It might be Guy MacKendrick losing his foot as a half-cut Lois rides over it in a John Deere riding mower. It might be a blacked up Roger Stirling on his knees singing “My Old Kentucky Home” to Jane. Or maybe the strangest moment of Mad Men‘s third season so far is Peggy doing the wild thing with Duck Phillips. Yeah, you heard right. She fucked the Duck. We know she makes poor choices with men1 but Duck Phillips? Damn. Duck had spent the previous two episodes trying to poach Peggy and instead ended up porking her. Peggy was emotional having been chewed out by Don for being just that little bit pushier than a girl who used to be his secretary ought to be. Peggy always was the proto-feminist, always the girl with ideas above her station. But it’s not quite the right time for a broad like her. It’s summer 1963 and Kennedy is still breathing so the 60s haven’t started yet. What’s a girl to do in a mad man’s world?
"It might be a blacked up Roger Stirling on his knees singing “My Old Kentucky Home” to Jane. Or maybe the strangest moment of Mad Men so far is Peggy doing the wild thing with Duck Phillips."
Joan Holloway always thought she had the answer. Marry rich and get a house in the Hamptons. But Mad Men has always been about the gap between surface and reality and her darling dreamboat doctor husband is a sleazeball rapist and incompetent surgeon. As he rolls up, pissed and self-pitying, having been denied residency, Joan comforts him. "I married you for your heart not your hands" Looks like you’re shit out of luck on both counts, Red. To say Joan could do better would be an understatement. To say Joan could make any man on the face of the earth, gay or straight, past, present or future fall in love with her would not be an overstatement. Troofspeak.
“Don really needs to sort his life out and actually become the family man, not just act it. Make like St Paul and put away childish things.”
But who knows what goes through the mind of the beautiful woman with the world at her feet? Betty married Don then spent much of season two flirting with a 10 year-old boy. She’s now considering banging that Henry Francis douche from the Governor’s office. You can’t blame her – Don is always chasing some strange, disappearing up the skirt of the latest floozy like a rat up a drainpipe. Homie really needs to sort his life out and actually become the family man, not just act it. Make like St Paul and put away childish things.
Making friends with Conrad Hilton won’t hurt. Don chatted with the hotel magnate at Roger Sterling‘s party quite unaware who he was. He impressed Hilton with his dapper manner and straight talk and soon Connie (as he likes to be called) wants him to work his magic on the House of Hilton. Big score. Connie seems to like Don and take him into his confidence. "One day" he tells him "I hope my great-granddaughter Paris is viewed by billions sucking cock incompetently on the Internet". Every man should have a dream.
"But what happens when you achieve your dream and it turns out to be a big pile of shit? That could very well be the one line précis of Mad Men. Everyone is on course for disaster as assuredly as Lois’s lawnmower is on course to amputate MacKendrick’s foot."
But what happens when you achieve your dream and it turns out to be a big pile of shit? That could very well be the one line précis of Mad Men. Season three is deftly exploring this and everyone is on course for disaster as assuredly as Lois’s lawnmower is on course to amputate MacKendrick’s foot. Everyone keeps smiling through the pain and the really tumultuous changes have yet to happen. Stay tuned, bitches. It’s going to be epic.
The best thing about it: I like the way they are at developing Joan.
The worst thing about it: Dirty talk Duck will give a fella the shivers.
The verdict on Mad Men season 3 half term report: It pays to advertise.
Marks out of 10: 8
1 Pete Campbell, that guy, the other guy. What next – an affair with Big Gay Sal?