Happy Mad Men

Posted: May 24, 2015 in TV, Uncategorized

Everywhere you look there are reviews of the Mad Men series finale. So, one more cant hurt eh.

Read an interesting comment the other day that the series finale episode does not have to be the best episode because it has a specific purpose. Often the penultimate episode is a cracker ( see Breaking Bad) , after which the finale can disappoint, if somewhat unfairly. We really dont want a great series like MM to end so we project some of that disappointment onto our reviews of the episode. Generally, the world wide webby mob seem happy with this finale – but then shows like Reno Rumble rate well too. It was not a bad episode by any means but for a drama series I was hoping for something a bit more definitive with a little gut wrench – this was not Friends after all . Weiner had been exposed to some of the negative vibe from the ambiguous Sopranos finale so was always going to be a bit wary to leave us all hanging. Perhaps best way to review is to look at the various outcomes of the characters. SPOILER ALERT – HAPPY TIMES AHEAD!

Don – the central character was basically a charming and talented asshole. This is why we like him, we associate with him. The general consensus, which I agree with , is that Donny Boy sung a few verses of kumbaya, shagged a few more hippies, and then went back to NYC and created the famous Coke ad we see at the end. Seems to me he got off rather lightly while the two main women in his life got the raw deal – Betty and Sally. Good message, MW. Maybe the most amazing aspect of Don’s last journey was just how many sets of clothes he could fit into his paper bag carryall -amazing!The opening montage of every episode showed Dons fall and even a woman at first appearing to break his fall – and then kicking him? It never was going to be a drop from the 19th floor sadly – but then one could say even though his life stocks fell at times he certainly ended on a high. Nice misdirection, MW. Ya goose

Peggy While it was Don’s story, the strength of the show lay more in Peggy’s rise in the male dominated world. In the second last episode we had that marvellous vision of her walking down the halls of McCann Ericson with sunglasses on, a fag dangling and hauling some porn. This was the perfect ending for her – instead we got the Mills and Boon version where she acted like a 16 yr old about to be kissed for the first time by the hairy one an episode later. Weak ending for a strong character

Roger Always had the best lines ,even in the finale “Well she is her Mother’s age”. Once again his perfect swansong was an episode earlier drinking and playing piano. A slight stutter, a grab of the chest and a collapse on the keys – perfect. Instead he ends up eating french tarts with a french tart – and an old one too. Boring ending for a never boring character

Joan A strong last couple of episodes and maybe she makes a success of her solo adventure but she really got screwed over so many times. Sexism at work and home which of course reflected the times sadly. She remained strong and defiant which would make her the one you want to be in that lifeboat with. Especially when she comes with two extra flotation devices (Note :sexist remark only used in keeping with theme of her character)

Betty/Sally Throw them in together as usually entwined especially in the end. Betty is going to die from lung cancer (yes there is family history)- while every male smoker survives. Sally then is drawn into spending some of her best months/years looking after her and the kids.Another odd choice for character story when everyone else was singing and dancing their way through the Seventies

Pete Last of the major characters and amazingly really did get it all. Went back to watch first episode again just before finale only to be reminded of what a weasel he always was. Yet, at the end he gets his wife back and a great new job. Got me beat

So, given my general distaste for the character end stories if is fair to say the finale disappointed me – and I appear to be in the vast minority here but that is not surprising of course. The show itself though remains a Top 5 of all time effort for me that also has rewatch value if time permits. At many times it was clearly the best thing on TV

Last Sunday Night (or Monday 1500 hrs for the pedantics) it was not.

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