with the hope that her husband who is a doctor will get a promotion.
She is later seen begging for her job back after the promotion plan fails. The commentaries that are in the episodes are funny and some are out rightly lame. Brace yourself for a roller coaster of emotions. There are episodes that will leave you sympathizing with one character and have you hate the same character in the next episode. The character growth of each cast member is the glue factor in mad men. For instance, in season 1, Pete's marriage with Trudy was in the verge of a breakup but in this season, the marriage seems to be improving. There was also great expectation that Don's 3 kids would start to get along in this chapter but it didn't happen.
Sally Draper, the eldest of the 3 children acted so beautifully this season and it seems like she is destined for greatness and she is the young actress to watch out for.
The last episodes of the season are full of action and suspense- a strategy meant to induce anticipation for season 4. You wouldn't want to get spoilers in a review and making time during the weekend to watch this season is the cleverest thing to do. You will not regret watching this certified suspense filled rib cracker.