DVD: Mad Men: Season 4 (15)
Voices of: Dominic Cooper, Gemma Arterton
Friday 25 March 2011
Matthew Weiner's masterpiece reaches its fourth season and it's still the best thing on TV. Having finagled their way out of their old firm, we meet the mad men and women at Thanksgiving 1964 as Don Draper and cohorts struggle to establish their new agency, in the volatile New York ad world.
The struggles of the new firm in its expensive home in the Time-Life building reflect Draper's continuing ennui as he learns that life as a high-rolling bachelor isn't quite as glamorous as he might have hoped when he divorced Betty a year previously. Unglamorous it may be, but that doesn't stop him from winning the affections of a number of women, even as he stares down the barrel of an alcoholic breakdown.
As ever, the tales of the Sixties and the 20th century are told through the prism of ad-land: from Peggy's partying at Factory-like warehouses to the previously loathsome Pete Campbell's burgeoning political conscience. Some have suggested that this was the year where Mad Men's stand-ards slipped, but few episodes of any television series will match Don and Peggy's woozy night in the office in episode seven, "The Suitcase". As with the previous three seasons, the DVD extras here add real value to the set, with a selection of films including a documentary on divorce in the 1960s. Magnificent, but you probably knew that already.
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