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End of An Era

November 30, 2016

Mad Men ended its seven-season run in May of 2015. Tonight, a little behind, Jim and I watched the final episode in that last season.

This scene was actually incredibly moving… Don finds himself in an encounter group at a Big Sur retreat. He listens to an ordinary guy describing himself as an invisible player in his own life and realizes he’s hearing, in many ways, his own story.  He crosses the room to embrace invisible guy..

don-hug

Mediation brings epiphany. If we interpreted this correctly, he realizes he’s a damn good ad man and, liberated from his demons, returns to NYC to design the best ad in the history of ads: the Coke commercial. The series ends with the song “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony…”

mad-men-finale-01_0

I hated the see the 60s come to an end.

Silly as it sounds, I learned an incredible amount about the era I grew up in watching this show. I was really young in the 60s and couldn’t process or appreciate the cultural dynamics of the era.  I experienced the elements of my life as just givens, normal, the only thing I knew–the way parents parented, the way men behaved, civil rights, space exploration, the Vietnam war, smoking, drinking, hippies, rock and roll, mini-skirts, Laugh-in. I truly had visceral reactions to the sets, fashions, foods and definitely the songs that closed each episode. Many flashbacks. It was all so familiar. Looking back on the 60s through this show, seeing so much of my life, I saw how it all fit together, fit the times. The series tied a lot of life as I remembered it together for me.

I’m enormously grateful these people recreated my childhood so painstakingly, so painfully, so accurately. It was a gift to look at it again as an adult and come to understand what it all meant. At least in part. Stylized and dramatized for sure, but still. Wow.

 

 

4 Responses to “End of An Era”

  1. Michael Ann Says:

    I loved Mad Men! Thought this last show was an incredible ending. I miss it.

  2. Elliot Margolies Says:

    Yes. Matt Weiner did an amazing job recreating the 60’s on many levels……gender dynamics and “the look and feel” of so many things. Not sure that Don will ever outrun his demons for long, but a great ending for sure.


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