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Mad Men - Complete Season 1 [Blu-ray]
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Matthew Weiner, a writer and executive producer for The Sopranos, may have set this series in the picture-perfect 1960s, but his characters are just as scheming as the mobsters on his last show. Mad Men begins in 1960 on Manhattan's Madison Avenue at the fictional ad agency of Sterling Cooper. Creative director Don Draper (Jon Hamm) rules the halls of his company and the hearts of every woman he meets, while his wife, Betty (January Jones), struggles to be the perfect mate and mother back in Connecticut. But just as in the world of advertising, Don may not be all that he appears.
In Mad Men, the glass ceiling is dangerously low, and sexism reigns in a way that may shock modern viewers. But this isn't the prim '60s of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Weiner's characters seduce, smoke, and swig with abandon--often within the walls of Sterling Cooper. Mad Men takes equal parts substance and style to create an addictive cocktail that fully earned its freshman season wins at the Golden Globes for Best Dramatic Series and Best Actor in a Drama.
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 there were health warnings 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 now. But again, one of the most impressive things about Mad Men is that everything is executed with absolute class, style and elegance. A bonus for the DVD viewer is that, 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 Canny --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top customer reviews
It's compelling. Well-drawn characters, excellent scripts and casting, period detail, pathos and a plot that progressively hooks you and becomes as addictive as the nicotine and alcohol evidenced throughout each episode. The context of the 50's for series 1 and the 60's for series 2 are the springboards for much of the character and plot development and also serve to remind us how rapidly the world has changed.
I was not a fan of the Sopranos, and as a result of this series being mentioned in the same breath, I approached Mad Men with some trepidation.
I shouldn't have, it's an excellent series and stands head and shoulders above most of the pap that is commissioned and broadcast on TV today.