Blu-ray Review: MAD MEN SEASON 4

Perish the thought, but Mad Men could very nearly have never existed. It€™s creator Matthew Weiner, fresh from a successful writing/producing stint on €˜The Soprano€™s€™ was reportedly turned down by both HBO and Showtime when he approached them with the script for Mad Men, and it took AMC which, until then had never produced an original TV drama, to show some faith and green light the first season. Now here we are, 4 Golden Globes and 13 Emmy awards later (and counting) at season four, and there€™s still no sign of a drop in quality €“ In fact, I don€™t think it€™s possible for me to wax lyrical enough as to just how good a show this is. Mad Men Season 4 is released on Blu-ray in the U.K. today, here is our review. I€™ll be honest; the non-conformist in me resisted when Mad Men was first shown. Sure, I€™d heard the hype and the good reviews, but I didn€™t think that a period piece about ad execs on Madison Avenue could have anything that would appeal to me. Some of you are probably out there now thinking the same thing- You€™ve probably got an unopened box-set sitting on the shelf looking at you, right? But, finally, curiosity got the better of me and I watched one and became instantly hooked. Mad Men truly caught a hold of me in a similar way that The Wire did. Though, obviously, a world away from The Wire, €˜Mad Men€™ is just as rich in detail and character and it will consume if you allow it. Arguably, the bulk of the show€™s success is probably down to one man, Donald Draper, played to perfection by Jon Hamm- Draper is Mad Men€™s main protagonist and the coolest cat on Madison Avenue. One of the most satisfying parts of any episode is watching the silver tongued Don smash an advertising brief out of the park. Why is Don so watchable? Well, for most of us guys this is down to pure male wish fulfilment. In the same way we€™d like to be Bond or Batman- how we€™d love to walk in Don Drapers shoes for a day! For the ladies- well, he€™s not bad looking, is he? If you€™ve read this far then you€™ll know that season three finished with Don and Betty (January Jones) filing for divorce. Does season four pick up where it left? Of course not- we€™re launched right into a meeting with Don and the team knocking ideas around for a campaign for a lingerie firm. Is there anywhere else we€™d rather be? Whilst Don still reigns supreme in the advertising office, at home it€™s very much a different kettle of fish, as he struggles to balance his work life with being a single parent. Daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka) is now causing more than a headache or two and her relationship with Betty is becoming strained. As for January Jones€™ Betty, she€™s now settling into domestic life with new partner Henry. It€™s also a big season for the newly merged Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce office as they battle for new business and accounts. This also causes tension within the ranks and at one point Don is required to address the employees in an effort to calm the storm. Another pleasure to watch this season includes the continuing Teacher/Pupil relationship between Don and Peggy (Elizabeth Moss), as Don continues to mentor Peggy in the art of writing good copy. Other characters also get their fair share to develop, including Christina Hendricks€™ Joan, who becomes clearer about what she wants in life and John Slattery€™s, Roger, who is facing the consequences of his affair. That€™s one of the other great things about Mad Men in that, whilst it will always be Don Draper€™s show, there€™s a character there for every audience member to identify with and root for and each one gets it€™s fair chance to grow. It€™s a case of nothing broken, so nothing fixed for Mad Man season 4 and it is all the better for it. This is simply must-watch Television. Extras Special features include: Audio commentaries on all 13 episodes Divorce: Circa 1960's Marketing The Mustang: An American Classic How To Succeed In Business Draper Style 1964 Presidential Campaign Mad Men Season 4 is released on Blu-ray tomorrow. We are giving away three copies of the release, HERE.
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