Mad Men remains a show that rewards careful viewing. How much you'll like it depends on how important it is to you that there are explosions and car chases. Me, I zone out during action sequences in movies -- it's the weirdest thing. Sports too. What interests me and what Mad Men provides is good story-telling centered around characters. The more you pay attention, the more you'll be rewarded in a greater understanding that will make you confused when someone tells you that nothing happens. This is the type of show that rewards people who take a geeky pleasure in noticing themes and motifs. Matthew Weiner, the creator, allows some things to remain ambiguous as well.
There are so few shows that you can watch more than once and find something new and few shows you can analyze. It's just as fun to discuss it afterwards as it is to watch it. If this sounds too much like high school English -- and not in a good way -- then you'd be better off taking a pass. However, if this is the type of show you seek out, then enjoy. If you haven't seen the previous seasons, start there and enjoy it from the beginning. I'll envy you your opportunity to enjoy three seasons in a row!
In season three, we continue to deal with the Draper marriage -- a union strained to nearly the breaking point in season 2. There was some really beautiful writing and acting here. One of the beauties of this show is how in the course of a scene a viewer's sympathies can change or be torn between characters. The marriage between Pete and Trudy shows some terrific growth and depth that could not have been predicted in season 1. Don Draper also meets a mogul who is probably rolling in his grave over the second most famous thing the family name now evokes. Sal, played by Bryan Batt, has several wonderful scenes, starting with the first episode of the season. Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sally Draper, is turning out to be a talented young actress, as highlighted in an episode called The Arrangements, as well as in the season finale. Frankly, I could just continue mentioning members of this terrific cast, as they all are a pleasure.
The Kennedy assassination is featured and handled in a way never seen before, I think, and it's one character's reaction to it and events surrounding it that causes him/her/it to make a truly huge decision.
On to the Bluray: I had to return the first copy as defective -- no matter what I hit, it wanted to rewind. Fortunately, the next copy was perfect, and Amazon has always handled returns well. Because this is a show that caters to people who want to really enjoy the writing and acting and to even study it a little, this set carries on in the tradition of previous seasons in offering tons of commentary -- most episodes have two commentaries. As always, some people really do a better job that others. The creator, Matthew Weiner, always has good insights. Kiernan Shipka, I'm not kidding, seemed to really be in touch with her character in a way that many adults can only envy. Other extras are a mixed bag, although I enjoyed the 2 part doc on cigarette advertising.
Love this show!