Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Review: My Old Kentucky Home (Mad Men S3:E3)

Posted by Christopher Moltisanti on September 5, 2009

I’ve started receiving death threats from Feeny, so I’ve jotted down a few scattered thoughts on last week’s excellent Mad Men episode. It’s been a busy week for me, so thanks for covering other guy and girl. I’ll be back on my game this week, starting with a full real review of Mad Men episode 4. For now, though, a fake review of episode 3:

-This episode was all about facades (from the country club party to the revelations about Kinsey’s invented persona to Joan’s marriage) and the outcasts who see through the facades (Carla, Don, Connie, Peggy). The Connie and Don conversation was the centerpiece of the episode and encapsulates the discomfort social risers have with the falsity of rich society’s trappings. Notice that Don is the only one visibly discomforted by Roger’s jarring black face routine.

-The interactions at the party were deliciously awkward, contrived and, well, realistic. From the forced conversations about kids to Pete and Trudy’s Charleston routine (which, as a novice swing dancer, was fun to watch), the country club scenes revealed the show that passes for genuine human relations in elite society.

-Bets’ dalliance with the man at the party was disturbing. After losing the sheen of the innocent, devoted wife in “Meditations on an Emergency,” her self-absorbed, childish side has come to fore much more in this season. Oh, and she’s an awful mother.

-I can’t get over the richness of this show and the underlying personal battles being fought in every conversation and glance. For instance, the conversation between Jane and Joan was a coded battle for social standing. Also, as Don watches Jane and Roger dance at the end of the episode, you know he is a little jealous of Roger — who had the guts to take a chance on youthful, romantic “love,” albeit in a despicably selfish way. Don, on the other hand, couldn’t make it happen with Rachel — not that that would have offered him the sustained happiness he’s looking for. As in life, there are no simple answers for these characters.

-Joan’s beautiful rendition of “C’est Magnifique” pointedly reveals the contrast between the simplistic and false joy of the facade and the complex reality these characters face. As Connie said, “it’s different inside.”

Grade: A-

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4 Responses to “Review: My Old Kentucky Home (Mad Men S3:E3)”

  1. Fran Kubelik said

    Mr. Feeny is a slave driver.

  2. Corey H. said

    Still depressed after watching this episode, but I think it’s my favorite so far. Sometimes I really want to like Don…

    I like your swing dancing reference, too.

    I’ll catch up on episode four soon!

  3. Mr. Feeny said

    The dancing was by far the best part of this episode. Pete and his wife are such a cute couple. Too bad they’re as unhappy and messed up as any other. We even saw that there are some lingering problems with Harry’s marriage. I’d like to see Ken’s personal life some time. He seems like the only character who’s actually put-together.

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