Mad Men: seasons 1-5 (DVD:AMC) © 2007-2012

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Rating: 4/5

Summary: Mad Men, written by Matthew Weiner, was the first scripted drama to debut in the summer of 2007 on AMC. The drama is now considered by the Writers Guild of American to be one of the top ten best written TV series. The show quickly captures viewer’s imagination with its nostalgic look at 1960s advertising on Madison Avenue and the country’s growing pains. The stylized filming of New York’s materialistic and privileged culture blended with the backdrop of America’s social movements make the show a historically, accurate drama. Deceit by both the characters and the ad industry entices the viewer to keep watching Mad Men despite the fact that the one quickly realizes that in this “man’s world,” there is not a real man among them!

Review: The series has a slow start, most of season 1 and 2 is spent on detailed, character development and setting the tone of the show. The time is well spent since it establishes the show’s themes of identity, alienation, social mobility and ruthlessness. By season 3 and 4 this child of the 60s looked forward to the historical references and seeing the past from an adult’s perspective. The sexism, racism, addiction, hypocrisy and misogyny portrayed during this drama are disturbing. The writers have done a great job emotionally engaging viewers; most will feel uncomfortable reflecting on the contemporary social and cultural phenomena of our not so distant past. Fortunately, we know things will change for the better.

More Movies Like This: Mad Men fans who enjoy period, adult dramas might like North By Northwest, The Apartment, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and To Sir With Love.

Availability: The entire DVD TV series is available at the Lake Bluff Library in the DVD TV section of the audiovisual department.

Reviewed by: Valerie

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