Mad Men: Season 2
DVD | Box Set
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Set in 1960s New York City, Mad Men explores the glamorous and ego-driven “Golden Age” of advertising, where everyone is selling something and nothing is ever what it seems. And no one plays the game better than Don Draper (Golden Globe(r) - winner Jon Hamm), Madison Avenue’s biggest ad man – and ladies' man – in the business. Returning for its second season, the Golden Globe®-winning series for Best TV Drama and Actor continues to blur the lines between truth and lies, perception and reality. The world of Mad Men is moving in a new direction -- can Sterling Cooper keep up? Meanwhile, the private life of Don Draper becomes complicated in a new way. What is the cost of his secret identity?
Mad Men returns, and guess what? It’s still one of the best shows on TV. Season two continues the slow progression to absolute greatness. The first season left us with a number of cliffhangers, and the beginning of the second season doesn’t cleanly wrap things up. Instead, we leap forward nearly 2 years and are thrown into an even more tumultuous time where the Norman Rockwell-idealized era is only ideal on the surface (slightly below we find rampant alcoholism, marriage dissolution, casual sexism and racism). There is resolution, eventually, for all the questions left unanswered, but in true slow-as-molasses-but-still-riveting Mad Men form, we get to wait the entire season for answers.
A lot has changed in these two years at Sterling-Cooper and it is exciting watching the 60’s progress through the unique lens of Mad Men. Everything that made Season one incredibly compelling television is back. The terrific acting, pitch-perfect writing, gorgeous art direction and impressive attention to detail are all the unshakeable foundation to a meandering yet precise plotline that keeps the viewer glued to the television. Special features include extensive commentaries and featurettes that examine 1960’s fashion, the rise of women in the workplace, and defining historical events of the era.—Kira Canny
- "Mad Men Commentaries" feature-length audio commentaries on all episodes
- "Birth of Independent Woman," video featurette examining the rise of female independence in the 1960s, from housewives to working women
- "An Era of Style," video taking a close look into the fashion of the 1960s and its influence on designers today
- "Time Capsule," video featurettes and picture text galleries examining historical events mentioned in the second season
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Dick Whitman's transformation into Don Draper is a brilliant trope, which operates both on the level of metaphor and plot, & is key to characterization.
Even if Dick Whitman had never switched dog tags with his dead commanding officer in Korea, he would have done everything possible to reinvent himself--and obliterate his past. His ambition drives him into a brave new world in which he, rather like a master spy, must be the bravest. The new name and social security number make this much more real & palpable, while generating practical complications which fuel the plot and allow us tantalizingly brief glimpses of the bleak world which drove him to his desperate deception.
Poignantly, he hands his half brother $5,000, a large sum in the early 1960's, to, as Dick/Don puts it, "make a new life for yourself," to be another "Don Draper," and vanish from Don's world. But his brother misses the mark. For mysterious reasons, he hangs himself. In doing so, the half-brother's feeble surrender to fate becomes not only a foil for Don's strength, and the boldness of his social/psychological imagination, but an index of the ruthlessness with which he is prepared to "murder his past."
Looking at this series from the outside, the sets, costumes, automobiles, & etc., are every bit as authentic as other celebrated period dramas like Downton Abbey. And in the the social realm, the casual racism, sexism, and class consciousness is perfect down to every dowdy pleat in Peggy Olson's skirt, every limp lock of hair in her bangs, every note of assumed superiority in Peter Campbell's prep school accent.
It's all here, a gripping sixties soap opera that will startle you, amaze you, melt your heart--and freeze it, keep you guessing--and hooked!