As I’ve gotten older my taste in T.V. has changed, slightly. There are those shows that I can flip on and watch no matter how many times I’ve seen them. Thanks to the magic of Netflix, I can stream that ’60s goodness called Mad Men anytime I want. But now that the show has ended, my Sunday nights will never be the same.
I didn’t grow up during the ’60s or ’70s so a lot of what Mad Men presented as realities during those time periods were shocking, unexpected, and intriguing. To me, the show was an examination of how humanity deals with the pressures of life by marketing a more comfortable lifestyle to itself through products that are needed, and aren’t. Dick Whitman (aka Don Draper) was of the belief that the public had to be convinced that “no matter what you do, everything’s ok, you’re ok.” In many ways that saying was Don’s ideology as he continued down a path of self-destruction in his personal life, and at times, his professional one.
Too many times I have looked for messages to be in the show that were never there. Mad Men was about the twists and turns of life, no more, no less. Most of the time, the stories revolved around our flaws as humans, and as a society.
As much as the show was about Don, it was about Peggy. It was eye-opening to see how difficult it was for women to succeed professionally. They were looked at as sex objects, mothers, etc. instead of productive members of the work force. Women were suppose to be at home while men were suppose to be at work earning the bread. All too often, we watched our favorite characters sacrifice their personal lives in order to have professional success.
When the show first started I loved to hate Pete Campbell, but for some odd reason, as the seasons rolled on I developed a fondness for him. I can’t quite figure it out but Matthew Weiner, creator/writer, found a way to make me like extremely flawed characters. And in the end, their flaws never caught up with them. Pete found redemption, Peggy found love, Joan found success, and Don continued to be Don – a destructive force that somehow lands on his feet.
I was disappointed by how Betty’s ending was handled. Poor naive, innocent, and beautiful Betty. Her dreadful end was, in my humble opinion, a jump-the-shark moment of the show. And to a degree, so was Peggy finding love.
Although the last half of the season felt a bit rushed and directionless, the series as a whole was some amazing TV. If you haven’t watched it yet, check it out because the ending of the show was perfect, exactly how it should have ended. Anything else would have felt contrived.
Consume. Review. Repeat. gives the Mad Men Finale a eight out of ten Lucky Strike packs of cigarettes.