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Mad men season IV on blu-ray

Mad men season IV of is one the greatest output that this series has had to offer so far. I’ve rarely been mesmerized by a TV series that is essentially a character based show. In Mad men, you won’t find explosions, car chases, sci fi CGI and so on. It’s rather an adult show, for grown ups, that can relate to anyone who has a past that would rather stay buried or deep in a cardbox in a garage…As much as I liked the first three seasons, this one is just too good to be overlooked. The acting on the show is just second to none. It gives a fascinating glimpse into the life the 1960’s and the life of a broken man : Donald Draper. Heartbroken, soon to be divorced, revealed for what he truly is by Betty, his ex wife now remaried to a respectable man. We see Don alone at Thanksgiving, dating girls 15 years younger than him, struggling at his new born agency, and feeling so lonely in his appartement…I don’t think I’ve related more to Draper than this season, where we really feel for him…And we have good reasons to do so. Jon Hamm is such a wonderful, ressourceful actor, it’s amazing how much emotions he conveys as Don Draper. Yesterday, I was watching watching the scene where he calls LA to arrange for the funeral of his “friend” Anna Draper, the wife of the real Don Draper (in case you don’t know Don Draper’s real name is Dick Whitman, and Dick stole Don’identity in Korea) the night following the Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston fight in 1964. And the moment where he bursts into weeping so did us. Having slept in his office with Peggy’s sitting on the couch Don phones LA in the early morning and Peggy asks : “What happened” ? To whom Don replys : “The only person who really knew me for who I was died”…What man never truly hid what he really his ? The softer sensitive side often gets shunned by the cocky, self assuring attitude in order not getting discovered for what you truly are…. That scene was worth 1 million dollars.

At the office, Don Draper is a relentless, confident and sometimes a cocky bastard. In his relationship with Betty he may have lied, cheated but Don truly is a man of the 1950’s and 60’s. He rarely speaks his mind and his emotions are self-contained and deeply buried inside him. That’s because he doesn’t like to talk about himself, nor does he likes the people who like doing so, like Cassius Clay for instance. He claims to despise loudmouths. But he also has a sensitive side, in fact, it’s fair to say that Donald Draper is indeed a sensitive man. Until I started watching Mad men I thought no one could touch Michael C. Hall in terms of acting on the telly, but Hamm is quite breathtaking too.

Mad men IV also offers interesting insights on the issues that are starting to affect the lives of the normal citizens in the 60 ‘s : the soon to be divorce law and most notably the civil rights issues. The agency deals with a car company from the south that won’t hire “negroes”. Since we’re in 1964 and Lyndon B. Johnson is now replacing JFK but also trying to stop segregation, there is a fascinating clash between the two worlds of the USA : the one trying to continue the segregation, and the one trying to stop it hence the new generation whom Peggy meets at an artsy party. There’s also the bloody Viet-Nam war coming up. But the women are also segregated as Peggy mentions : “I have to say, most of the things Negroes can’t do, I can’t do either, and nobody seems to care. Abe Drexler: What are you talking about? Peggy: Half of the meetings take place over golf , tennis, in a bunch of clubs where I can’t be a member, or even enter. The University Club said the only way I could eat dinner there is if I arrived in a cake.

On a personnal level, the character’s issues and worries seems to have taken a leap forward. I still miss Salvatore but having Pete Campbell’s growing is an interesting turn and Roger still is…Roger chasing big boobie Joan who is still grumpy as ever. Jared Harris who plays Lane is as pragmatic as ever. Mad men is still a fascinating tale of the 1960’s about the advertising industry, a society in motion, and and world about to be twisted upside down. But above everything it’s a riveting TV show about a bunch of complex characters that don’t always seem to be so simple once you’ve scratched the surface. Or as Don Draper put it : “People tell you who they are but we ignore it, because we want them to be who we want them to be.

Mad men OST : Dusty Springfield : I only want to be with you (1963)

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