Review: Mad Men Season 3 DVD

STUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTORS: various | STARS: Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Vincent Cartheiser, Christina Hendricks
RELEASE DATE: 3/23/2010 | PRICE: DVD $49.98, Blu-ray $49.99
BONUSES: commentaries, featurettes
SPECS: NR | 611 min. | Television drama | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Season Three of one of television’s most provocative, creative and well-structured series arrives on DVD and Blu-ray a month before the premiere of it’s fourth season, which gives its dedicated followers just enough time to dissect and debate the cycle’s merits and misfires. Should Don (Jon Hamm, pictured) have gotten involved with his child’s teacher? Does Joan (Christina Hendricks, pictured) really feel such devotion to her failed surgeon husband? Did that British exec really get his foot mutilated by a runaway John Deere lawnmower that was commandeered by a drunken secretary? As the third season cycle ended a couple of months back, now is time to ponder these questions and others for a little while longer.

The Season Three set is brimming with a healthy complement of engaging supplements led by full-length commentary tracks on all 13 episodes (as was the case with its predecessors), featuring creator Matthew Weiner and other members of the production team and cast. (There are even two separate commentary tracks on half of the installments.)

Other supplements include a pair of documentaries: one that explores the life and legacy of slain civil Rights activist Medgar Evers (whose role in the Sixties plays a significant part of the third season’s narrative) and another that offers a fascinating glimpse at the history of cigarette advertising. (From this 45-minute piece, I learned that Marlboro cigarettes were originally targeted towards women when they were first introduced in the 1920s).

Most fun is the 15-minute-long Mad Men Illustrated featurette, which focuses on the dryly offbeat artist Dyna Moe, whose stylized illustrations inspired by her favorite TV show have become quite an online sensation. “Now I have to do a good job because people are looking at them,” she quips during an interview. Check out her colorful work at www.nobodyssweetheart.com.

Okay, one substantial dish: On multi-disc, multi-supplement sets, can studios please label which supplement is on which disc!?!?

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.