Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shut the Door, Have a Seat

Now that it's over, I have to say that I've been really annoyed with most of season 3 of Mad Men. Mostly because it's becoming increasingly obvious that the people who run the show were not around then and only get their knowledge of the early sixties second-hand and as a result the characters act and react in the stereotyped way that the post-boomer generations expect them to. One can also see that the attention to period detail has been slipping. The backs of the hair styles on all of the male characters younger than Roger are shaggy and uneven, whereas then they would have been cut straight across by the barber, usually every week. And Betty's date dress and hairstyle in Rome would not have been seen until at least 1964. I know that she was experimenting but she would not have worn anything as modern as that dress knowing that she was having dinner with one of Don's most important clients.
I also can't stand how the writers are bringing in today's political correctness in order to point out society's current view that "we're so much better than they were because we have Health and Safety, no afternoon drinking and use Ms. as an address". Which is why we see moments like the dry cleaning bag (which my Grandma says would never have happened), cutting to a shot of someone smoking whenever cancer is mentioned and the foot getting chopped off.
But what I found most annoying this season was that most of the episodes tended to drag on and on without much of anything getting resolved or any character development in anyone really. There are so many questions that didn't get answered like why are Pete and Trudy so happy, why is Peggy sleeping with Duck, what's Paul up to, why is Lois still working there? But the biggest question that did not get addressed is: What's happening with Sal? Why get rid of him just as the gay rights movement is about to start and we would be able to see it through him?
However, the season finale did make up for the previous episodes. At least in season 4 will see the gang back together and doing actual work. Maybe next year, we'll be able to see more of Roger, Peggy, Pete, Harry and Paul and the two Smiths (they have to bring them to the new agency) and maybe less of Don sleeping with yet another brunette and of Betty being a bored angry housewife (that's mostly because I don't think that January Jones can act). I also hope that Roger will dump Jane the alcoholic child and go with Joan, since they do treat each other as equals and Roger has realized that he should have left Mona for her instead. And that Joan will realize that she is good at her career of being in charge of everything, which she will be able to now that the drunk childish failure of a rapist husband is going to die.
Although I'm not at the edge of my seat like I was with the cliff-hanger finale for season 2, I already know that season 4 will be lighter because four months after JFK was killed this happened and everything changed:

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