LIST PRICE. $50 list price for DVD/BD, out today from Lionsgate.
WHY YOU SHOULD BUY. You can just tell when a show is made with care. You can see it on air. And now you can confirm it on DVD.
"Mad Men" is one of those shows. AMC's episodes luxuriate in exuding the early '60s atmosphere in which ad man Don Draper's tale of deception, both personal and professional, continues to snake along. The sleek sets, the push-up bras, the booze and cigarettes - you can practically smell and taste it all.
And on disc, you can understand it all. Today's Season 3 release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc (priced exactly the same, thank you, Lionsgate) boasts even more of the juicy extras with which series creator Matthew Weiner took us deeper inside his retro universe in the first two season sets.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT "Mad Men" is evolving from its bachelor-pad time frame toward 1963's nation-changing assassination of President Kennedy and the specter of Vietnam. Draper's hotshot Manhattan firm faces both a changing American culture and a British corporate takeover. At home in the 'burbs, his neglected wife Betty becomes yet more detached from her "perfect" family life with a slick husband whose fake name is just the tip of his iceberg of illusion.
As the payoffs of conformity dwindle, characters feel poised to explode out of their cultural straitjackets. The '60s of repression are about to become The Sixties of upheaval. So it's no surprise this often dour series becomes livelier in tone, with more dry wit, some black humor and a season-ending swerve into subversion.
EXTRAS. Most of the bonus features aim to place "Mad Men" in the context of America 50 years ago. Along with the 45-minute documentary "Clearing the Air: The History of Cigarette Advertising," there are two extras illuminating civil rights - the 70-minute activism portrait "Medgar Evers: An Unsung Hero" and the audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington speech ("I have a dream").
Weiner, cast and crew offer informative commentaries on all 13 episodes. And the "Mad Men Illustrated" featurette visits with funky Web site illustrator Dyna Moe.
Exclusive to Blu-ray is the interactive Flashback 1963 photo gallery. It's a trivia time-trip of stills and text in 13 categories.
THE T.A.M.I. SHOW
Program: Celebrated 1964 rock concert (shot in that era's "high def" video and transferred to film) has finally been officially released for the first time, uncut, widescreen and crisp-looking. Over two hours, its on-fire lineup justifies the legend - rock/r&b pioneers Chuck Berry and James Brown; The Rolling Stones; Motown's Supremes, Miracles and Marvin Gaye; Lesley Gore and more, hosted by beach-sound duo Jan & Dean. Most important, the long-removed Beach Boys set with Brian Wilson has been restored. All that youthful energy is smartly captured in black-and-white by director Steve Binder, who also nailed Elvis' 1968 "comeback" special. (Look among choreographer David Winters' background dancers for Teri Garr and Toni Basil.)
Extras: Binder's running commentary details the show's talent and technical challenges; plus original trailer, fact-packed 20-page booklet.
List price: $20, out today from Shout.
THE PRISONER. AMC's recent "re-imagined" miniseries stars Jim Caviezel as a modern No. 6 and Ian McKellen as a nuanced No. 2 (with a wife and son), plus commentary, making-of, deleted scenes, more; $30, Warner.