Skip to main content

TV on DVD: "Mad Men: Season Three"

"Change isn't good or bad. It just is." - Don Draper

In its third season, AMC's gorgeous and provocative period drama Mad Men offered a year of turmoil, both political and social, that was infused with the very essence of change as series creator Matthew Weiner and his writing staff forever altered the foundations of the series. While some so-called game-changers do little more than rearrange the furniture, Weiner and Co. used the third season to lead up to several powerful shifts in the dynamic of this intelligent and gripping series.

Tomorrrow, Lionsgate will release the third season of Mad Men on DVD. If you have seen Season Three of Mad Men, then you know that it's a slow burn that culminates in a series of gasp-inducing moments as the action draws in the Kennedy assassination, the real-life figure of Conrad Hilton, and major changes on the domestic and business fronts for the cast of characters that inhabit this meticulously recreated 1960s snow globe. (You can also find out more about Season Three from my exclusive interviews with Weiner for The Daily Beast from late last year, which can be read here and here.)

If you haven't seen it, then you are missing out on one of the most intelligent, thought-provoking, and emotionally resonant series ever to air on the small screen as it addresses social, political, and gender issues with a deft hand and a skilled flair for deep metaphor.

I've written extensively about the plot of Mad Men's third season so don't want to recap it here because it won't do it justice; it's far better enjoyed at a languid pace that emphasizes the graduate character growth and sharp turns that Weiner's writing staff employs in the third season, a year that finds each of the characters grappling with monumental change in their professional and personal lives. Familiar faces come and go, old relationships are ripped asunder, and new alliances made, all while the characters deliver dialogue of such stinging beauty that's it's only right that they indulge in some other vices. And indulge they do as they smoke their cigarettes, drink their alcohol, and indulge in some extracurricular relationships.

At times, you don't know whether to wince or empathize with them... and that's perhaps the charm of Mad Men. These characters aren't placed on a pedestal of perfection but are instead allowed to make mistakes and appear alternately vulnerable or cruel. In other words: they're truly three-dimensional adults with all of their flaws.

The four-disc box set contains all thirteen episodes from Mad Men's third season, as well as a slew of bonus features, including commentaries from Weiner, the cast, and the crew of Mad Men on each episode and several featurettes. The latter includes: a documentary exploring the life of murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers; a look at the history of the cigarette industry and its relationship to the advertising industry; a pictorial gallery of the historic March on Washington, set to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech; and "Mad Men Illustrated," which features the artist behind those winsome Mad Men-inspire illustrations.

All in all, Mad Men: Season Three is a must-have for devotees of the AMC drama series, period drama, or quality drama in general. Its intoxicating spell is one that will remain with you long after the closing credits have rolled at the end of the third season... and which will make you long for the days to fly by until Season Four of Mad Men can begin this summer.

Mad Men: Season Three is available for purchase beginning tomorrow for a suggested retail price of $49.98. Or you can pick up a copy in the Televisionary store for just $28.99.

Comments

Deedee12 said…
Just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your commentary on Mad Men, thanks.

This is one of my favorite websites.

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have