Mad Men: Season 3 (2009)


Season 3
Mad Men

Critics Consensus

Mad Men brilliantly weaves its characters into its historical setting, and the result is thoughtful, shocking, and terrifically entertaining.



Critic Ratings: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 441
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Air date: Aug 16, 2009
Air date: Aug 23, 2009
Air date: Aug 30, 2009
Air date: Sep 6, 2009
Air date: Sep 13, 2009
Air date: Sep 20, 2009
Air date: Sep 27, 2009
Air date: Oct 4, 2009
Air date: Oct 11, 2009
Air date: Oct 18, 2009
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Mad Men: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Don's personal and professional lives are on the brink of falling apart in the third series, which takes place in 1963. Advertising firm Sterling Cooper has been sold to a British company, but nobody is particularly happy with their baffling business decisions, not to mention the numerous layoffs and a restructuring. While Don Draper (Jon Hamm) chafes under the new rules, he pursues Sally's schoolteacher (Abigail Spencer) and prepares for the birth of his third child with wife Betty (January Jones). At the same time, Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) competes against Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) to become head of accounts, Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) grows increasingly disillusioned with her husband and Roger Sterling (John Slattery) celebrates his second marriage to a much-younger wife (Peyton List).


Jon Hamm
as Don Draper
Elisabeth Moss
as Peggy Olson
Vincent Kartheiser
as Peter Campbell
January Jones
as Betty Draper
Christina Hendricks
as Joan Holloway
John Slattery
as Roger Sterling
Bryan Batt
as Salvatore Romano
Michael Gladis
as Paul Kinsey
Aaron Staton
as Ken Cosgrove
Rich Sommer
as Harry Crane
Robert Morse
as Bertram Cooper
Jared Harris
as Lane Pryce
Kiernan Shipka
as Sally Draper
Sam Page
as Greg Harris
Jared S. Gilmore
as Bobby Draper
Aaron Stanford
as Horace Cook Jr.
Ryan Cartwright
as John Hooker
Abigail Spencer
as Suzanne Farrell
Alison Brie
as Trudy Campbell
Anne Dudek
as Francine Hansen
Peyton List
as Jane Siegel
Jessica Paré
as Megan Draper
Michael Gaston
as Burt Peterson
Darren Pettie
as Lee Garner Jr.
Embeth Davidtz
as Rebecca Pryce
Jack Kehler
as Morris Mann
Joseph Culp
as Archie Whitman
Brynn Horrocks
as Abigail Whitman
Kelly Huddleston
as Evangeline
Annie Little
as Lorelai
Jamie Elman
as Howard Mann
Kevin Rahm
as Ted Chaough
Ben Feldman
as Michael Ginsberg
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Critic Reviews for Mad Men Season 3

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (19)

Mad Men remains a cut above at least 95 (make that 98) percent of all that television has to offer.

Aug 16, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

If this eventful, fast-moving episode is any indication, we're in for a savory season.

Aug 16, 2009 | Full Review…

No one tells a story with more poetry and passion than the writers and cast of Mad Men.

Aug 16, 2009 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Fans will find much to savor.

Aug 16, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

That difference -- between how things look from afar and how they feel close up - is one of the fundamental topics of Mad Men, which remains the best show on television.

Aug 16, 2009 | Full Review…

Mad Men is a perfect blend of the seductive and the abhorrent.

Aug 16, 2009 | Full Review…

What the show accomplishes mesmerisingly well is rooting itself in a finely textured network of character and circumstance, then shooting out flares which illuminate the social turbulence of the early Sixties.

Jul 17, 2018 | Full Review…

This is the rub with "Mad Men," it's possible its imperfections are what make it worthwhile.

Jun 15, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a remarkably patient attitude for a television show to maintain in this day and age, one that has elevated it to one of the best shows of this era.

May 9, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

The energy that buzzes through the final episode isn't just the daring of their plan and the momentum of the episode, it's the feeling of these characters rousing themselves to a challenge and being inspired by new possibilities.

Jul 29, 2016 | Full Review…

What people are still buzzing about is the amazing, game-changing finale.

Aug 16, 2009 | Full Review…

In a summer inundated by reality competition series and scripted castoffs on broadcast networks, Mad Men is a cable salve that heals all wounds.

