Mad Men Season Two Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 7.5
Total 8.0

Distributor: Sony
Running Time: 626 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: M15+

8.0


Mad Men Season Two

The recipient of near-rapturous reviews upon its premiere in 2007, Mad Men revolves around the misbehaviour, connivances, wheelings, dealings and extremely tangled personal lives of the staff at Sterling Cooper, a fictional boutique advertising agency located in New York City. 

Set in the 1960s, the series takes place in a time when the continual ingestion of alcohol and tobacco wasnít merely tolerated, it was actively encouraged.  In some ways itís an extremely dichotomous age, one in which men stood out politeness whenever a woman exited the room but had no hesitation in pinching the ass of the same woman whilst uttering the most unsubtle of innuendo.  Itís also an era infinitely less inclined to compunction, and a fascinating epoch to explore in the context of a Madison Avenue ad-man clique and their assorted cronies, clients and chiffon-clad, endlessly nubile conquests. 

The show revolves around Sterling Cooperís creative director Don Draper, played to near-perfection by Jon Hamm, and takes its title from 1950s advertising insiders slang for their own (Ad Men = Mad Men.  Geddit?  I didnít, until it was pointed out in the pilot.  Duh).  This in-group mentality is omnipresent, though the characters of Mad Men are so likeable and engaging in all their many foibles that the series avoids becoming too insular.  The performances are also superb, and the supporting cast includes such talented faces as January Jones, Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing) and Emmy-nominee John Slattery. 

Season Two begins on Valentines Day 1962, approximately 15 months from where the first left off.  It contains all the scandal, banter, office politics, shady personal dealings and assorted sexual (mis)adventures that comprise the day-to-day life of its characters, sparing no detail.  The historical accuracy and lush visuals are as impeccable as ever, and this new outing is easily the equal of its predecessor. 

For those of us who find the confines of endless political correctness a little tedious at times, Mad Men is a gust of fresh air.  The liberated mores and occasional bouts of sexism, racism and just about any other Ďismí you care to mention are by turns funny and startling, and from Hitchcock-esque opening sequence to conclusion the 13 episodes of this second season are guaranteed to thrill fans of this taut, stunningly shot and ingeniously executed slice of no holds barred nostalgia.  Audio commentaries featuring cast crew, behind the scenes footage and several featurettes round out the package nicely, and all up this is an impressive and eminently worthwhile release that gives, in retro parlance, plenty of bang for your buck. 






 
 



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