Mad Men: Season 1
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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 Canny
Stills from Mad Men (click for larger image)
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- "Mad Men Series Commentary," audio commentaries on all 13 episodes
- "Establishing Mad Men, " featurette exploring the world of Mad Men
- "The Desire of the American Dream," featuring the 1960's creative revolution in media
- "Pictures of Elegance," photo gallery with commentaries from the costume, hair and production designers
- "Scoring Mad Men" featurette
- Mad Men Music Sampler
Top Customer Reviews
It's 1960 in a Manhattan based advertising agency. The men have slicked back hair, crisp white shirts and perfect suits. What comes out of their mouths would get them slapped or sued if it happened today. Toots, babe, honey. Women are sex objects and they have less brain power - as one character says, "It was like watching a dog play the piano" when a certain female character with professional drive and passion exceeds the lowly expectations of the men.
The women are no better. The head secretary tells another female that they (the men) designed the technology so simple that even a woman can use it. A mother smokes and drinks while pregnant and ignores the danger of a nearby child playing make believe with a plastic drying cleaning bag over her head. Some of the women act childish because that's the role that's been forced upon them. Others are starting to reject the social strait jacket and are rebelling - it's the beginning of a new era and they are the foremothers of what is about to hit this nation like a baseball bat to the head.
The wall paper in one house is plaid and the cars are big and many have tail fins. There's a cigarette in almost every scene - people cough and there's no recognition of any connection in their minds. One major character smokes, drinks and eats with abandon and almost dies of a heart attack with, again, no recognition of cause and effect.
This show, unlike any on air or cable at this time, immerses you in its era.Read more ›
Matthew Weiner, the show's genius creator, has painstakingly ensured that we're really getting a believable early 1960s. There's not an irritatingly currently contemporary viewpoint to be found anywhere. Of course the show is depicted in a hindsight manner; but all of the dialogue, situations and characters are all breathtakingly, reassuringly of a past time. Despite the deceptively, smoothly stylized look via the posh sets and clothes, the atmosphere is constantly invaded by the smog of cigarette smoke; we're not used to seeing such flagrant puffing and inhaling on film. You can almost smell the overfilled ashtrays. No one goes outside to smoke here. This is the Martini and Rossi era, and everyone in corporate America smoked and drank as if it were part of the life and job description. Then, too, you see women used as business, sexual and marital props.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The setting , the story arch's, the writing, the acting - is nothing short of superb.Published 6 days ago by M. Jahns
Story interesting but the smoking! Upsetting and I even worried about the actors!Published 23 days ago by Pamela M. Shooks
Moves very slow w/ little action. I am sure some consumers appreciate the show, just not for me. Compared to other series out there it is not in the same league.Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Show is fabulous. But the DVD is worn and skips alot. And it came with a plastic cover instead of the original. I give the show 5 stars. But the condition it came in 2 stars...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
What's great about "Mad Men" is that it doesn't indulge in the usual cliches about the 1960s. Read morePublished 1 month ago by VIDFAN