Mad Men: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
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Welcome to a world where Monday has a three drink minimum. Mad Men exists here and it's a fabulous place to visit, back before Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique really made much of an impact and before the Surgeon General put warning labels on cigarettes. It was an America on the brink of social explosion and Mad Men, which tells the story of a group of Madison Avenue advertising executives in the early 1960s, captures that surface stillness perfectly, complete with the growing tension barely contained below the surface.
The show succeeds on every level. HBO famously passed on Mad Men, created by former Sopranos executive producer and writer Matthew Weiner. AMC picked it up, and thank goodness they did. From the first episode, Season One becomes an essential, utterly addictive television- watching experience. Beautifully filmed and masterfully written, the show manages to present the period honestly but with little nostalgia, and as soon as you get over the constant smoking, drinking and treatment of women as little more than "girls" who get coffee and answer the phone, the complexity of these characters (especially the dashing Jon Hamm as Creative Director Don Draper) will leave you completely captivated. Season One features clandestine office romances, shadowy pasts, a ton of adultery, closeted homosexuality and a lot more drama that seems risqué even for 2008. But again, one of the most impressive things about Mad Men is that everything is executed with absolute class, style and elegance. And bonus for the DVD viewer: Like The Sopranos, Mad Men has a ton of little moments and hints leading up to character revelations and plot twists that make watching the episodes over and over continually rewarding. –-Kira CannySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Meet Don Draper (Jon Ham), a Madison Avenue water-walker (and based on real life ad-man, George Lois). He is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. He is brilliant and secretive. He wants to keep walking the tight rope with no safety net. And definitely no contract. He is a chain-smoking, hard liqueur guzzling, womanizing alpha male. He is a loving father of three, married to a picture-perfect ex model. He has it all. And yet he cannot find peace. Because he learned early on that the world is always yawning at your heels, eager to yank everything you love away.
From bursting with joie-de-vivre Roger Sterling (hilarious John Slattery) and ever scheming Pete Cambell (baby-faced Vincent Kartheiser) to the gorgeous women (such as barbie January Jones as Don's wife), the cast is one perfect pick after another. And the writing is brilliant, reproducing the tastes and smells and nuisances of the era around Camelot, while drawing you in to the personal stories of characters polished yet inevitably flawed.
The 50's and the 60's were before my time so it is not nostalgia that makes me love the show. Yes, I find the era mesmerizing and (probably undeservingly) less complicated. If nothing else, though, back then they knew how to dress. Women looked feminine and men looked manly.Read more ›
Give it a shot, your gonna love it.
The Season 1 DVD comes with a number of special features including commentary on each episode, sometimes more than a single commentary per episode to boot. There are also features on the show's music and a few background pieces on advertising in the period. All are good, but the commentaries are interesting. It sounds as though most of them were done while the people commenting are watching the episode together, as such things are typically done, but the commentaries of Elisabeth Moss were obviously done separately and do not work as well - she seems to talk quite a bit but it is often in a general way and not as much about the particular episode in question, and as a result does not really flow all that well.
All in all I enjoyed this very much. I deduct one star for the way the series seems to overstate many aspects of 1960s culture in order to ensure the viewer gets the point - the drinking, smoking and casual sex happened for sure, but I do not believe to the extent it is shown here. I feel like I am risking emphysema just watching this with all the smoking, and I wonder how these people could function in such a high-pressure business with all the drinking that supposedly happens.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Brilliant writing and acting, loved the show as soon as I started watching the first episode!Published 1 month ago by Karen V. Mcnicol
I had trouble reading the first disk. It seemed to be of a non-std format. After that it worked well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jean-Guy Dupuis
Amazing TV show! Its very smart and sexy. Its a steal of a deal on Blu Ray for $15 Canadian!Published 9 months ago by William