The Clock Stops Here...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mad Men: The End of the Era

Peggy takes no prisoners--at last
Elizabeth Moss at her finest

I appreciate a timely ending...Kudos to Matt Weiner and his team for not overstaying their welcome and much more of course. Still, my heart is a bit heavy that the Mad Men journey is truly over.

For those of us devoted viewers, who have invested 8+ years in this phenomenal series, the rewards have been rich.  The arc of each key cast members story, (ahhhh Peggy!), has taken us through the Kennedy and MLK assassinations, the Black Out of '65, Vietnam, the Moonwalk and scads of sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Booze and cigarettes, are so ingrained in the series, they should have been listed in the cast credits each week.

It was inevitable, that either the lungs or the liver, would ring the death knell, for one of the main characters. Bets ran high for Don or Roger.  I don't know anyone, myself included, or took bets on Bets.  The minute she tripped up those steps, I knew she was a goner. Heartbreaking...

Sally and Betty, cigarette ever in hand,  (even up to the end!) precursor to her advanced lung cancer

A particular joy, has been watching Kiernan Shipka grow up before our eyes, as Sally Draper. As the progeny of Betty and Don Draper, she has borne witness to her parents flaws, excesses and debauchery, first hand.

Not surprisingly, she is cynical, brutally direct and mature, beyond her years.  It will serve her well, as she now has to face Betty's untimely death.  Betty was always remote.  Soon she will be a ghost.  Tragically, Sally, still a teen, will have to bear all the burdens of being a motherless daughter.  I imagine her re-reading Betty's final instructions throughout her lifetime, looking for little clues to help her grasp strands of the woman her mother was.  Heartbreaking....

Don Draper--heading West

So, how will it all end?  Over the last two years of Don, shedding his persona like a snake. Like all of us, Don seeks peace and contentment.  Material wealth has never defined him. His life, as the mythical creation, 'Genius Ad Man, Don Draper' is a farce he no longer wants to perpetuate.

Don loves to work and he loves California.  I've long envisioned him leaving everything behind and opening Dick's Auto Body out West. Don has been a fairly deplorable father, but he does love his children. With Betty gone and Henry, her second husband hapless, Don will pack up the Draper kids and move them all to California...but no, it won't be Beverly....Dick seeks a simpler life and he will finally have it.

Whether the series ends this way or not, is beside the point...I think we fans, owe a huge debt of gratitude to every person who contributed to this show; the writers, actors, directors, producers, editors, sound, set and costume designers and crew, for this labor of love.

I believe it to be, along with the Soprano's (where Weiner served as both an writer and producer in season 5 and 6), to be one of the finest dramas ever broadcast.  Just the fact that people think about this show so much, as I do, speaks volumes about the quality of the work.

I'm thankful that Weiner seems to be giving us some closure.  I've always envisioned Pete and Trudy reconciling, they are ideally suited.  It was gratifying to see them pledge to forge their lives anew.  He probably won't spell it out for us with everyone, but it's fun imagining what the future holds.

My thanks as well to Deborah and Roberta Lipp, whose fantastic website, Lippsisters has brought years of enlightenment to me about Mad Men, through their probing commentary and analysis.  We, the peanut gallery of devoted commenter's, respectfully opine our thoughts each week.  The Lipp's have also been privy to some fascinating interviews with Weiner and cast, generously sharing them with us. They do review other series and promise to keep the spirit of MM alive. I so appreciate how much their site has added to my enjoyment of this show.

If you are still reading this, you are probably a fans as well. AMC has been streaming a Mad Men marathon since Wednesday, premiere to finale.  I've caught as many as time as allowed, but plan to start from season one, courtesy of Netflix, this summer.  Any predictions you would like to share???

So, at last, we bid Mad Men adieu.  What a long, strange trip it's been...and I've enjoyed every minute of it....


P.S.  I for one am thrilled that Breaking Bad is finally over. Now maybe Jon Hamm will win his well earned Emmy Award.  His work on MM, season after season has been a triumph. Jon/Don, your up!

P.P.S. Well, with the opening shot, I thought, "damn, I nailed it!", but it was not to be.  Instead, we got a glimpse into a happier future for most of our favorite protagonists and a huge box of ribboned candy from Matt Weiner, with a truly, glorious, deeply satisfying series ending for Don and Mad Men. I'm still smiling...

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...