'Mad Men: The Final Season, Part 2' [Blu-ray]
(Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2015 / LGF)
Overview: The drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper, finally comes to an end.
Blu ray Verdict: From the very beginning, the true, utter brilliance of 'Mad Men' was always ever in the subtext. There are many hilarious moments throughout the seasons that are only funny if you've been paying attention and understand where the character is coming from. There are also many tragic moments that would pass you by if you didn't know what came before. Many lines have double or even triple meanings. Watch this from the beginning, with a friend. Believe me, you will want to discuss each episode, each season afterward to figure out some of the nuances of what happened.
The main "Mad Man" is the confident womanizer Don Draper, who is head of the Creative department at a mid-sized ad agency in 1960s Madison Avenue. I admit, at first I kind of hated him, but as the viewer learns more about him and his past, I learned to - not love him exactly - but like him and want to watch him endlessly. He is a complicated character who can be a very good man, but also a very bad man.
Don Draper is joined by a rich cast of supporting characters, many of whom deserve a show of their own: The ambitious young Campbell who is utterly sleazy most of the time, but has occasional moments of growth and even cuteness.Peggy Olson starts out as Draper's secretary, but her growth into a strong, confident woman mirrors what is happening for Woman in the 60's. Silver fox Stirling - he may be morally bankrupt but gets some of the best lines. I could go on.
The 60's clothes, hairstyles, decor, and current events provide an interesting backdrop for what is essentially a character piece. The setting provides both the occasional laugh (cigarettes being advertised as "healthy") and the more than occasional cringe (how could dumping trash from a picnic in the park right on the grass ever seem okay?!).
And so we get to this final season, and the split packaging here in Part Two. As you can tell, I loved this series. There were quite a few plot lines, and especially characters, that were not explored or (not explored deeply) that disappointed me though - characters that simply "disappeared". I especially enjoyed watching Don's daughter grow up and her friendship with Glen (two great actors!). There were many characters I found particularly amusing and I really liked Jared Harris (an underrated actor) as the ever so slightly sleezy Lane Pryce. But, and without spoiling it, the final episode and the last shot of the entire series is absolutely perfect - and worth its weight in "mad" gold! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
· Audio commentaries with cast and crew on all episodes
· “Laurel Canyon” featurette
· “Unmarried Professional Women” featurette
· “Generation Boom” featurette
· “Earth Day” featurette
· Interactive Advertising Timeline (Blu-ray Exclusive)
Own it on Blu-ray Digital HD October 13th, 2015!