|Mad Men - Season One
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MAD MEN - SEASON 1 (DVD MOVIE)
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 risqu¨¦ 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)
- love it love it love it
We are hooked on the second season - but had never seen the first. This is a MUST SEE television series. We are so happy the DVD was available. We haven't watched the whole set yet - just savoring one or two episodes a week, along with the new shows....more info
- Well Done
Excellent character development, but a bit of a downer with the protagonist being an unhappy man....more info
- Wonderful. Great series.
Thoroughly enjoyed this DVD at a great price. Can't wait for the second season to come out on DVD....more info
- Simply Superb!
There are not enough superlatives to describe this television show! My family has become engrossed in the goings on at the Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency, and I have been swept away by the mesmerizing and enigmatic Don Draper. Mad Men will without a doubt go down in the annals of television history as one of the finest shows ever to grace the small screen....more info
- Great DVD set - great quality
Arrived on time and was in perfect condition. Love this show! It is rich, dramatic, and well-acted. I can't wait to see what happens next in each eposide. A little cheeky in terms of the historical references, but overall a great show. Highly recommend....more info
- Mad Men Season One
We began watching Mad Men during the second season, and found a lot of "holes" - things we could not understand. Watching the first season's shows cleared up nearly all of our confusion. Having lived as a young "business man" in the 50s and early 60s I could see a lot of my "friends" in Mad Men (perhaps exagerated a bit - but maybe ONLY a bit). On the whole, Mad Men, season one, was well worth the price. ...more info
- Boring! really, really, really boring.
Four hours of my life I wish I could have back. Great acting, amazing costumes and sets; unfortunately not one remotely interesting thing happened the entire time I watched (well half watched- I kept falling asleep). Imagine transporting yourself back in time to an ad office and spying on the goings on there; thats all there is to this show! When I watch a show I like to be transported to somewhere more interesting, my real life has more going on than this show!...more info
- The Emmy and strong reviews must reflect how BAD (perhaps MAD) most TV shows are these days
We watched 2/3rds of the first season. All of the episodes were slow paced. Often excruciatingly slow paced. The show seems to be (really IS) mostly about smoking (mainly at work), drinking (mainly at work), and extramarital sex (mainly at work). Oh yeah - each and every character (including the children) is unhappy and behaving in a way that will lead them and those around them to greater unhappiness. Unless you are somebody who worked in this kind of environment and are looking for some nostalgia (and even then...), this show will not appeal to you. ...more info
- Wear a tie, light a cigarette and fix yourself a martini
The amazing success of this TV show is clearly indicative of the era we live in, and the strain the american male is subjected to. In witnessing a faithful depiction of the critical moment in which a past world collapsed, while our emerged, americans must obviously long for what an adult, male civilization used to be, yet is not anymore. They are suddenly reminded of an era when men dressed, looked, talked and behaved like men, when women were women, and people would not strive to be weak so that they could appear gentle, to be pavid so they could seem responsible, nor to live as pathetic sickly, so that they could die healthy.
Hell no! They drank, they smoked, they ate, they dared, seduced women, worked hard, lived hard, wanted more, "wanted things they had not seen yet". But especially, they wanted power, and I mean "will of power". Not happiness. Happiness is in fairy tales, this was an adult world.
Surprisingly enough - or maybe not - all indicators show that they were actually more happy (check psycho-drug consumption trends), fit (look around), better looking and healthier than today.
As inevitably happens in civilization completely devoid of Ethics, a most oppressing etiquette is now imposed through inescapable terror. Contemporary males in US must learn since early age the subtle art of pretending to believe in a number of things that they know are not true, nor desirable or at least agreeable to their nature. The psycho-police of conformist thought is so persuasive on certain issues, that most cannot even admit the lie to themselves. And yet, deep down they perceive it, and suffer. Various relief valves decorate the life of the american man, helping him to maintain some sort of sanity. This show, I contend, is a valve of that sort: hence its incredible success. Incidentally, you might have noticed that most reviewers are males.
That was of course not the intention of the creators - who probably just wanted to show how bigot, misogynist, homophobic and racist the supposedly "golden age" of the fifties was: the eternal polemics in which both american left and right compete in stupidity; both incapable to focus on the real issues.
The meager, dull rural life the main character escapes from in his climb toward success, in his metamorphosis from insecure boy into a strut man, somehow reminds me of contemporary life; there is perhaps no lack of affluence now, but surely of risk, discovery, adventure, and full self realization. Yes, in the opening score a man is depicted as falling, while the world around him also melts. But since fall we must, let us at least fall from heaven....more info
- Delivered as Promised
I received the product as advertised. Both disks and case in excellent condition. Very pleased....more info
- Skip it; go directly to Season Two
The first season of Mad Men, while showing some promise, for the most part just meanders and bores. The production values and acting are there, but the writers just aren't. Far too often they equate creepy with dramatic, which obviously is a false identification. The proof is also in the fact that you can skip the first season and go directly to the second and miss at most one or two important scenes (which aren't even really that important). Which is exactly what I recommend you do. Season Two is as masterful as Season One is dull and repellent....more info
- mad about this series
a well done slice of American history. great woman's clothing, hair and make up. if you love style, this series is a must....more info
- AMAZING Series!
