Last night the curtain lowered on one of the most acclaimed tv series of any time: Mad Men.
I caught up with it relatively late (I think it was just before the beginning of season 5) and I’m not one of those fans super obsessed with every little detail of it, and yet I feel the need to spend a few words on what has – undoubtedly – been one of the most iconic tv series of all times.
First of all I think it’s impossible not to mention the incredible setting of the series which really made us feel like we were back in time in the 60s and 70s.
I obviously have no direct experience of that period, and yet I feel like I’ve learned so much just by watching this series. The attention to every single detail felt really flawless and this is one of the things I liked the most.
Another really important element of the series: the extremely slow pace. Sometimes entire episodes would go by without anything really important happening. But instead of discouraging me from keep watching, that only made me want more to know what was going to happen in the next episode! And that is something really unusual for me since I usually have a propension for very fast-paced shows.
In retrospective (and especially after listening to Matt Weiner at the Tv Academy Mad Men Farewell event yesterday), I understand and I respect the choice of this very realistic approach: like in real life, not everyday you experience events that will be worth remembering or telling your kids in 20 years.
Considering that every competitor nowadays tend to do the opposite by imposing such a rhythm to the stories that you often have problems to keep up with, Mad Men’s slowpoke’s approach was very bold. But it paid off.
If I can pinpoint a couple of regrets that I had watching the credits roll by, I would say:
1) Is it just me, or Peggy’s character, one of the best of the show, basically faded and almost disappeared in the last 2 or 3 seasons of the show?
I have no idea why they gave her so little space in the latest years!
Not only she was one of the fans favorite, but also when asked to pick their favorite scene of the show, 5 out of the 8 main actors of the show picked one with Peggy (!)
2) Don and Joan: why that never happened?!? I don’t necessarily mean it in a romantic way, but fans were so hopeful to see them together, the writers could have at least played a little bit with that! Instead, they got just a handful of scenes together (which turned out to be gret. Of course.) and that was it. What a shame. (More so if you consider how much time was wasted on the Don/Meghan relationship that EVERYBODY hated!!!)
My opinion on the finale? I don’t know, still making up my mind.
I’m usually a huge fan of happy endings but I was so prepared to see Don kill himself (everything pointed in that direction) that the cheerful Coca Cola 70s spot was NOT something I was expecting. At all.
But I guess it makes everybody happy, right?
It is somehow open, after all, because we don’t really know if Don really wrote that. You are led to think that, but you can’t know for sure.
I’ve read an interesting theory according to which that could very well be Peggy’s work. Probably. Who knows? But that’s the point: nobody knows for sure so you can interpret it however you want it.
One last smart move for Mr. Weiner.