Mad Men: Season One Review

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Putting the 'Ad' into 'Mad'


Buried away on BBC 4 and graveyard repeats on BBC 2, Mad Men is compulsive TV. Set in the unreconstructed world of ’60s New York advertising, the wheeler-dealing of superstar adman Don Draper (a superb Jon Hamm) and his cronies is impeccably played and immaculately crafted, from the cool costumes to the Saul Bass-like title sequence. But, as you’d expect from Sopranos writer-producer Matthew Weiner, the show has substance to support the style, revelling in the tiny cruelties of professional and personal lives, getting mileage from historical ironies and exposing the fractures in a picture book America before ’Nam and the counterculture blew them wide open.