Lovely item! Fast Shipping A++
Great series, really takes you back to the time frame in which it was based after. Love the characters and storyline too.
- DVDs have wonderful commentaries and extras
Mad Men is an absolute masterpiece. I agree 200% with all the rave reviews here.
I'm not going to add to the ample reviews of this show. Instead, I would like to comment on the generous extras included in the DVD set.
I debated a long time before buying the DVDs since I own the season on iTunes. I'm glad I bought the DVDs -- the commentaries and extras make it worth every penny.
Each episode has at least one commentary track, usually two separate commentary tracks. And there are other extras - a 20-minute piece, "Advertising the American Dream", a 10-minute video on scoring Mad Men, and the hour-long 'Establishing Mad Men'--all excellent.
A word about the commentaries -- the ones by creator and writer Matt Weiner are superb, very insightful and interesting. I haven't listened to all the other commentaries yet. Of the ones I have listened to, Weiner's are definitely the best, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, and Jon Hamm also provide interesting depth. The brilliant costume designer Janie Bryant also provides wonderful commentary.
I wish some of the other commentaries had been edited, though. For instance, in Jon Hamm's, January Jones', and Elizabeth Moss' commentary on the last episode, 'The Wheel', Elizabeth Moss' comments on the padding used to show her weight gain. This is an interesting aside, but Moss' commentary goes on far too long and it's all trivial, with no insights into Peggy's character. She repeats the same stories again and again--for well over 10 minutes. Her commentary drones through an important part of the Draper story (Don looking at old photos of his brother). It's a shame that we miss Hamm's commentary during that emotionally moving portion of the episode.
But that's my only criticism, one small quibble. The DVD set is marvelous and if you're a Mad Men fan it will add substantially to your enjoyment and insight into the show.
- It's like watching what your parents or grandparents were doing :)
I am amazed about the amount of smoking and drinking going on. I really like all the female characters - January Jones reminds me of Grace Kelly, Christina Hendricks is as delicious as Marilyn Monroe. The intrigues, affairs, and secrets are positively tasty. And yet I can not find one single thing I like about Don Draper. Sure, Jon Hamm is a great actor, and a quite handsome man, but the character is very unlikeable. It is hard to feel sympathy, pity, or compassion toward him. The show is pretty juicy and well worth watching though. ...more info
- memories revisited
It has the makings of a Mamet style with excellent plot development and outstanding characterization....more info
- Mad Men the sixties strike back
In America there was a thing called the culture wars. The right said that up till the sixties things had been going well. The family unit was solid and because it was solid the nation was solid. The key to keeping the family together was strict sexual morality, the acceptance of woman as a home maker and the importance of raising children with strong values. If children had values they did not break the law, worked hard and society prospered.
Along came the sixties and women had conflicting roles. Morality fell apart and the divorce rate went through roof. Single familles were thrown into poverty and crime became rampant. The culture war was an attack on the changes in society in the latter half of the twentieth century which saw the emancipation of woman, ending laws against homosexuality and the development of governmental roles to improve society.
This series appears to be a strong counter attack against the right suggesting a new model of what the fifties were like. It suggests that the developments in the sixties were against a society of the fifties seeped in racism, homophobia and misogyny.
Part of the appeal of the series seems to be a smug satisfaction by the viewer of how much things are better now and what repellent creeps are portrayed in the show. On a superficial level the characters smoke constantly, drink to excess and eat food drenched in dairy products. Anyone seeing the show now would realise that this sort of behaviour would lead to a life expectancy of about fifty. The male characters are white and who despise Jews. Any contact with women is predatory.
And of course there is some truth in the picture. If you want women to not have sexual contact prior to marriage and not to engage in affairs there must be strong social prohibitions in place. Whilst the fifties might have seen lower rates of pre-marital sex it was a period when terms such as "slut", "mole" and "whore" were not only in use but could be used to achieve social exclusion. A society which has "strong morality" is a society which is intolerant, judgemental and exclusive.
The major problem with the show is not so much the politics it espouses. Rather it is rather slow moving. One is not so much interested in the development of the story. Rather it is like watching a train wreck. It is a bit repellent but you feel compelled to watch it never the less.
- THE OPENING CREDITS ALONE ARE ENOUGH TO MAKE ME LOVE THIS SHOW!
Four reasons to watch this:
1. Jon Hamm is unbearably sexy.
2. The sets, clothing and other depictions of the era are perfectly done but not overwhelming. They don't take on more importance than the story itself.
