Mad Men.... Where to start? Series 5 felt quite compact, the storylines tight, poetic and beautifully interwoven as ever, the attention to detail exquisite as always. The tension that has permeated the first four series, for me anyway -whether Dick Whitman would ever come clean /would Don Draper ever find true love - has been replaced by something else in series 5. I have loved Mad Men from the beginning, albeit with the caveat that the characters were so flawed, it's their flaws you start loving, not their good sides. The surprising show stealer here was Megan. FINALLY someone who makes a stand and says no thanks to the frustrating half-life that everyone else at SCDP seems to be content with! Even Peggy who has been the one female character I have been able to relate to for her dogged pursuit of a corner office, but to the detriment of anything else, delivers a delicious and long overdue right hook to Don Drapers well shaved chin. I am feeling calm about Peggy, because the twittersphere is telling all will be fine :). Her development into a more rounded person is as satisfying to watch as Megans surprisingly heavy impact despite her newness to the Mad Men family. Anyway. 5 Stars. How could I not? The show that never sleeps.
When things get bad, we tend to look to the past. And the bleaker the future looks, the further back we search for comfort. As the new millennium keeps disappointing us, TV shows set on the 50's and the 60's (once a rarity) keep growing in numbers. Many have tried and failed. MAD MEN tried and closed the deal. And have been doing so for 5 seasons now.
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 and refined Jessica Paré as his first and second wife, respectively), 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. You see January Jones on the red carpet, for example, all dressed up and groomed for a Hollywood function - and that modern image cannot hold a candle to herself dressed for everyday(!) life in the 50's. When did we loose it? When did we decide men should stop wearing suits and hats and women should start wearing sweat-suits outside the house? I, for one, blame the hippies!
This is one of the best TV shows ever and this box-set includes season 5. Season 6 is eminent whereas season 7 has already been green-lighted. As I have said again before, good TV is best watched on DVD. Make weekends out of it. It is much more enjoyable to watch an entire season in a couple of days than having to wait week(s) between episodes. And (quite ironically, in this case), you will not have to suffer the...commercials.
People have to "discover" a tv series at some point. For example I first discovered Madmen when series 2 was being shown on TV and quickly caught up by purchasing series one having become hooked. Anyone first discovering Madmen at series 5 (having not seen the previous 4) will, I believe, be completely lost and dismissive of this programme. It isn't an easy series - its tone is very bleak.
Whereas things have gone wrong in earlier series (such as the business being lost or Dons marriage) this series is set in a time when on the surface all seems to be going well but underneath it all there is a lot of unhappiness, insecurity and unease. Don's new setup - a young wife and modern apartment seems to just be papering over the cracks, and the same torment seems to be affecting all of the characters in the show. A programme set in a different era which is reflecting current day maybe?
But for those devotees of the show who were waiting for series 5 to come like myself, I found it to be an unexpected but welcome change in direction for the programme. The show seemed to mature in this series. Highlights include Pete becoming even more horrible than in the first 4 series (something which I thought wasn't possible, Roger expanding his mind, whilst the Lane storyline, whilst not fun to watch, is certainly gripping.
For anyone who has seen the first 4 series - this is a must. For anyone who hasn't seen the first 4 series then I wouldn't recommend starting here. Treat yourself to the first 4 series and it will make this one all the more enjoyable.
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.