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on 11 January 2011
**** Very slight spoiler alert*****

I think there are only a few definitive TV shows that absolutely must be watched. Top of my list is and possibly always will be, is the Sopranos. The Wire is another. Dexter creeps in there. Curb Your Enthusiasm.... you get the idea.

Mad Men is my number two. It moved up from number four on my list to number two after this season.

Being a business professional myself, I found this season even better than the last because whilst they are all about the business of advertising, this season deals with what can happen in professional service industries when those who service clients break away to form their own businesses and rely upon the clients they had at their old place to follow them.

Without giving too much away (you know this if you watched season 3 anyway), Sterling, Cooper and Draper along with a lot of others leave Sterling Cooper at the end of season 3 after it is taken over by Mccann. Incidentally- and this is one of the joys about this series- they use real companies both when talking about competing advertising agencies and with the products/ companies they have as clients, so it feels like you are watching some historical business piece rather than a total work of fiction. I always wonder how they get permission, especially when they are being less than glowing about some of their rivals. The Conrad Hilton episodes surely could not have been done if he was still alive!

This season follows the trials and tribulations of the new fledgling business, including showing the personal financial risk those involved are exposed to when things do not go entirely to plan. Even though it is set in the late 60s, with the changing fashion and attitudes as the decade ends and heads towards the 70's it is very realistic and relevant even by today's standards on the business side of things.

It also continues to follow the personal lives of all the main cast members, including of course Donald Draper and there is quite a twist regarding what he ends up doing on a relationship level.

Overall, whilst some have said they thought this season lost something by being moved out of the old office, I thought it gained a lot and was by far the best of the seasons and I simply cannot wait until season 5 to see where this goes.

Who knows, one day it may even supplant The Sopranos at number one on my list. Maybe.....
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on 24 October 2010
I accept that Mad Men has become a high class soap. Probably it always was, but in series one, it hinted at drama of a different level. However, the distinctions between soap and drama are often far from clear (Tennessee Williams, Faulkner, Edward Albee all share a taste for melodramatic situations and family squabbles, for example). Directors like Douglas Sirk used soap situations to make beautifully shot films and explore social issues. Mad Men 4, soap or not, continues to be excellent television, still beautifully scripted, always compelling viewing.

The first couple of episodes start slowly, but once the series gets into its stride, charting Don's loss of timing as a business and creative ad man and with the women he chases, it exerts its previous dramatic grip. Don, separated, goes into partial decline, until saved by Peggy, the character with whom he is most closely aligned - spiritually. The magazine articles like to focus on Don (and Joan), but the Peggy character is really at the heart of Mad Men - her intelligence, her attention to her work, her strength and the way she deals with her problems. If I may offer some film comparisons: A Star is Born, the aging male pop star in decline, the young female one in the ascent. Another analogy to consider is the relationship in Saturday Night Fever. A well dressed talented man, with a troubled personal life and a feisty girl on the up in Manhattan. He wants her as a lover, but in the end they shake hands and become friends. Are these too the trajectories of Don and Peggy - a fine romance or a moving friendship?

As in previous Mad Men series, the secondary characters all get their own stories in different episodes. Pete, Roger, Joan, Lane - superbly acted, excellently scripted. There is also much fun and drama to be had from Don's many and varied secretaries.

Series 4 takes us into the mid sixties, with the clothes, sets, music all changing. Beatnik parties and Simon and Garfunkel. Where Mad Men is ultimately going after this series I don't know, but I hope the show goes out in a blaze of glory, dying young, like a 60's pop star, because I never want to see Don in big lapels and a kipper tie, drunk, the wrong side of middle-aged and not cool anymore, slavering over women half his age. Jeez, I've got my own life if I want that!

Mad Men 4 - it's still 'must watch' television.
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on 10 January 2011
Like most I enjoyed Seasons 1 and 2 which lived up to all the hype and focused around the lives of Don and Betty Draper, how many women Don could have affairs with, how many cigarettes and drink can each person consume and of course the advertising business of Sterling Cooper. Whilst Season 3 left me thinking here goes Don again sleeping his way around and constantly arguing with Betty, season 4 has restored my belief this is one of the best series to come to TV for some time. Season 4 focuses a lot more on the advertising business of the 1960's. Whilst explaining more of the characters (especially Drapers history), there is more a story that flows through the episodes than previous seasons. All in all Season 4 is in my opinion, the best yet !
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on 11 October 2015
One of Mad Men's best seasons. Here you breathe the new air of the new agency but also witness a kind of mental reset of the characters, especially Don, because they start to reflect about themselves and new elements of Don's past start to come up on the surface.
So the mood of the season is balanced between a refreshing and brilliant atmosphere and a deeper and more intimate, almost dramatic one.
The best example of the latter is episode 7, "The Suitcase" which is to me maybe the best of the whole series, conveying a sense of past and a introspection yet through a very essential style, which is perfectly embodied by John Hamm's performance.
The ending of that episode could have been, to me, the ending of the series, and it would have still been a masterpiece even without the following seasons.
Buy it even just for that episode.
Blu ray is fantastic as usual. Mad Men is truly one of those shows that really strike on blu ray
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What an innovative and brilliant series MadMen is.
Set in a 1960's advertising agency on Madison Avenue, hence the title MADison MEN this whole show is about relationships
and corporate America.
Using real products and Brands from the time, which evoke strong memories as well. the show centres around Don Draper played by the outstanding John Hamm . We watch his car crash lifestyle and the creation of his own agency develop at a nice pace with gripping storylines that are entirely believable.
the show is brilliantly written, the attention to detail astonishing (Time Period) and the acting is superb.
Watch the first couple of episodes from series one and you will be hooked.
This review is guaranteed for 12 months and is sugar free.
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on 4 January 2014
Some reviews here have suggested that this season is not as good as the previous ones. I say don't believe them. This series is in my opinion even more riveting than the previous ones. I watched all the episodes in a weekend sitting. If you already love Mad Men, you'll be addicted to this season. Peerless drama.
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on 24 November 2011
We are completely addicted to Mad Men. We can never watch just 1 episode - it always ends up being 2 and sometimes 3 which, sadly, means that we get through a series all too quickly. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that is so compelling - often nothing much happens but there is always potential for something dramatic whether it be in a given situation or resulting from the behaviour and potential of a character. It is definitely a slow burner. The characters are truly 3-dimensional and often a little unpredictable or surprising and one moves from despising to liking a character and back again according to their current behaviour. Don however, despite his drunkenness and bad behaviour is mostly likeable because of his humanity, fairness and occasional vulnerability. Joan is a saint and the most glamorous and stylish professional woman to walk this earth - we worship at your feet! We are eagerly awaiting season 5.
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on 29 June 2011
Excellent standards set once again in MM4. Don is up to his usual tricks and the plot and character development grabs the viewer more than ever. An excellent addition to a series that shows no signs of waining...
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on 11 April 2015
One of my favourite episodes, where I most liked Peggy and Don, both showing their more gentle human sides, that I hadn't seen before. And I love Peggy's dress.
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on 26 April 2013
I am a huge Mad Men fan and I must say that this series is one of the few that remains consistently good (at least, up until recently). The fourth series is very intriguing and revolves mainly around Donald Draper floating around in the aftermath of his divorce. Despite the fact that Don is definitely not a family man, he also dislikes not to have a "safe haven" with a pretty woman waiting for him. He stumbles around in what looks like half-drunk stupor, charming all the women around him, inclusive of a clever caree-woman with a clear understanding of the man.

Like most viewers I was totally surprised by the episode finale. I did not see "that" coming and I consider it one of the best ending ever. Definitely recommended.
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