MAD MEN: SEASON SIX is now available on a four disc collection and new turmoil have bubbled up for the cast to handle–adultery, failing marriages, crumbling families, and conflicts in the workplace are happening in the midst of the political and societal upheaval. There is a noticeable change in aesthetics and atmosphere during this season to fit the conditions unfolding around the characters and what is occurring in their personal lives. This season continues the plot shift that began in the fifth season. It is never any wonder why the series remains popular in its demographic.
The series returns with even more drama and disintegration in season six. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the cast faces not only the turmoil of the outside world but their own personal environments continue to fall apart. Business at Sterling Cooper Draper Price hits a few rough patches as the company merges with another. The men of the office–including Don (Jon Hamm)–are on a steady psychological decline while Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan (Christiana Hendricks) continue to rise in the ranks. Power dynamics are changing along with the world in this season of the show.
The effects of the political world are very present in season six, and the toll it takes on the cast is evident. Even the physical settings within this season seem more grim than season five. Don begins todrift away from his flirtatious, dominant playboy persona and somehow seems more authentic as hisfragile humanness emerges. The opening episode begins in Hawaii with Don and Megan (Jessica Pare) on vacation and was a perfectly deceiving way to open this season and allows everything else to unfold.
Peggy and the other female characters seem to be doing better for themselves overall than their male counterparts, with the exception being Megan. She is unaware that Don is cheating on her and is without her soap opera job. It is uncertain at this point if their marriage will continue. Office politics and drug use begin to appear within the newly merged company; everyone wants a bigger piece of the pie and Don’s distant phase are not good for business. On the plus side, the character wardrobe continues to improve, and the sets are growing in their beauty (the scene within Roger Sterling’s mother’s home for her funeral is particularly grand). Prepare yourself for a shocker of a follow-up to this season! What will become of Don?
I guess we will have to wait until Mad Men: Season 7 (2014) for the answers.
Season Six of MAD MEN Special Features Include:
♦ Recreating an Era
♦ Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
♦ Summer of Love (Interactive Gallery)
Recreating an Era is an insightful look into how the show manages to recapture the feel and look of the 1960s through the set designs and furniture. A lot of consideration is taken into what sort of appliances and other housewares must be on hand to give the show its authentic appearance. The featurette also shows the development of the sets to reflect the passage of time and changing trends of that era. Turn On, Tune in, Drop Out is another lengthy piece on Timothy Leary, a scientist who thoroughly researched psychedelics in the 1960s and helped to influence the drug culture of the time. The name of the segment comes from one of Leary’s popular quotes. Summer of Love is a slideshow gallery of photos taken during the famous converging of hippies and other free thinkers in San Francisco. As a side note, it should be mentioned the packaging of season six is amazing. The front sleeve of the DVD is like that of an art canvas complete with the texture. On the inside of the 4-disc package are stunning photographs of some of the cast members, beautiful black and white photographs on each disc, and the continuation of the painting featured on the sleeve for the background.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.