This is the end of Mad Men, folks, and thus the end of three seasons of Dear TV Mad Men coverage. We went out with a bang! First, Lili:
“It’s hard to critique a serial drama, because any critical assessment of a work of art is definitively shaped by its ending. The interpretations of Mad Men I’ve loved most are those that argued that the show’s point of view was drifting elsewhere: to Sally, or to Peggy, or to Dawn. But my appreciation for Mad Men was contingent on it outgrowing Don’s centrality, and it never lived up to those generous readings. I didn’t really expect it to. Perhaps my issue is that it was never anything more than a Coke — and if I’d been invited to see it as just that, frivolity and entertainment, without the pretensions to greatness, I would have judged it a lot more gently. I’m a sucker for a fizzy drink.”
And then Phil:
“Lili points out how disappointing it is that we finish this series with Don in the center of the frame, the structuring important consciousness. For all of the things Lili and I disagree about regarding this show, I am really with her on this. But I think we can also read Don’s centrality in this frame as a kind of bullseye. (If there’s ever a film made about the model for the target practice silhouette, Jon Hamm is a shoe-in for the lead.) Don’s in the center because he’s about to get that smug grin smacked off his face. That’s what we deserve. That’s what Don deserves. It’s the real thing.”
So long, Don.