The Final Season: Part 2 is the end for television's most celebrated show; four-time Primetime Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series and winner of three consecutive Golden Globes. Set in the captivating world of 1960s New York, Mad Men continues to follow iconic ad man Don Draper (Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm), his colleagues and his family.
It's hard to believe that 'Mad Men' will no longer have new episodes. After seven fantastic seasons, creator Matthew Weiner gave almost every character a proper send off. Ever since 2007, we've been infatuated with the characters and time period of 'Mad Men', particularly the mystery and charisma of the show's lead, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who has become an iconic pop culture figure. Over the years we got short glimpses of what makes Draper tick, from his failed relationships to his successful ad campaigns, while trying to balance his family and affairs.
This final seventh season was split into two segments, which aired a year apart. This second batch of episodes, which served as the final seven episodes of the series, focused on wrapping up some story lines, characters, and seeing where Don Draper wanted to go with his life. Even though Draper has exuded confidence and guts through the entirety of the show, he was also lost and confused most of the time. It's not doubt that Don has been through a lot in his life, as we've seen his professional and personal life unravel before our eyes over the course of seven years, but we also got a glimpse into his path and how he became the respected ad-man in New York, which can be quite shocking if not a bit funny.
The series finale, which has been widely discussed almost as much as the finale of 'The Sopranos', leaves us with an image of Don Draper that seems to tell us that this character has been met with as much success as he's had failures, but he has finally found his place in the world, and who he really is, which is followed by one of the most famous ads to ever come out. There have been a ton of theories on how fans and critics should interpret this, but I'm guessing that the true fans of the show know the true outcome, which is a good one.
It was a perfect send off for this character as Don was always mysterious to us, and still remains a mystery in those final moments in the commune on the mountain, but it was in those final moments where we finally see the real Don Draper. As for the rest of the excellent cast of characters who we have followed through the years, we get to see them push forward in their lives with a slight amount of joy and goodness, which if any of you have seen the show, was not always the case.
I'm not saying that a big pretty red bow is placed on top of every story line, but there is a sense and feeling that almost everyone and every thing will be okay, even if certain characters are just simply moving on to something new, with the exception of Betty Draper, who seemed to take a hit for the team. These final seven episodes of one of the greatest shows ever created, reminds us of that fact, pure and simple.
'Mad Men' is one of the best television shows to ever be released. It's attention to period details, the amazing characters, the writing, the music, the whiskey, the cigarettes, all of the retro set pieces, truly showed what a milestone in television 'Mad Men' is. These final seven episodes are not to be missed.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Mad Men – The Final Season: Part II' comes from Lionsgate with two 50GB Blu-ray Discs and a digital copy of every episode. The episodes are split up on both discs with the bulk of the extras on the second disc. These discs are housed in a blue plastic case with an insert of the digital copy as well as a second insert that tells us about each episode. This is all incased in a cardboard sleeve.
'Mad Men: The Final Season Part II' comes with an excellent 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. If you've seen the previous seasons, then you know just how great this video presentations look, and this one is no different. Detail is very sharp and vivid throughout with excellent closeups that showcase the amazing textures in that 60s/70s clothing and furniture.
Every stitch and and imperfection can be seen clearly. Closeups reveal every individual hair, bead of sweat, and fancy makeup blemish nicely. Wider shots also look excellent too, as the image never goes soft. Colors are bold and bright, simply popping off screen with vast array of those iconic 60s/70's color schemes. It's really a joy to watch whether the characters are in an interior office setting or outside by the beach. It's simply marvelous.
Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. There was some very minor instances of a yellow hue here and there, but it's nothing to write home about, leaving the rest of the video presentation issue free and with excellent marks.
This release come with a wonderful lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. Don't expect an action packed soundscape with tons of explosions or gunshots here, as of course, this isn't that type of show. That being said, the surround speakers do a get a decent workout with some great sound effects and ambient noises, mostly being Manhattan city noises and busy office sounds, which fully immerses you in the time period and office setting.
It's quite a treat. Each sound effect and noise is well balanced and layered with some excellent directionality. The score and music of the show is sweeping and always adds to each dramatic moment. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and high shrills. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is very wide, leaving this audio presentation with top marks.
Audio Commentaries - There are seven audio commentaries, all with Matthew Weiner and another cast or crew member, including Jon Hamm. All of these commentaries are a must-listen if you're a fan of the show. Weiner and crew discuss most of the information, ranging from the characters, to the storylines, to bringing the show to a close. It's fantastic.
Generation Boom: Baby Boomers (HD, 26 Mins.) - This feature discusses the style and life of the baby boomer generation.
Earth Day 1970 (HD, 3 Mins.) - This focuses on the start of the movement that wanted to make the planet better, ecologically.
Unmarried Professional Woman (HD, 30 Mins.) - This focuses on all of the major female characters of the show and what life was really like for females back in this time period.
Laurel Canyon (HD, 3 Mins.) - Things are focused on the hippie movement and certain place in California, where some of the show took place this season.
Advertising Timeline (HD) - A chart that shows most of the cool ads from the 60s and 70s as well as its history.
The final seven episodes of 'Mad Men' offered the perfect send-off to one of the greatest television shows that ever aired. The video and audio presentations are both excellent, and the extras are amazing. This is a Must-Own!
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.