Friday, 20 February 2009

Of Mad Men Season 2

Okay I'm weak. Mad Men Season 2 only started airing two weeks ago on BBC and I'm already done. I have so much crap that needed to be done but I got addicted to Mad Men. It really is one of the best shows on television at the moment and I binge watched Season 2 even with other stuff that desperately, desperately needed to be done. The fact that this is the second Mad Men review this year shows how much I'm in love. Plus it won't be the last. It's been confirmed that there are going to be two more seasons of this show, one airing over the summer and it's pure brilliance has made it a shoe-in for my Top Television Shows of 2009 list. In fact I would go as far as to say that Mad Men is currently tied for my favourite show still on the air (The Wire, sadly, finished). So expect Lost and Mad Men to be fighting it out for the top spot come years end.

This being the second Mad Men post this year means I'll just say this. It's set in the 1960s, there's drinking, smoking and all around many different attitudes to nowadays. The show has expanded upon its first year in so many ways. The characters are all known so we can focus some more on the supporting cast who are all extremely talented. However its the three main female characters, Betty, Peggy and Joan who deserve immense praise. They are three of the strongest female characters on television and provide some of the most compelling scenes of the entire show.

Overall this season is a little detached from the first season, or at least seems to be. At the start it feels like Season 1 has been forgotten and then we get slowly but surely introduced to all those lingering plot elements. It makes an extremely compelling story and the writers show their immense skill in pulling it all off without having to shout it from the rooftops that *removed* was *removed* and gave up *removed* or that by seasons end *removed* has *removed* someone in retaliation for *removed* doing the exact same thing.

Okay I wanted to make this one a short one. There will be no spoilers at all. This is necessary television viewing. There are only 26 episodes in existence and should be required viewing for anyone with a television set. Go and pick up the first season boxset and track down Season 2. The writing and acting are simply superb. Especially the way that they incorporate real moments from the sixties into the narrative of the show such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Everything is specific to the era, whilst the characters are fictional, the stories, events and opinions most certainly aren't. Racism, homophobia and sexism are all dealt with on the show and give an insight into how far we have come as a society.

Overall the show has proved it to be utterly superb. I know I gave season 1 a 9.5 and since this season arguably isn't as good (I think they're level pegging) I'm only going to go 9.5/10 again

Just read that as near to 10 as makes no difference.

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