Mad Men: Season 2

Rated 4.0

Once the lone national showcase for cinema classics, AMC has for years been dominated by the likes of Dragonheart, Jumanji and various entries in the Highlander series. It wouldn’t take much for an original show to become the crown jewel of such a network, but the award-winning Mad Men is one of television’s best. Jumping ahead a couple of years from the end of season one, the second season dials down the soap-opera theatrics while turning up the existential ennui, following mercurial, hard-drinking adman Don Draper, his repressed wife Betty and damaged copywriter Peggy in their fruitless quests for fulfillment. The show still relies too heavily on nostalgia, and the acting is uneven, but the pencil-skirt-clad form of redhead secretary Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) smoothes over any flaws.