Monday, August 9, 2010

Mad Men Episode #3: The Good News

Why Mad Men Episode # 3 Worked
  • One of the opening scenes with Don and his secretary. It is deliciously uncomfortable and very realistic.
  • Joan asks Lane for a day off and Lane acts like a cold fish. Another realistic and uncomfortable scene.
  • The scene in the bar with Anna Draper's niece Stephanie when she learns that Don works in advertising. "It's pollution," she sneers. "So stop buying things," he responds without missing a beat. Well written.
  • The scene in the car between Don and Stephanie. So many things happened in that sequence. First he hits on her (natch....but revolting), then he learns Stephanie's aunt has cancer and then he also learns she doesn't know that she's ill.
  • Don's scenes n the house with Anna when he's leaving. Jon Hamm acts superbly without saying a word.
  • The entire last 25% of the episode when Don and Lana bond over booze, go to the movies (Godzilla!), buy steak dinner (but don't eat the steaks), double date at a comedy club (a brilliant bit), and ultimately and inevitable wind up a Don's pad for the sordid hook-up. Fascinating and very believable.
Why Mad Men Episode #3 Didn't Work
  • Don dancing with Stephanie in the bar. Felt forced.
  • Joan receiving the flowers from Lane. I watched it twice and I still wasn't sure about the nature of the mix-up. Needed another pass through the word processor.
  • Joan's cut finger with her husband. The pacing of the scene felt rushed and the dialogue was stilted.
Overall Mad Men Episode #3 Grade
  • A-. The show is hitting its stride. What made this episode soar was the Don and Lane escapade. That was a dazzler.

1 comment:

  1. I love this season--it's so dark! I can't figure out Joan & her husband at all...Really enjoyed your reviews, Howard.... will look forward to more insights.