Good news dropped today for folks who love AMC’s long-running drama Mad Men. Lionsgate Home Entertainment announced earlier today that the drama’s final season will be headed to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, soon. Since the second half of the seventh season doesn’t hit the schedule until the spring of 2015, the release announcement might seem a bit premature. But that’s where the bad news comes in. Lionsgate is releasing Mad Men: The Final Season – Part 1 on October 21, 2014.
It’s the last little part of the title that’s the issue. AMC pulled a similar trick with the Breaking Bad final season set, although Lionsgate doesn’t seem to be making the same mistake Sony did. At the time of the Breaking Bad announcement, Sony labeled the first half of the season as Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season, labeling the second half of the last season as “5.5.” That concept was confusing to anyone looking to purchase the set who wasn’t in the know about the split season, and I’m glad that Lionsgate is clearing up any sort of confusion with the title on this one. The real question is: Why would anyone even bother to put together a half-season set?
The answer is money, with the hope that not too many people will get offended. People often purchase TV digitally, now, and it’s much easier to buy the first half of the season and the second half of the season separately, plus it means more money for the studios. Secondly, in Breaking Bad’s case, a slew of brand new viewers got on board and caught up with the series before the second half of the final season premiered, meaning that clearly, making the first half of the final season readily available worked as a marketing tactic. I’m not sure if it’s a marketing tactic that will work with Mad Men, but there you have it.
With new viewers and digital purchasers covered, the only people Lionsgate has to worry about are Blu-ray and DVD purchasers, who, let’s face it, constitute only a small percentage of the market. So, while it’s annoying to have that extra DVD box on the shelf, there’s not much we can do but whine about the fact that the season will be split and to make sure our idiot friends don’t think the whole season is available within the one set. Here's the box art for those who are still fans of hard copies.
On the bright side, Lionsgate has put together a really nice set for fans who are wanting in-depth information about the series. Those who enjoy delving into audio commentaries will find one for each of the episodes on the disc, and plenty of other featurettes and other extras also abound. The list price for both the Blu-ray and DVD sets aren’t exactly on the high end, and Amazon already has a pretty good deal in place for those who want to pre-order. So, if you do want to revisit the episodes before Don Draper gives his final bow, it certainly won’t cost an arm and a leg. And while you are still thinking about it, why don’t you check out the full list of bonus features, below.
Mad Men Blu-ray and DVD Extras