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on October 11, 2016
Mad Men's 4th season continues to deliver the goods in Matt Weiner's capable hands. The breakaway ad firm Sterling, Cooper, Draper, and Pryce is up and running though a bit tenuously. Jon Hamm is superb as gifted creative director Don Draper the show's pivotal character. Having grown up in this era and living in Fairfield County, CT some of my father's friends could have been the template for Don. They were successful, some even worked in advertising, commuted to NYC everyday, had affairs with secretaries, got divorced, 3-martini lunches, the whole bit. I feel like I know Don personally. The attention to detail in wardrobe, music, and set dressing is incredible and the each episode is like opening a time capsule to the 60's. This season sees Don bottoming out, frequently drunk, burning through women unable to sustain a relationship,and ultimately having his work suffer. Other supporting characters continue to develop; Joan and her husband (off to Vietnam) struggle, Roger's still not happy and remains a spoiled child, Pete is maturing and now a partner in the firm, and Peggy keeps gaining confidence but feels the need to court Don's approval. I'll admit on the face of it Mad Men shouldn't be that captivating but it truly is engrossing. Looking forward to Season 5!
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on May 17, 2014
We don't subscribe to any cable station for TV but we do love movies and have begun to buy some DVDs. My son told me how good Mad Men was and said that I would probably enjoy it. The first season took us a while to enjoy but once we began watching the 2nd season and the 3rd season, we really wanted more. In Season 4 we see the main characters start their own company and come together to support one another. It feels as if they are finally working together. We had not felt that Don Draper's character was very likeable but in this season we discover a lot more about why he is like he is. He has to deal with more loss and we see him go through the motions of grief. Peter's character seems to soften a little and in this season, his wife is pregnant, and there are moments when this pregnancy is seen with a backdrop of Peggy's pregnancy. Peggy and Don have some fascinating conversation and although we sense they will never be good friends, they are somehow supportive of one another, and each others' quirks. The dynamics between them, boss and employee are very interesting and show really good writing. The best scene we think (not to be a spoiler) is when Don seems to be having a real panic attack. It was so good. I had not thought of him as an actor before, he always seemed so "wooden" but this scene towards the end of the season shows a depth to his character and he opens up his "soul" to a new woman (and there have been many as we all know!!!!) I am told the next season isn't so good but this one was really great. I await the next season which I have just purchased..
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VINE VOICEon April 2, 2012
So far, this is my favorite season. It is strong from the beginning to end without dry spots. A great show to watch on DVD without commercials which put a damper on the show. Don is now a divorced man with a love of drink and an amazing number of women. He has a variety of female relationships while Betty has chosen to try to continue her life as is with another man. Neither is quite content, Don does miss the family relationship he has lost and Betty is no freer and happier than she was before. Her life is stagnating in a pitiful direction. She is so unhappy. Don is luckier in that he has an ability to travel and socialize with people at work and in the world. The company tries to move on and develop a solid clientele but old habits and the past seem to keep up with the group at every turn. The elder men of the company are stagnating and somewhat harmful to the company as they have developed habits that don't quite help the development of a new company. The younger employees, Peggy and Pete, are the people who seem to be creating the most work and are freer than their elders to relate to a changing 60s world. Youth is the new attraction in this period of time with a baby boom and Don discovers a nice way of accessing youth for himself and his children. Betty chose an elder man who is wonderful but is increasingly irrelevant to her happiness especially when she has chosen him to be a Don substitute rather than a real man.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 21, 2015
If you believe television is a wilderness have I got news for you! Watch Mad Men and you will bask in the shade of palm trees at an oasis for all those who enjoy excellent and thought provoking programming. During this pivotal season:
a. Don and his Canadian wife Mega have stormy times in their relationship. Observe the nasty fight at the Howard Johnson's
b. Peggy does well in the difficult business environment of an ad agency as she uses her strength to rise in the corporate world.
c. Roger takes LSD!
I won't reveal more so you may enjoy this wonderful series from AMC in all its glory!
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on July 22, 2015
There are so many ideas on managing clients and staff available in this series. As an editor for a technical journal, I think I'll extract a few for my column.

I especially liked the episode where Draper threw out Jansen, a client who wanted to sell bikinis but not show skin. Don called them prudes and idiots! I wish more engineering firms understood that the client-firm relationship is very delicate: it requires patience and honesty on both sides. Many a time, I have wanted to fire the client; instead, we build the process and it was either a nightmare of corrections or a product that limped out the door.

As drama, the series is excellent. Draper and company could have been my father and grandfather. These were tough men who didn't talk about their feelings, at least not in public. It was nobody's business.

Season 4 starts up where Season 3 left off. The only Season that is a little iffy is Season 1, in which the actors were still exploring their roles. We saw the same thing in Breaking Bad and House. By Season 2 Mad Men had a clear message and direction.

You should stack Mad Men in the shelf with Breaking Bad and House, MD and entertain yourself and your family for decades to come.

