Mad Men continues to set the bar high for television drama. Although this is the first of Mad Men's five seasons to not win the Emmy for best drama (that went to Showtime's Homeland), don't be fooled. Mad Men: Season Five shows that the AMC drama definitely has a lot left in the tank.
After a lengthy absence, Mad Men came back with a vengeance and an insanely unqiue season -- and not just because it was the only one where Don managed to stay faithful to his wife (so far, anyway).
This was the season that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce landed Jaguar. A car! It was also the one with "Zou Bisou," fat Betty, Pete getting punched in the face (more than once!), LSD, and one hell of a shocking exit. Well, two exits, if you want to get technical. In other words, while a lot of TV series show serious signs of aging at this point, Mad Men: Season Five is still must-see TV.
If you've been hanging in so far with the show, my guess is that you are frothing at the mouth for season six. Until then, consider indulging in Mad Men: Season Five again. It's just as riveting the second (and third) time around.
Mad Men is one of the most stylish shows on TV, which transfers very nicely to Blu-ray. Lionsgate delivers almost every texture, color and frown line with this 1.78:1 transfer. Some of the detail gets a little washed out in those wider shots, but that won't sway you one bit from admiring this image. Close-ups and colors are especially gorgeous. Christina Hendricks, in particular, shows off great contrast between her skin, her hair, her eyes and her wardrobe. Consider this to be another worthy notch in your Mad Men collection.
Mad Men is a show that centers around dialogue. After all, office life rarely calls for a lot of special effects. With the exception of the show's theme song, the DTS-HD Master Audio track is a pretty front-heavy experience. Once in a while you'll get a burst of surround sound, especially during the "Hare Krishna" scenes and when the soundtrack belts out. That said, all of the dialogue is very clear, even with the typing and phones going off in the background.
All 13 episodes from the season have two commentaries to choose from. There are also two features about the score and something called "Mad Men Say the Darndest Things," which plays a bit like a highlights reel. Otherwise, the rest of the featurettes included have very little to do with Mad Men and play more like a history lesson -- just in case you were getting all of your info from the show. There's 23 minutes on Truman Capote's Black & White Ball, 5 minutes on the history of Daylight Saving Time, and another 17 minutes on Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico, who inspired the promo image which also serves as the Blu-ray cover.
AMC has a lot of quality programming. Mad Men: Season 5 continues to carry the torch. The show has yet to have a bad season. If you've been collecting the series all alone, there's absolutely no reason to stop now. A stunning image and good audio are the icing on the cake.
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