Discuss Mad Men

Am I the only one who thinks that the show ended badly?!

The last season and the last episode were particularly bad... the peggy storyline, don's breakdown and immidiate recovery through group therapy... it was all so bad... everything tied up nicely in a bow, with each character in a perminant place...

Hard to believe its the same show as the first three seasons... it nosedived at season four and never realky recovered...

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The entire series was artsy, symbolic, allegorical...it melded some historicity into a fictitious tapestry with flair, grit, glamour and depravity. It was back when America was great...and its facade was fading away in the grim realities of a new global politic and an inward looking critical eye.

As such, the last episode was poetic, for me.

Don's "breakdown" was a stripping away of all the facade of the past that he'd hid behind, allowing him to dig down and capture an idea that defined a generation, that connected with people, especially people who did not look like him (women, minorities, marginalized...). And, on the way to this place, Anna Draper's niece essentially cut him out of her life, severing his obligation to the legacy of the name he took that gave him a new life...again, a rebirth, albeit a bittersweet, painful one. Hiding that truth was a part of the meaning of his life, it justified the act, the facade...losing that left him adrift...yet, free. The order of the good old days itself had given way to the freedom of the hippie movement, and navigating a world of freedom is a scary thing when orders and discipline are all one knows - why do military veterans re-enlist? Why do ex-cons commit crimes and deliberately get caught? Because the order of prison or service can be more secure, more comforting, for them, than the openness of freedom and its burden of decision-making.

Betty did not have a permanent ending, nor did it tie up nicely in a bow. Of all the people in the show, for her to be the one to have terminal cancer seemed cruelly random, which is what it is.

Joan wanted a seat at the table of mad men. She got it...and promptly started making the kinds of decisions we criticized the mad men for making throughout the series. It's bittersweet here. She, as a woman, simply wanted the access, the right to be in a position to make those decisions, and she got it. In a way, it almost vindicates our disdain for the lifestyles of the mad men, for indeed, power corrupts and here, in similar circumstances, Joan is as much caught up in the game as they were. And it's true - too often, the great sea change society hoped to win through suffrage and enfranchisement peters out as people get a taste of the good life and forget why they marched.

Roger? He "settled down" with Don's ex-wife's mother. Estranged from his daughter, no longer at the company that had his name on the wall...he's now put to pasture to die. How long will that marriage even last?

I'll quit here. Suffice to say, I was satisfied with the ending. I'm glad they did not follow rumours and try to make the series the backstory to the mystery man "D. B. Cooper" or anything trite like that.

i dunno... i would have thought a darker ending would have been more apt.. something with Don falling from a sky scraper perhaps... or leaving it much more open ended and ambigious, so we dont know what ultimately happens to Don, similarly with some of the other characters... by sacrificing the audiemces need for closure, they could have made man men timeless as people would always speculate anout the ending...

but it was never going to go there from the 4th season onwards, it became a different show...

@Renovatio said:

i dunno... i would have thought a darker ending would have been more apt.. something with Don falling from a sky scraper perhaps... or leaving it much more open ended and ambigious, so we dont know what ultimately happens to Don, similarly with some of the other characters... by sacrificing the audiemces need for closure, they could have made man men timeless as people would always speculate anout the ending...

but it was never going to go there from the 4th season onwards, it became a different show...

I hear you there! But, I absolutely maintain that the falling from a skyscraper was never going to happen. Too literal. Again, the show was nuance, it was allegory, symbol, too layered and cerebral, the falling man in the credits is more than just Don, it was the era of - smoking everywhere and drinking in the office kids playing with plastic bags and littering and men, in an elevator making lewd jokes huddled around the lone woman in their midst, or smacking them on the ass while saying "get me a coffee"...

I was not crazy about Don's breakdown. His professional life seemed to be the only one that was good. he was a crappy husband who deserved better but his second wife was jerk and I am back and forth whether he deserved her or not. I was happy when he got his mojo back and came up with a good ad.

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