Newest Review: ... the perfect housewife with two children, a girl (Sally) and a boy (Bobby). She was a model before marrying Draper and now her role is the ... more
Not mad at all......just compelling
Mad Men - Season One (DVD)
Member Name: Stripery77
Mad Men - Season One (DVD)
Advantages: Far too much to list
Upon a friends recommendation I hired season 1 from Blockbuster at £5 for 5 nights - but I only needed 1 night I was so captivated!
At 13 episodes per disc I now understand that there is a 5th and possibly 6th season to view and I intend to watch each and every Emmy, Bafta and Golden Globe award winning one.
~What's it all about?~
Mad Men is a darkly humourous look at a prestigious ad agency on New York's Madison Avenue. Firmly set in the 1960's we watch our charcters continue to blur the lines between the truth and lies, perception and reality.
Our lead charcter Donald Draper (Jon Hamm) is the Creative Director of Sterling Cooper and we observe him handling accounts with panache. He is dashing, intense and captivating. Intensely protective of his private life he is a man of few words but all of them the right ones. Along side his bosses Frank Sterling and Bernie Cooper he stands out in the office as important and authorative figure and one that catches all the ladies eyes.
His wife Betty Draper (January Jones) is the perfect housewife with two children, a girl (Sally) and a boy (Bobby). She was a model before marrying Draper and now her role is the stereotypical housewife with a duty to have dinner on the table, look perfect and not ask any questions. Jones plays this role beautifully and it is astonishing in our modern times to observe the sixties etiquette. My favourite scene is when her children run in to the kitchen playing and one of them is inside a plastic dry cleaning bag with her face smothered in the film. Instead of worrying about suffocation they are told off in case any of the dry cleaning has been dumped on the floor! The home setting is amazingly kitch with no detail spared from the spoon rack to the croched blankets. It's brilliant.
Back to the office we have Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) desperate to climb up the company ladder I can't decide if I like or hate him. He can be really charming and sensitive at times and others he just opens his mouth, deliberately or not and firmly puts his foot in it. The bosses are all to aware of his shortcomings but he is blindingly aware of this.
We also meet Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) starting as a new secretary she is naive and girlish. Her new role as Donald Drapers assistant sees her hanging up his coat and hat, fixing his drink requests for ice and bumbling around to try and find her feet. She isn't fashion conscious and is so earnest and hardworking which just serves to highlight the behaviour of the rest of the office staff.
Leading to the femme fatale Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks). She sashays around the office of which she's manager, wigglling her hour class frame and flame red hair. Her outfits are to die for, as is her figure and she oozes confidence, charm and sex appeal. Her advice to the new Peggy is shorten your skirt and woman up. She manages to day to day office requirements with ease and oversees the secretaries with the right amount of gossip and advice.
Basically everyone smokes and it is quite amazing to see as it is now so taboo. The first big account that we see the agency working on is for Lucky Strike who are now no longer allowed to advertise that cigarettes are good for you and in a very smoky conference, with much coughing, the agency must work to try and counter act this negative publicity.
Each episode, which lasts about 45-50mins (without the ad breaks) follows our characters as they go about their daily grind in 60's America. The episodes touch on politics, ettiquet, womens and black peoples rights and how society functions. The settings are absolutely excellent with amazing props and products. It's so good to see the office with its' old typewriters and procedures, the old cars and the fabulous costumes. It really does transport you into another time.
I honestly didn't know what to expect and from the title Mad Men I'd ovelooked this boxset before as it really doesn't justify the delights within. I was hooked from the first episode and am now well into series 3 without dissapointment.
It's such an enjoyable series with snippets of information unfurling at just the right pace. There's very little music within each episode but they all end with a song and leave me wanting more.
Summary: Quite simply brilliant - I'd give it 6 stars if I could
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