KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

May 19th, 2015, 12:03 am #321

I really didn't like the episode much at all. IMO this back half has been weak and these last two episodes really weak. I'll be interested in reading the views of the critics, both of the series finale and the whole series in context. I'll remember previous seasons and episodes with much greater fondness than this conclusion season.

And I know this is an UO, but the Coke ending was crap. Because it highlighted the very thing Mad Men had taken such pains to contradict - that the art and work of the 'creatives' on Madison Avenue was actually nothing but crass hucksterism. So, I can't but interpret other than as Don finds enlightenment alone in California while every single other character is judged to be shallow and worthless. Okay, if that was the true theme of the series, then the weight of six previous seasons was skewed too far in favor of our leads.

Pretty sad when I was moved more by the AMC clips toasting the show than the finale.
Last edited by KMInfinity on May 19th, 2015, 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dax
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

May 19th, 2015, 12:18 am #322

>> Because it highlighted the very thing Mad Men had taken such pains to contradict - that the art and work of the 'creatives' on Madison Avenue was actually nothing but crass hucksterism.

I'm not sure I get this. Which do you find the show generally doing - holding the art/business of advertising as 'good', or condemning it as crass hucksterism? (I don't think it generally did either of those things, though it specifically did both of them at various times... usually, it just showed people who were good (or not) at their jobs, and I'm not sure it worked at persuading the audience to feel a certain way about the industry...).

I pretty much hate nearly all advertising, and think that a lot of it is poorly done (at conveying the message that it is meant to).

I DO love that Coke song, though... sure, there's a lot of nostalgia involved, but it's just a really GOOD commercial...

Series theme - Can people change? (Sopranos says 'no') A little. Don's a guilt-ridden alcoholic throughout... but I think, going forward, we may expect him to be healthier... He's still gotta stop drinking, of course, but... I think some demons got exorcised on this trip that didn't in the previous (two, I think it was) times he ran away.
Last edited by Dax on May 19th, 2015, 12:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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KMInfinity
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Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

May 19th, 2015, 12:34 am #323

Wait. There's a bunch of people disappointed Don wasn't D.B. Cooper? How did I miss that? LOL

>>>>>I don't think it generally did either of those things, though it specifically did both of them at various times...
That's my point, that the show has taken a neutral/balanced view throughout. The creatives are proud of their work, care about its integrity, more than once Don has made the case directly or indirectly that advertising is art. But that the industry itself was full of shallowness and incompetence. So if Don alone finds enlightenment in Big Sur, if the thing that has corrupted him/kept him from happiness/crushed his soul, was his work....

But reading around, there seems to be a lot of support that Don did, in fact, go back to McCann and make that Coke ad. Which I find appalling. He comes full circle? back? It doesn't feel right, unless we saw he came back 'different' - a better father, someone who knows work =/= life, who can integrate his work with his personal life, etc.

I dunno. I just know the episode did not speak to me, didn't enrich my love for the show or the characters, or deepen my understanding. If I was being petty, I'd say it played like the navel-gazing shallowness of a Hollywood insider who doesn't really understand people or real life. Which is sad, since so much of what went before clearly DOES show insight and truth.

The haters on PTV seem to be in the minority, but their comments are hilarious.
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Dax
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

May 19th, 2015, 1:07 am #324

Work wasn't one of Don's problems. Oh, he slacked off when he married Megan, and he'd have little issues with inspiration or not-measuring-up-to-his-rep from time to time, but I don't think Weiner is necessarily saying that work was crushing Don, even if Bert DID need to sing and dance that the Best Things in Life are Free as a good-bye...

Don's feeling that he'd never accomplished anything important, that he'd never properly honored his stolen identity by making it MEAN something... that he'd always let down his family... so he'd medicate with booze and make things worse... these were Don's issues more than anything work-related.

I think he CAN (does) go back to McCann and work, and it DOESN'T have to mean that he's going to fall back into being The Same Dumb Mistake-Repeating Shithead He's Always Been Before. He could still do his job AND provide for his family - be a BETTER man and father. I don't think we HAVE to be so cynical about his going back to work...

I think Don 'gets it' now, and has shed some of the shit that was holding him down.

I didn't need to see him come back to get the impression (from the last scene on the mountain, from hugging Leonard, to the phone call with Peggy) that that's where he's headed (home). I WANTED to see him have another face-to-face with Peggy, or going to see the kids, or... But that's all fine in our imaginations, too.

I'm kinda with some of the 'too pat' criticisms of the Peggy/Stan love scene, but... didn't really bother me, either. It was cute.

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bilki
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Joined: March 19th, 2008, 3:46 pm

May 19th, 2015, 2:09 am #325

For as much as I was rooting for Peggy and Stan, I did think their big scene was relatively generic. It was a little too much like a fairytale for a show that seemed to demonstrate that no one is really living a fairytale. Rom-com much?
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tgir
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Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:36 am

May 19th, 2015, 2:24 am #326

Happy for Joan, Peggy and Stan. A life in Kansas seems fitting for Pete. Am I to take it that Don was responsible for the Coke commercial? Which I really loved, btw, back in the day although as my husband pointed out tonight when we saw it: that commercial is actually kind of fucked up. But, no I didn't love the ending.

Also, what the hell happened to the Francis household? I mean, back when Betty was with Don out in the burbs, she had a maid for that tiny little ranch house. Now in that huge mausoleum..I mean, mansion, there's no maid, Betty's dying, Henry is out and Bobby is making them toast? And NOW Betty has a cough? Of course, everybody still smokes. Even terminally ill cancer patients. Thank God Bobby knew what was going on. The entire series, they've played him as though he was stupid, clueless and immaterial.

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Dax
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May 19th, 2015, 2:30 am #327

What does your husband say is fucked up about the ad?

There's ambiguity enough for an argument against the idea, but I think 'Don got the inspiration for the ad and went back home' is the EASIER interpretation...

Bobby always played so much younger... The actor was 12 (a year ago, when it was shot), the character is 13, but he SEEMS younger than that...

http://tvline.com/2015/05/18/mad-men-fi ... -ferguson/
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bilki
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May 19th, 2015, 2:34 am #328

Yes, it does seem odd that we didn't see a maid or housekeeper at the Francis mausoleum, especially after Betty found out she was sick. Did Henry's mother die and I forgot about it? I know she didn't like Betty but you'd think she might want to help out the kids. I'm still pissed those kids were just left to fend for themselves, lol.

I did want to know if Roger's daughter ever came back to take care of her son.
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Dax
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May 19th, 2015, 2:38 am #329

Roger told Joan he was taking Margaret out of his will...
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bilki
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May 19th, 2015, 2:54 am #330

Ok. I got distracted during that scene and wondered if I had missed something. Well, that sounds like she didn't come back to take care of the boy.
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