3. The characters are complex, human, complicated. No one is a caricature or a cartoon. Everyone, even some minor secretary whose purpose in the show is to have sex with a major character, is shown as complex and human.
4. The story lines are intriguing, compelling, multi-layered.
There are some story lines that don't interest me: I get up and fold laundry or brush my teeth and floss anytime one of the kids are central to a scene. And I'm not interested in the horse-back riding life and intrigues of Betty. But those scenes don't dominate this fabulous show. ...more info
- IBM Selectric 2
I love the series and am impressed with the period details, but why they can't get the typewriters right? The IBM Selectric 2 didn't make its debut until 1971. They made the same mistake in Far From Heaven....more info
- Exquisite Period ART
The 60's are often hailed as an amazing era of change and excitement. Our parents were young men and women during these times. The series is impeccably stylized, so true to its Era down to the very last detail & idiom. Social and work norms are captured artfully and at times disturbingly so.
When watching it , I feel like I'm voyuering through a time machine and peeking into deep intimate life details.
I become so captivatingly immersed in its "aura of ERA" , the very way you would respond if it were a priceless piece of ART!
The enigmatic reality of people's personalities, at a time in history when people did not show you their cards and bare all on TV, but kept a stoic facade up to show strength, resolve and sexual charisma....Wow!!
Yes, plot lines are not always very engaging and neither is character empathy present much either. Its the craftfully woven mystery of art that keeps you coming back, time after time!...more info
- Mad Men - Season 1 is GREAT!!
I love this Mad Men Season 1 DVD. If you haven't started watching this series you are missing out!!! I also rec'd super fast shipping and was able to watch ASAP!!!...more info
- My favorite show!
I love this show! It is smart, funny, sexy and beautiful to watch. From the first episode it grabbed me and I was hooked....more info
- The Best Show on Television
This is the best show on television. It's not just because Jon Hamm as ad man Donald Draper is the hottest leading man, ever. No contest. He's both heroic and fatally flawed. His nemesis, Vincent Kartheiser as Peter Campbell, looks like a kewpie doll and will stop at nothing to get his job. It's funny when sometimes Pete's ideas are better! There is also the "Greed is good," element behind "Mad Men" which was most apparent when Pete Campbell looked down at New York from his penthouse apartment in Episode 4. Every episode of "Mad Men" is a delight....more info
- Delivered as Promised
I received the product as advertised. Both disks and case in excellent condition. Very pleased....more info
- Mad Men is one of the best series on television
Mad Men is one of my favorite shows on TV right now. John Hamm and January Jones are phenomenal....more info
- Where's the Beef?
I was really looking forward to this series after reading the rave reviews but I have to say I was disappointed by this tepid view of the heyday of advertising. The series certainly scores high style marks but substance is woefully lacking in this rather narcissistic view of 1960 Madison Avenue. Once past the good looks, crisp lines and jaunty banter, I found myself wondering "where's the beef?" The directors seem to revel in this decidedly man's world where women seem little more than muses, except for Peggy Olsen who finds herself quickly rising up the ladder with her honest view of products.
The firm of Sterling & Cooper comes across as a sexist bastion during a time when many women were breaking through such barriers. You get the sense that Peggy is a younger version of Helen Gurley Brown who had worked herself up from the mailroom of the William Morris Agency to become one of the highest paid ad copywriters of the early 60s, eventually taking over Cosmopolitan and turning it into the magazine we know today. Sexism was pervasive at the time, but this show seems to revel in it, with little sense of irony.
The episodes are painfully slow and Don Draper is painfully boring. It takes 12 excrutiating episodes to find out about his hidden past, which in the end doesn't appear to make the slightest impact on the story as Cooper dismisses Peter Campbell's revelatory scene out of hand. Seems Don Draper can do no wrong, although he appears to have an increasingly hard time at home as his lovely wife Betty comes apart at the seams like Sylvia Plath in the Bell Jar.
After 12 episodes, I feel like I've had enough, although fans of this series keep telling me how things pick up in season two. Maybe so, but the first season didn't do much for me....more info
- A journey through the rear-view mirror
Smart, stylish, and original. Starts off with a real bang. Most of the men seem horrifying, and some of the women are pretty scary too. After the first episode it mellows out noticeably, and the characters no longer seem outrageous. It's very well detailed and has the feel of 1960. This feel of those times goes well beyond sets, wardrobe, and hair styles. There are many things that come through the characters in terms of attitudes and perception that really grabbed me. The dialogue is sharp, smart, and funny at times, and the performances are quite good and believable. There is a subtle fatalism, and a cold cynical magnetism about some of the characters that seems unusual, and so well done. This production has no flaws, but what I think stands out the most about it is a rich, stylized effect, a technique. I don't know how to describe it except to say that it fits like a glove, providing a unique atmosphere and sense of nostalgia.