Follow us on

Featured TV on DVD Review: Mad Men: Season Seven, Part Two

October 25th, 2015

Mad Men: Season Seven, Part Two - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Mad Men: Season Seven, Part Two

I got a chance to review the last Mad Men release as the Complete Series Megaset came out the same week as the DVD and Blu-ray for Season Seven, Part Two. I requested the Megaset, but I got the final two-disc release. I hate reviewing partial seasons, especially when it is the second half of a season where I didn't review the first half. These tend to be nothing but spoilers, making it nearly impossible to review. Is that this case here? Yes. So we can't get into details, as we hit spoilers right away. Fortunately, this is the end of the series, so details are less important than seeing what happens to the characters and if their arcs had satisfying conclusions. Is that the case?

The Show

Before I get to this show, I want to talk about some previous series finales I've seen and the pitfalls one must avoid. For instance, Nurse Jackie series finale reversed a lot of character growth that we had seen previously. (Although that was a common occurrence in that show.) The same happened in How I Met Your Mother. Dexter's finale was forced upon them by the network, who didn't want Dexter to die. There are a lot of ways to screw up the end of a series. Does Mad Men fall for these? For the most part, no.

Most of the characters got arcs that made sense to the story as a whole. There were a couple of characters whose stories didn't conclude how I personally wanted, but none of that stood out as contradicting what we've learned about them over the past seven years. For instance, I really wanted Joan and Peggy to work together, but the way their stories ended on the show felt natural and satisfying. Some characters didn't change as much as others, but again, this felt natural. Not everyone grows. Harry Crane doesn't grow.

The show ends on a really high note. Everything about it is top-notch from the writing, to the directing, to the acting. ... Except for those mustaches. Oh my god, did people in the 1970s really have mustaches like Roger Sterling had?

The Extras

Extras include audio commentary tracks on all seven episodes, as well as two featurettes, one on the Baby Boomers and the other on the first Earth Day. There are three featurettes on the second disc, including one on single professional women and looks at the parallels between this show and the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Laurel Canyon is a three-minute look at the counter-culture capital of California. Finally, there's an interactive advertising time line. Had there been two less featurettes and audio commentary tracks on only half the episodes, it would have still been a major selling point.

The technical presentation is amazing, for a TV on DVD release. The level of details is very high and the colors are vivid. The shadows are inky black and never swallow details. There are also no digital artifacts or compression issues. On the other hand, it's not visually flashy either. Likewise, there are not a lot of dynamic effects on the audio track, but the dialog is clear and the surround sound speakers do have enough activity. Excellent for TV on DVD, but not good enough to show off your surround sound speakers.

The Blu-ray is $26, which is $6 or 30% more than the DVD.

The Verdict

Mad Men: Season Seven, Part Two is obviously worth owning. My only question is whether or not to recommend this Blu-ray, or to recommend skipping this and just buying the Complete Series Megaset. I guess that depends on how many of the previous releases you already have on Blu-ray.

Filed under: Video Review, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, Rich Sommer