Mad Men

I should be watching the series finale of Mad Men tonight, but Allan is off in California for work.  So I’ll just wait.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a Don Draper.  Oh yeah…there’s gonna be spoilers, so spoiler alert.  But even so, I don’t think they’d be big enough to take away from watching the show.  What I’m saying is, if you haven’t watched Mad Men, I’d recommend it.  Even though it is ending.  Tonight.

So yeah, let’s hope Allan doesn’t pull a Don Draper.  As in randomly hook up with a hippie/teacher/waitress/neighbor.  Or lead a double life.  I don’t think he will, but crazy things happen in California.  And Manhattan.  And upstate New York.  Just ask Dick Whitman.

Mad Men is dialogue driven.  While it can feel like nothing happens, (especially if you watch seasons from next week which hilariously tell you literally nothing) a lot does.  It can leave several months and even years between episodes and that’s okay. Mad Men found a way to weave in major historical events like MLK, Vietnam, JFK, and the lunar landing.  Seven seasons spanning the time from the late 50’s to the early 70’s. It’s so rich in every sense, yet at times the characters are so clearly human and morally broke.  The smallest details of set, costume, hair, makeup, and script are cared for. And though I wasn’t alive for any of it, it makes me wish I was. While it seems like there is less sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, classism, and gender inequality now than there was then, it’s only a little. I know there wouldn’t be an HR office and maybe not even a personnel.

But I can also recognize a television show. I mean, was casual sex and casually going half on a baby that common in the workplace in the 60s? I also can’t imagine a world where people drank hard liquor straight really early in the morning while smoking like trains. But who knows? Maybe that was Madison Avenue. It almost feels like the booze and cigarettes were their own characters.

I’ll miss the characters; even the less likeable ones I loved to hate like the office jerk, Pete Campbell. And his uppity wife Trudy, stretched so far from her Community counterpart. And slimy Harry Crane, the original d – bag. Everyone hates Betty. I never did. I was sympathetic to her housewife plight. Didn’t really like her second hubby, Henry Francis. I think that was his name. I’ll miss sassy Sally, who’s definitely gonna need therapy. I won’t miss her weirdo friend Glenn, who reappeared as a creeper time and again. I guess that’s the benefit of being the creator’s son. Glenn was no Jesus lol. Wasn’t a huge fan of Megan, just didn’t see it. Do be do be do. Or whatever. That was the case for many of Don’s romances. Not sure he’ll ever figure out what he was looking for. The season 7 Diana waitress was a waste. The wealthy neighbor was interesting. The Jewish retailer dying? As weird as it is or wasn’t, I could only really see him with his Birdie or Joan. I guess that’s why the anxious opening music and shadow Don falling was so appropriate. I can still hear it in my head.

I’ll miss characters I’ve already been missing. Like Salvatore from season one or the other guy with a beard. And Lane Pryce. Sad. Man I loved when he punched Pete.

As for the characters I liked. Even the minor ones. Like most of the admins, er secretaries. Dawn and Meredith could rule the world.

And then the ones that started in the typing pool. Badass Joan. Ran the show while walking the fine line that women still have to walk to this day. And Peggy who’s journey was just as powerful. I just want Peggy to win.

I really liked Stan. I wanted him and Peggy to get together. He was so flip and funny. Why can’t Peggy win for once?

My favorite character was Roger. Goodness that guy was funny with his tell it like it is one liners and I’m rich so come what may attitude. John Slattery killed it.

So I’m sitting here drinking Alka – Seltzer trying to beat this cold that
won’t let go of my family while the kids play and eat Quaker Granola bars. Thinking to myself, what if the creative directors and account people were sitting around trying to come up with a pitch for these products. Or any product. What basic human need would they appeal to? What magic words would they string together to make me buy from Avon, Topaz Pantyhose, Burger Chef, Dow Chemicals, Heinz Beans, Mohawk Airlines, Sunkist, or Buick. I took marketing in college. No one ever made it look as cool or as dysfunctional as crew at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.