From the sedulous to the surreal in cultural context

Museum Piece: Mad Men on MoS, 2015

Note: This is the first installment of our MoS Best of 2015 

 

“I took another man’s name and made nothing with it.”  After hanging up on Peggy, Don Draper seemed destined for suicide.  Fans of television’s greatest series, ever curious about its end and Don’s fate, sensed his imminent doom. They were mistaken.  In the final two scenes of the series, Draper shocked us not with self-destruction, but silence.  Mute but deeply emotional, Don hugged a stranger at a talk therapy session.  We leave him serene at last, meditative, poised in yoga, achieving the closest thing he can to self-awareness: the “Hilltop ad” for Coca-Cola.

 

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There is far more to describe, analyze and savor than one blog can do with Matt Weiner’s masterpiece, which has been consigned to the museums.  However, in 2015 LG offered three takes on Season 7 and its predecessors.  If you missed these or you’ve had a long year and cannot recall much (as Don told Peggy, “a lot has happened”), read them now:

 

Mad Men’s Ken Cosgrove: A New Biography

The Two Flavors of Mad Men

Don Draper Lands in the ATL 

 

Then, grab the DVDs for the two halves of Season 7 (the first half, which aired on AMC in the spring of 2014 and which ends with the delightful Bert Cooper hallucination, and the second, from this spring).  Notice that, for all the just criticism of the final season (especially the second half), when viewed together the last episodes of the show hold together pretty well.

Give it a go.  You know you want to.

 

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