Mad Men: Season Three – DVD Review



Mad Men is a critically acclaimed, multiple award winning drama about an Advertising Firm in the 60’s. So, why am I not impressed?

In season three of this show the chauvinism, sexism and racism still runs rampant. A woman marries a doctor who rapes her, the gay character gets fired and a whole lot more cheating happens. I figure it’s either supposed to be saying, “hey look how crazy things were back then and see how far we’ve come,” or “See, things really haven’t changed that much after all, have they?” Or perhaps it’s saying both. Either way I really don’t care.

I didn’t really like many of the characters and more often then not there was very little going on to draw me into the drama of the characters. But that’s not to say it’s all bad.

The most hilarious and gory moment of the series happens in “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency” when a riding lawnmower shreds a guys foot and sprays half the cast with blood. I was also very intrigued by Don Draper’s story. The idea of a man pretending to be someone else to have a better life is an interesting one and to watch the life he’s built as that man fall apart around him as his secret is discovered was definitely good television. If only the rest of the show could have been half as compelling as that.

However, the best part of the show was the season finale. It was strong enough to make me curious about where they’re going to go with season 4, which for a guy who could care less about the show up till then is pretty impressive.

It’s certainly one of the best made shows on TV right now. The acting is solid across the board, the costumes and sets are fantastic and the cinematography is top notch. With such a high production value I almost fine it kind of frustrating that I don’t like the show half as much as most people. But what are you going to do?

Episodes:

Disc 1:

Out Of Town 8-16-2009
Love Among The Ruins 8-23-2009
My Old Kentucky Home 8-30-2009

Disc 2:

The Arrangements 9-6-2009
The Fog 9-13-2009
Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency 9-20-2009

Disc 3:

Seven Twenty Three 9-27-2009
Souvenir 10-4-2009
Wee Small Hours 10-11-2009

Disc 4:

The Color Blue 10-18-2009
The Gypsy And The Hobo 10-25-2009
The Grown-Ups 11-1-2009
Shut The Door. Have A Seat 11-8-2009

The episodes are presented in widescreen 1:78.1. Sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. If nothing else this is a very sharp show. The colors pop and the sound is fantastic. This is one of the best-produced shows I’ve seen in a while.

Commentaries: You get not one but two commentaries for each episode; one with behind the camera types and one with cast members. These are okay commentaries, pretty much just for hardcore fans of the show.

Medgar Evers: An Unsung Hero Parts, 1 & 2: (70 min.) Interviews with family members and others tell the story of this powerful man’s life. This documentary is really damn good. Better than any episode of Mad Men. Frankly, I think this should be released as its own film and not relegated to a special feature on a TV show.

Clearing The Air: The History of Cigarette Advertising, Parts 1 & 2: (45 min.) Cigarettes have, perhaps, the most fascinating history with advertising and this two-part documentary goes into all the nifty details.

We Shall Overcome: The March on Washington: (17 min.) This is Dr. Martin Luther King’s classic “I Have A Dream” Speech paired with photos from the March on Washington. This is speech is always amazing and inspiring.

Mad Men Illustrated: (14 min.) Interview with the artist who made some great Mad Men illustrations for the Internet. Her illustrations are pretty good.

It was really hard for me to get through the first two seasons of this show, but season 3 proved to be pretty good. I realize I’m probably in the minority in my blah attitude about this show, but it I couldn’t get into this show until the very end of this season. Mild recommendation. If anything rent it, I can’t see wanting to watch this over and over.


Lionsgate presents Mad Men: Season Three. Created by Matthew Weiner. Starring: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, John Slattery and others. Running time: 611 minutes on 4 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 23, 2010. Available at Amazon.com.

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