TV Review: Mad Men 3.2 – Love Among the Ruins


Mad Men Airs Sunday nights at 10/9c on AMC.

Episode: “Love Among the Ruins” (Season 3, Episode 2)

Synopsis: Pete and Paul seemingly blow the deal to land Madison Square Garden as one of Sterling Cooper’s accounts. Betty’s Dad and her brother make a visit. Peggy explores some new ways to take more control of her own life. Don is very frustrated with the new oversight at Sterling Cooper and uncharacteristically wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Review: Another strong, slow episode in season 3. There was no review last week, but I’ll say this: It was great to see the introduction of Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) as a new foe for Sterling Cooper and hopefully will be a little bit more of a thorn in Don’s side than Duck Phillips was last season. I like that Don pretty much doesn’t care that Sal is gay. Love the new battle for Head of Accounts between Pete and Ken. But I HATE that they got a new Bobby for this season. It’s like when they switched wives on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Bobby was adorable, but oh well, onto this week’s episode.

It seems that Don and Betty are much more blunt with each other this season. She looks at him like she’s waiting for him to cheat again, so in the meantime she’ll make things hell for him. Don, the usually smooth and charming fella, is going to great lengths to show his dissatisfaction with the new management as well as his crippling unhappiness with his home life. Now that Betty’s father is living with them, and we’re only seeing the on-set of what is going to be some pretty serious dementia, things don’t seem to be looking up for Don. Even the touch of grass between his hands as a free-spirited teacher does a maypole dance can’t even inspire him anymore.

I liked the development we saw with Peggy. This is the 60s and we’re bound to see her test her limitations of what she can do with her independence. At one point, at a bar when a man she was flirting with assumed she was a secretary, she played into it by saying “My boss is a jerk” in a very non-Peggy tone. We see her at the end typing in her new office and having what looked to be a normal meeting with Don. Something seemed off, and I can’t really put my finger on it. Chat boards across the internet have brought up things like “she didn’t straighten her dress before she sat down” to “Peggy and Don are going to have an affair. The former indicates that she will begin to care less and less about what then men in the office think of her, but the latter seems like a little bit of a stretch.

I’m open to suggestions for what’s going on with Peggy as well as predictions about what’s going to happen in this season. So far, like every other season, we’re off to a slow start. This season seems to be about accommodating change. Roger and Bertram don’t like the heavy involvement the British owners are taking; Betty doesn’t know how to feel comfortable around her husband, despite the fact he is willing to let her father live with them; Peggy is becoming independent, Sal is embracing his sexuality, and Pete is moving up in the ranks, despite the fact that he still whines non-stop about it; and finally, I have to accommodate for the change of Bobbys. Looks like it’s going to be a rough season. And we haven’t even gotten to the juicy social stuff like the Kennedy assassination being a scant 6 months away from where episode 2 ended.

Josh is a multi-tasker. He's been a cubicle monkey for the last few years, a veteran stage actor of over 10 years, a sometimes commercial actor, occasional writer of articles, a once-legend in the realm of podcastery, purveyor of chuckles in his homecity of Chicago as he has trained with the world renown iO (Improv Olympic) and Second City Conservatory and performed with both theaters, and can be seen doing a thing that actor's do on the website of his online sitcom, Josh also likes to tackle the beef of his bio with one run-on sentence, because it befits his train-of-thought.

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