Youâ€™d be hard pressed to find any characters as cool as the suit-sportinâ€™, booze-swillinâ€™ ad men (and women) that populate AMCâ€™s incredibly original series Mad Men. The second season, just released on DVD, followed through on all the promises set out in the debut.
Mad Menâ€™s main character Don Draper, who manages to come across as both morally damaged and remarkably sympathetic, reveals just a little more into his mysterious background. Sure, he screws around on his wife (a lot), but he had a questionable background as we slowly learn throughout this season. We also see a major evolution in the character of Peggy Olson, Donâ€™s former secretary, now a copy writer with a pretty secret of her own. The subplot between Peggy and her priest (played impressively by Colin Hanks) boasted some of the best TV writing in years.
There was also more revealed about some of the showâ€™s supporting characters this year, like copy writer Paul Kinseyâ€˜s racial awakening and Salvatore Romanoâ€™s sexually closeted work and home life. One of the many fascinating appeals of the series is the compelling charters â€“ each with a deep back story making every plot and sub plot as interesting as the next. The series ends with a strong cliff hanger, showing Draperâ€™s ad agency getting bought out by a British firm and hinting at a possible move to Los Angeles for some of the characters. It will be hard for the writers to top the Man Menâ€™s second season, but certainly worth watching them try.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Mad Men: Season Two/DVD/2009/Lionsgate/611 mins.