If this review was helpful, add your vote.
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on May 16, 2011
The fourth season of MAD MEN, the best American dramatic television show of the last decade, begins with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his ex-wife Betty (January Jones) both allowed what seems to be a fresh start: newly divorced from Don, Betty has married the handsome politico Henry Francis, while Don has started a new upstart advertising firm headquartered in the Time-Life Building with his old bosses at Sterling-Cooper. Yet neither Betty nor Don finds themselves able this season to make the break with the past they might have hoped: Betty insists on keeping her children in the old home in Ossining, while Don's shame over his divorce brings him further and further down as he drinks more and more heavily, as his new firm struggles to find its feet.

MAD MEN is so much better written (and filmed, and acted, and designed) than other American television shows today that it seems almost wrong to complain, but even so the fourth has been the weakest of the seasons so far. Individually some of the episodes are absolutely first-rate (particularly "the Rejected," a superb episode focusing on the aftermath of Don's drunken amorous tumble with one of his secretaries), the characters' cynicism and sourness begins to wear a bit, particularly in the case of Betty Draper Francis, whom series creator Matthew Weiner seems to have it in for. Even if Betty's constant bullying fights with her daughter Sally (the excellent child actor Kiernan Shipka) are realistic, they wear out their welcome pretty much, as does Don's constant nastiness towards his creative staff at the new firm. The introduction this season of two sunny major new characters, a research specialist (the warm and intensely likable Cara Buono) and a beautiful French-Canadian secretary (Jessica Pare), is a tremendous help, but even so you can't help hoping Weiner decides to take the character of Betty in an entirely new direction because it seems to be bringing the whole series down (and January Jones's one-note acting in the role isn't much help).

The DVD set is perhaps the most horribly designed of all the series' badly designed DVD sets (it's very difficult to reassemble after you've opened it up, and the plastic cases the DVDs snap into keep coming ungummed). It comes with some fine features including a study of bourgeois divorce in America in the 1960s; there's lots of commentary, too, although be warned that when Matt Weiner is joined by his directors and editors and advisers he almost completely drowns them out with his own ideas, and they are of course too cowed for the most part to get a word in edgewise. (Fortunately, he has much intelligent to say.) One of the nicest surprises of this set is that John Slattery's commentary for the episodes he directs is much more thoughtful and sober than his wearying fratboyish commentary turns as an actor in other seasons.
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on July 29, 2010
I'm on the road with my Dell laptop. Have downloaded several shows to the laptop and have to watch thru Amazon Unbox. The quality of the downloads is very bad. When I watch Amazon VOD thru my Roku or TIVO on my TV at home the quality is excellent. The first show I downloaded to my laptop was recalled by Amazon because it was not watchable at all, the replacement download was ok. I will continue to use Amazon VOD to watch at home on my tv but won't spend any more $ to watch on my laptop while traveling until the watch on the laptop Unbox video/audio problems are resolved.
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on September 7, 2013
I have been watching the first three seasons of "Mad Men" on the Polish TV and got so much involved in the life of its heroes that when the third season came to its end, I started to look for the fourth one at Amazon. Wow! There it was waiting for me in the company of the fifth one! Thanks Amazon!

Click! I bought it and in two weeks the discs safely arrived to my doorstep. Now, I am watching the consecutive episodes enjoying their unique atmosphere.

Why do I like it?
Mostly, because it is an honest, realistic description of the tough but optimistic life in the USA at the time when in the Eastern Europe we were fed with illusion of the social justice. The "Mad Men" heroes are far from being ideal, still one may and does like them. I am observing their life recognizing in its background the echoes of the contemporary cultural and political events such as the assassination of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King or the birth of the legend of the Rolling Stones.

If you like life, if you like real life, watch "Mad Men". You will be not disappointed. I promise :-).
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on April 12, 2017
I had to wait until I could see all of these seasons, before I could rate the DVD's of them. All I can say now is ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT!, and I thoroughly enjoy the special features that are included. I followed all of Mad Men when it was on AMC, and really enjoyed reliving it all now. I cherish this collection!
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on July 30, 2013
I was very late to discover MADMEN, and didn't know what to expect. I certainly didn't expect to be captivated by what is IMO, one of the finest shows to ever be televised. I've been watching the "vast wasteland" for nearly 60 years, and MADMEN was worth the wait. My only regret is that while all good things must end, crap goes on forever. So I'll stay to the end, savoring each glorious moment, and take consolation in the knowledge that such things are still possible. God bless AMC! While I'm at it, I should probably say a few words about the Blu-ray disc I purchased. We finally bought a 55" plasma set, along with a rather pricey sound system to complete our home theater. MADMEN arrived just in time to put it to the test. I had expected a spectacular picture, and was not disappointed. I remember the sixties, but not looking this good. But it is the audio that I find the most remarkable. The DTS HD Master Audio, playing through nine good speakers, is truly stunning. I've always been an avid audiophile, so I know great sound when I hear it, and this couldn't sound better.
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