Mad Men-Season Five (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 14-Nov-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category TV Drama Series Audio Commentary-Several for Each Episode
Featurette-Mad Men Say the Darndest Things
Featurette-What is There to Love if Not the Enigma
Featurette-The Party of the Century
Featurette-Scoring Mad Men: Themes of Season Five
Featurette-Scoring Mad Men: Inside a Session
Featurette-The Uniform Time Act 1966
Gallery-Photo-News Week Magazine Digital Gallery
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 585:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Phil Abraham
Tim Hunter
Lesli Linka Glatter
Andrew Bernstein
Studio
Distributor
Universal Sony Starring Jon Hamm
John Slattery
Vincent Kartheiser
Elisabeth Moss
January Jones
Cara Buono
Kieran Shipka
Christina Hendricks
Aaron Staton
Case ?
RPI ? Music David Carbonara


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (3254Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

The Fifth Season of Mad Men was delayed for an eternity whilst series creator Matthew Weiner and broadcaster AMC haggled over production costs.

The delay was unfortunate. Not only did it expose the ugly, money side of television production, perhaps mirroring the themes of the show itself, but it meant that a legion of fans around the world began to cross their arms in impatient anticipation. Perhaps that's why some of the initial water cooler buzz about Season Five was negative. As the series progressed, however, the intelligence and power of the drama began to seep through. Not only was it the equal of earlier series but some points, some episodes were amongst the best that the series has produced.

The season charts a year from 30 May 1966 through to spring 1967. Starting some months after Don made the surprising decision to marry his secretary, Megan we find him, somewhat surprisingly, in a state of wedded bliss. There are a few missteps. Megan's generous attempt to host a 40th birthday party for Don goes awry, perhaps showing that she still has a long way to go to get to the heart and soul of Don Draper. Still, in his joyous state, Don is letting the others at the office carry the load and no one is particularly happy. Bert Cooper accuses him of being "on love leave" and Peggy feels isolated and undervalued. What happened to the aggressive philandering Don Draper we all love?

There are demons a plenty in Season Five. Megan has to contend with her feelings of inadequacy, desperate to be a successful actor but unable to get any auditions without Don's help. Pete Campbell is a lost man commuting between Manhattan and soulless suburbs where he feels isolated and alone. It is perhaps no surprise that he forms an attraction for the equally lonely wife of a fellow traveller on his daily commute.

Perhaps the characters with the most powerful and sometimes devastating journeys are Joan Harris and Lane Pryce. Christina Hendricks has always essayed Joan as a woman between two divides. She craves success and recognition yet is not afraid to use her sexual allure to get what she wants. In season five she makes a decision that may yet haunt her but certainly causes great ripples in the pool of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Meanwhile, Jared Harris as Lane faces his greatest obstacle in potential financial ruin and makes an awful decision with enormous repercussions.

Cast against the high drama of those character journeys the decisions made by Peggy Olson may seem quieter and more deliberate. Yet they are equally important.

With Season Five Mad Men continues to show why it is one of the pinnacles of television, combining sharp intuitive writing with great acting performances. With Season Six beginning on 7 April 2013 and new go-getter Michael Ginsberg (played by Ben Feldman) being promoted to main cast member who knows where the journey will lead. And with the Seventh Season definitely the last who knows where the journey will end.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Mad Men is presented on Blu Ray in a 1080p transfer in the widescreen television ratio of 1.78:1.

Mad Men has always been a fantastic looking series and this season is no exception. This image quality is incredibly sharp through and the level detail is superb. Once again the costumes are magnificent and the colours are bright and vibrant. Many will have seen the touring costume exhibition from the show and realised that in many cases the costumes look better on camera than in real life.

The presentation in flawless with no hint of compression or artefacts. There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
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Audio

   

Mad Men receives an English DTS-HD Master Audio track in 5.1 surround.

The dialog is clear and easy to understand throughout. The surrounds provide a pleasing ambiance to the show although it has never been one to use rear channels for immediate impact. The subwoofer is only used sparingly to provide support for the bass.

There are no technical problems with the sound and once again the music for the show by David Carbonara is excellent.

Audio Ratings Summary
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Extras

There are a host of special features on the Blu Ray.

Audio commentaries.

There are a wealth of commentaries on the Blu-ray as indicated below.

Disc One

A Little Kiss Parts 1 and 2:

Tea Leaves: Mystery Date: Signal 30:
Disc Two

Far Away Places:

At the Codfish Ball: Lady Lazarus: Dark Shadows:
Disc Three

Christmas Waltz:

The Other Woman: Commissions and Fees: The Phantom: As in the past the quality of the commentary tracks vary greatly. I am a big Christina Hendricks fan but have to admit her commentaries aren't the greatest. The old mantra applies - stick to writers and directors and you should be safe!

Mad Men Say the Darndest Things (16:40)

An interesting look at the writing style for the show.Producers and staff writers talk about their writing style for the individual characters and we get some of the best lines from the series to date - bliss!

What is There to Love if Not the Enigma? (17:10)

Remember the moment when Don sees his refection in the widow of the department store putting his squarely in-between two faceless mannequins? No? (It was Episode 10)A representation of it appears on the cover of the Blu-ray. It was inspired by Giorgio De Chirico the modernist artist and this quite lengthy feature looks at his life and style.

The Party of the Century (23:00)

Truman Copote certainly knew how to throw a party. His Black and White masquerade ball held at the Plaza Hotel on 28 November 1966 was and still is legendary. Author Deborah Davis and legendary socialite band leader Peter Duchin take us inside the ball.OK, it may be a stretch to suggest that if Don was real he definitely would have got an invite but this is a wonderful special nevertheless.

Scoring Mad Men: Themes of Season Five (27:52)

Composer David Carbonara and orchestrator Geoff Stradling as well as scoring mixer James T Hill discuss the music for the show. Well, actually it is pretty much the Carbonara show.Its a credit to the composer that often we take the fantastic music of the show for granted as it seeps to deeply into the drama. He demonstrates how the individual themes for the characters ahave expanded and developed as the show progressed through the multiple seasons.

Scoring Mad Men: Inside a Session (21:15)

Here we are taken inside an individual recording session for scoring an episode of the show.

The Uniform Time Act 1966 (5:25)

A text based featurette gives a time line exploring the history of daylight saving time (right back to Benjamin Franklin) and the official observance of it in the US.

News Week Magazine Digital Gallery

Is a collection of news week covers from the time period of the season as well as some major story headlines showing how the program mirrors the times, without being too obvious.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   This Blu-ray has identical features to the Region A Blu-ray.

Summary

 

Anyone who has watched and enjoyed the previous seasons of Mad Men will probably have picked up this Blu Ray already. For those who are waiting for the green light consider it given. This is a superb set featuring not only the show in high quality but also an excellent series of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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