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Mad Men: Season 2

13 July 2009

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Mad Men: Season 2

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It’s tough to pin down Mad Men’s appeal. It could be the mesmeric setting — Kennedy-era America, bright, gleaming and confident, but on the cusp of the dream turning sour, with Vietnam and that Dallas knoll looming near. It could be the amusing sight of the titular Mad men (slick ad-agency hustlers based on NYC’s Madison Avenue) chugging bourbon and chainsmoking cigarettes without a health warning in sight. Or it could just be the fact that the two leads — Jon Hamm and January Jones — look really, really good in ’60s clobber.

It had critical acclaim from the off, but this second season saw Mad Men arrive, as US ratings soared, the title sequence got spoofed by The Simpsons and its creators were rewarded with a heap of trophies. Rightly so. Creator Matthew Weiner is a veteran of The Sopranos and it shows — while chiselled hero Don Draper (Hamm) doesn’t share Tony’s weakness for late-
night fridge forays, beneath the veneer he grapples with demons just as complex as the Mafia kingpin’s. Here we finally delve into his backstory, revealing that his idyllic life is a front; in reality he’s Richard Whitman, a whore’s son who’s taken on
a dead man’s identity. Meanwhile, his beautiful, brittle wife Betty (Jones) wanders further down a lonely path, going quietly loco in her perfect home, befriending an oddball child (it doesn’t end well), learning to exploit her power over men. And the other employees of Sterling Cooper — from smarmy Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) to busty Joan (Christina Hendricks) — continue their own detailed arcs.

The whole thing’s as seductive as one of Don’s pitches. And as Season 3 and the Cuban Missile Crisis approach, it’ll be fascinating to see where Weiner next takes his band of smoking salesmen.

Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen


Mad Men: Season 2 Mad Men: Season 2
Released: 13 July 2009
Incisive, context-rich commentaries, featurettes (Birth Of An Independent Woman, on ’60s female empowerment; An Era Of Style, on fashion) and interactive Time Capsule bits to fill you in on the history. Note: the Blu-ray version has many more commentaries than the DVD.

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I neevr caught this on BBC as i dont like watching tv on tv anymore after the stattions fuck everything up and i bought the first series cheap and fell in love with it, i love the era and i lov ethat each episode is basically a bunch of guys sitting round a table smoking and talking brilliant. This show has balls when now adays most shows will car chases etc this take its time telling great stories and Don is cooler every time he comes on screen and i loved the second season because we got to... More

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Posted by dave_41 at 13:58, 15 October 2009 | Report This Post

tp://]Mad Men - Season 2hen I finished the first season I called it "the best show on tv right now". After watching that I could only hope that the second season would be as good as that. But this exceeded all my expectations. This series is even better than the first, something I wouldn`t thought would be possible. In the first season it was mainly Don and Betty Draper (the lead characters) who got focussed on, with (at turns) the "... More

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Posted by TheGodfather at 23:43, 05 September 2009 | Report This Post

Mad Money

Mad Men characterises the transition of television in recent years as a format that genuinely competes with film. It allows its characters to develop slowly and naturally but maintains the production values of film. The cast is sublime. Jon Hamm in particular as Don Draper. At once showing a need to conform to the mass ideals and opinions that surround him, but also a frequent distaste for them, at one point fleeing from them entirely. There is a sense of isolation in Mad Men, a fear of being fo... More

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Posted by phil blakeman at 19:27, 12 July 2009 | Report This Post

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