After a months-long hiatus, I'm back on line and ready to expel some observations and opinions, most particularly today on one of the most recent DVD releases - MAD MEN: Season 2.
Released this past Tuesday, July 14th, we the public got to celebrate both the anniversary of the French Revolution and the subtle chipping away of the submissive woman of 1950s America all in one great 'Encore!' of a day.
As a francophile who's "gone mad" (as the show's ad campaign goes), Tuesday was a day to look forward to. And sure enough, while I didn't particularly celebrate Bastille Day in any style, I could not help but retain some renewed faith in media's style when I picked up the latest at-home installment of one of the most artistically-centric shows on television.
From the case to the menu, every detail of the product reflects the integrity of the show. As the first season released a special-edition box shaped like a lighter, this year's packaging is a boxed business shirt from none-other than Season One's featured retailer - Menken's. The box around the disc slides open like a gift box, allowing access to both the included swag of a Mad Men tie-clip and the DVDs within. It shows my supreme nerdiness that I smile a little every time a DVD case opens with style instead of your typical pop-open plastic case.
The detail-oriented art direction of the case mirrors that of the program itself at every level. From the stellar richness of the images to the wood-effect and Sterling Cooper logo that back the DVDs, every inch of the casing was considered. And if the cover of the box wasn't enough to remind you that the show is all about image, this season features disc labels not with various character line-ups, but instead with close-ups of the life forces of the era - the fashion, liquor, and cigarettes. The feminine and masculine, the sex and power.
And of course, the meat of the matter. Special Features. This season features audio commentaries for every single episode with cast and crew- a fantastic perk, that I will review in a later post, along with the three featurettes - "Birth of an Independent Woman" covering the 'rise of female independence in the MAD MEN era,' "An Era of Style," and "Time Capsule" which honors events and peoples of the generation that inspired the show.
So as I sit down to enjoy my return to the second installment of the disgustingly misogynistic but beautifully designed 1962 of Matthew Weiner and Christopher Brown, I already feel terribly under-dressed and under-liquored. And that's a great sign.