Mad Men: The Final Season Part 1 (Blu-ray Review)

mad men final season whysobluSo the end is coming.  Mad Men has been a huge success in its many years on the air, but the show is finally coming to a close via a seventh season that has been split into halves.  At this point, I can only imagine that people are either with this series or not, regardless of the massive acclaim it has received over the years.  I say that, because Mad Men has a unique style and handle on how it proceeds, so I personally continue to be happy with how the series plays out, especially given how much enjoyment I get from seeing the journey of these characters.  With that in mind, series creator Matthew Weiner has certainly gotten enough in order to provide a very satisfying half of a season, with some terrific episodes and enough movement of the pieces to bring us to true closure, once the series comes to an end next year.  For now, we can enjoy the Blu-ray for part one of the final season.


don with hat

[Note: very mild show spoilers] This season picks up a few months after the end of the last.  As always, we had lots of speculation between seasons as to where everyone would be, but Mad Men has made it fairly simple.  Don Draper (Jon Hamm) was basically fired (though everyone at the office had different opinions about that) and the company of SC&P moved on.  Of course, this is a show mostly about Don Draper, so the season hinges on what he can do in his return to the company that, in this form, he helped put together.  That will not be met with nothing but smiles though, as everyone has something to say about the man that did cause quite a bit of commotion, before the talks of his removal began.

This Blu-ray set contains all 7 episodes of the first part of the final season:

  1. Time Zones
  2. A Day’s Work
  3. Field Trip
  4. The Monolith
  5. The Runaways
  6. The Strategy
  7. Waterloo


I should note right away that I have written in depth about each of these episodes separately over at TheYoungFolks.com, were anyone willing to read a lot more about what I have to say in regards to this half season.  Mad Men can be a challenging show to really tackle in-depth, which made it an interesting writing experience, when it came to going into detail on each week’s new episode on a rather quick basis.  That said, there are some things I could add, in regards to this season as a whole.

Basically, Mad Men continues to be as compelling and as complex as ever.  While I think the show is simple enough to follow in terms of simply watching it, watching the characters speak to one another, and seeing various steps being taken, there is so much that goes into each episode. Each episode has a plot, a level of drama, as well as humor, but then one can also continue to delve into thematic understanding of the episode, what is going on within the minds of each character, and even the visual wonder that is achieved, along with certain audio choices.

pegg and shirley

Putting aside the idea that there is plenty going on thematically and from an introspective sense, without actually delving into that deeper (that’s why I linked to my individual episode reviews), one of the best things to understand is that Mad Men is a well-oiled machine.  Assuming one is a fan of the series, they can clearly appreciate the effort being put into every episode both from a technical and writing standpoint, along with an acting standpoint.  Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and the rest of the actors are doing consistently amazing work.  Even in some of the weaker episodes (y’know, the few B+’s as opposed to A-‘s and higher), the writing is always interesting and the show always looks great.  I may be coming at this series from a place of respect, but I do not feel Mad Men has wronged me.

I am incredibly excited to see how this series ends next year.  For now, I am happy to have been able to revisit the first half of the final season.  It is very good, given that it is somewhat incomplete, but I hardly see that as a fault, given how this came down to a business decision and not due to creative issues with the series.  What I did get was a confident series doing everything it can to hold up its quality, which resulted in at least one series best episode and a lot of great work from all involved.  It may be the beginning of the end, but I really love watching it.



Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: I am always happy to see these AMC series on Blu-ray, as you really get to understand how great the look of these shows (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, etc.) really do look in true HD and not just the broadcast level of HD.  The detail level is wonderful here, as you get to see all of the fantastic production and costume design that goes into this series.  All of this comes across very clear and very well-represented.

Depth: Solid work here, as you get a nice level of perspective, given the different offices and locations seen throughout.

Black Levels: Blacks are solid in a show that features some nice shadowy work, given the opportunity.

Color Reproduction: I love seeing the colors on this series, as the time reflects how everyone dresses, even if the mood does not suggest so much pop at all times.  Regardless, the colors are great here.

Flesh Tones: Detail is solid on everyone’s facial features.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing of note.




Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: Lots of great work is done in producing this series, but it is great to hear so much detail in a series that is conversation heavy, but still full of sound effects, ambient noises, audio tracks and more.

Low Frequency Extension: You get a nice push in this area, when the time calls for it.

Surround Sound Presentation: The channels are all balanced quite well to provide for a solid surround experience, given the nature of this series.

Dialogue Reproduction: Everyone is loud and clear.




Well, word must have gotten out to AMC as to how disappointing it was to not have any commentaries on the season 6 Blu-ray set, because they are back for every episode, along with some interesting historical pieces related to the times.  That said, the commentaries are not listed on the Blu-ray box, which is a bit strange, but should be noted, so fans know they are getting what they want, as far as extra content.

Features Include:

  • Audio Commentaries ­– Each episode features an audio commentary featuring series creator Matthew Weiner and the writers/directors for the episode being discussed.  No cast members, which is unfortunate, but still very enjoyable to listen to.
  • Gay Rights (HD, 23:47) – An interesting piece that goes into some personal stories from gay rights activists of the 60s, speaking about the times and change.
  • Gay Power (HD, 21:44) – A companion piece to Gay Rights, going over the movement that took place.
  • The Trial of the Chicago Eight: Parts One and Two (HD, 17:26 and 36:10) – A great look at the social unrest that came from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.
  • The Best Things in Life are Free (HD, 7:51) – Given the admiration I have for Morse’s presence in this series and in the last episode of this season, “Waterloo,” I was quite pleased with this tribute piece.
  • Technology: 1969 (HD) – An image gallery surrounding the tech from the time.
  • UltraViolet Copy of the Series


bert 2

It may just be half of a season and there may be an inevitable giant Mad Men Blu-ray package on the way, once the series ends next year, but this is still a solid Blu-ray package for those collecting them individually.  Packed with commentaries and interesting features, there is a lot to take away, aside from just this batch of episodes from the acclaimed series.  Mad Men continues to be a strong series that is giving up very little in its final stretches and I am happy to keep going along with it.

Order Your Copy Here:

mad men final season whysoblu


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

2 Responses to “Mad Men: The Final Season Part 1 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Monica

    Man men is coming to its final season. For those who has followed it from the very beginning, will you go on to watch the blu-ray version by Aurora blu-ray player? Enjoy it at your home with your family is great. Moreover, the blu-ray version can treasure your best memory forever.

  2. Brian White

    ^ Monica really wants to sell you on an Aurora Blu-ray player. ^