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DVD Review: Mad Men Season Five

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We’ve got something especially exciting today, folks, as our friends out at Lionsgate sent over a copy of Mad Men Season Five for us to review, and for those of you who like your booze-soaked slice of life look at an ad agency in the sixties, well, it’s a more of the same prospect right here.

However, there will some interesting new twists to grapple with on this one, twists that may be more than some would like, but twists that may prove plenty exciting, too.

Once again, Mad Men Season Five takes us into the world of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the ad agency to beat them all in the fifties and sixties, and shows us not only the world in which they live, but also the world in which they hawk tons of products, fight for business, and drink epic, heroic, liver-killing amounts of booze.  The world of the 1960s is a rapidly-changing one, and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will find themselves neck deep in it. Whether selling beans, facing down the civil rights movement, or just frantically trying to dig up more business, the crew of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce will face it down and carry on.

Considering that the Mad Men Season Five DVD actually starts with a video commentary from Canadian Club, and includes recipe cards in the DVD package itself explaining how to make an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, you know this show is profoundly, neck deep, into the hooch. If it were possible to recommend a DVD join a twelve step program, I would be doing so for Mad Men Season Five. But that doesn’t take away from the watchability of all this. Mad Men Season Five–indeed, “Mad Men” in general–is easily one of the best shows on television. The writing is incredibly crisp and taut, but they’ll still be able to run plotlines over the course of multiple episodes. They can do the complex as easily as they can do the brief and brusque, and their ability to bring in callbacks to entire other seasons is almost disturbing in its sheer competence. It’s amazing to watch the interplay, the office politics, the interaction between the lives within the company and the lives without, and then watch them incorporate the events in the wider world as well. “Mad Men” is the Russian nesting doll of television, as it all somehow manages to fit seamlessly together.

It’s breathtaking. There’s really not much else to say about “Mad Men”, and frankly, it’s not hard to see why this show has not only made it to the fifth season, but will likely carry on for some time to come. Can you imagine this show hitting the eighties? Don Draper about to retire? It’s entirely possible, and frankly, from this show, it could happen, and it would probably be amazing.

Mad Men Season Five may not be the favorite season for some–it’s sufficiently packed with changes both large and small alike that it may well destabilize some viewers a bit too much–but it’s still a delight in no uncertain terms.

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