Aug 16, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mad Men: Season 3

  • Oct 10, 2019
    A rare show where the show is consistently good even in later seasons. I've been watching alot of shows lately and most shows tend to lose its steam after seasons 2 or 3 but Mad Men is good until the later seasons. The narrative structure seems to be quite unique compared to other shows in that.. usually the issue is not resolved for the character by the end of the episode but it is for us the audience. The show is more cruel to its characters than other shows which makes the show still watchable? now compared to other shows of the 00s which are now too optimistic and cheezy. The whole tone of the show is like in a minor scale, and always poetic.
  • Mar 25, 2019
    S3 of "Mad Men" offers more gripping, entertaining drama as Don Draper finds his life at home and at the office slowly slipping out of control with an impending divorce and large company merger.
  • Sep 06, 2018
    Puntaje Original: 7.5 Con la misma fórmula, Mad Men desarrolla sólidamente su trama brindándonos un satisfactorio producto de mentes que saben como narrar un TV Show.
  • Mar 02, 2017
    After what I considered to be somewhat of a disappointing Season Two, I had high hopes that Season Three of "Mad Men" would right the ship and get back to compelling drama once again. After about 3-4 episodes, I was almost ready to give up entirely, as I felt that the drama and mystery of the show had been completely sucked dry. I am glad I didn't, however, as towards the end of this third season the show suddenly recaptures that first-season magic and turns into must-see TV again! Here is the conclusion I have come to while watching "Mad Men": While the show can be about so many different things such as period (1960s), fashion, "current" events, relationships, and glamour, it really only hits on all cylinders when these two difficult conditions are met: First, the show needs to revolve around Donald Draper (Jon Hamm) and his complex character relationships. Without Don at the center of things, the show lacks its sense of mystery and high drama. I realize fully that the supporting cast is also incredible, but I truly believe that at heart Don Draper is "running the show", so to speak. Also high in this category is Don's relationship with wife Betty (January Jones), his children, and his many female dalliances (which in this season include a school teacher). The other "condition of greatness" for Mad Men is to keep things interesting and grounded (not too far-fetched) in the advertising agency (aka the "business aspect" of the show). While I think that perhaps the show at first (during the beginnings of that first season) wanted to focus on advertising campaigns specifically, the focus gradually shifts by this point into more of an abstract "this is how business got done in the 60s" kind of thinking. I have a grandfather (now nearly 80 years old) who was at the peak of his "working years" during that time frame, so it is always fascinating for me to imagine him in that sort of culture (so different from what we have now). Thus, this third season of "Mad Men" starts off so slow because it focuses too much on the secondary characters who, while great, are not dramatic enough to carry the show. After 4-5 episodes, the season was firmly in the 2-star range and I was struggling to want to watch the next episode. When the focus gets back to Don, his family, and the drama of Sterling-Cooper, however, the show builds up a head of steam and gets back to first-season levels towards the end. I am eager to begin Season Four, and that is a tall statement considering where I was at the beginning of this season.
  • Jul 25, 2016
    The greatest episode by now.
  • Dec 14, 2014
    Excelente temporada, con un gran cierre! en 3 temporadas Mad Men se ha vuelto un espectáculo sin igual!
  • Nov 19, 2014
    Midway through the season, I thought Mad men is loosing steam. Don Draper was more like Dick Whitman, sensitive and let his guard down too often. Jones , one of my favourite characters left Sterling cooper. 2 other characters seemed to leave it too. Philanderings would lead to nothing I thought. But I was wrong.The show was changing itself and I was uncomfortable with the changes. As season 3 progresses to its final episodes, things moved with just the right pace. The season finale "Shut the door , have a seat" was emotionally charged and thrilling , some things tied together , some things fell apart to make a brilliant hour of tv.Final episode finished what was started from 1st episode and lays the foundation for next season. I love the episodes which end with a song . True detective season 1 ended with "Angry river". Blackwater ended with "Rains of Castermere". Final episode of this season ends with Shahdaroba. Who knows what will happen next.. Shahdaroba. Mad men has proved itself as a brilliant drama . Love this show.
  • Aug 25, 2014
    Consistently reminiscent, the third season of Mad Men continues to be rousing as the competition in the advertising agency gets stiffer.
  • Apr 02, 2014
    The cast and director are all SUPERB. No ubiquitous happy endings but rather, the scripts flawlessly and sometimes brutally mimic life and all its glorious and inglorious moments. Christina Hendricks, what can I say? I've never seen a character so well fleshed out (no pun intended) as Joan harris. Complex, driven, vulnerable, adorable, calculating - that woman is the gold standard for what a dramatic character ought to be. Jon Hamm is a true force. He commands that you be mesmerized by him, and you will, oh you will.The setting is breathtaking. It pays to watch the special scenes at the end of the episodes. Those extras are such a wonderful look at how and at what great lengths the crew goes to in order recreate the 50s and 60s. Love this show. Love the complexities and the slowly unfolding story lines. Oh and Peter Campbell - a big Ick! A whiny villain with beautiful eyes. Vincent Kartheiser, the actor who plays Pete, is a genius.
  • Mar 09, 2014
    I never thought a show like this would be one of my new favorites. The acting is great, the writing is clever and witty and it does a superb job of intertwining major historical events in the '60s into it's storyline. Could not recommend this show enough. Pour yourself a glass of bourbon and check it out.

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