2007, Not Rated
Mad Men: Season One
Quality scripted drama is not dead, it's just getting harder to find. One place it turns up is AMC via this acclaimed drama that debuted last year
. Season two starts Sunday, and the first-season DVD arrives in time for viewers to catch up with the critics. Set in the so-called "Golden Age" of Madison Avenue advertising (1960 specifically), the series works on so many levels it's hard to believe that Moment of Truth
pulls in more eyeballs.
Edgy without being over the edge, the mild constraints of free cable allow the show to flesh out its themes without the distractions that often muddle its counterparts on HBO or Showtime. Brilliantly cast and painstakingly crafted as to be faithful to the era, Mad Men
gives us a not often seen view of the '60s. It's America post-Eisenhower, post-Leave it to Beaver
, but pre-hippy free-love, and the country is in solidly in transition. What better setting could there be than an office full of people trying to usher the nation from post-war prosperity to unabashed consumerism? Of course, these characters all have issues. Booze, affairs and secret lifestyles keep it all churning. Borders on the soapy, yes, but these folks can sell it. Grade: A