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Mad Men; Season 7
Topic Started: Jan 11 2014, 01:42 PM (4,509 Views)
Dax
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Matthew Weiner wrote for The Sopranos (his last script was the fourth-to-last, wherein Christopher died), but was not the man in charge. That's David Chase that created the show and wrote and directed the finale by himself.

Obviously, Weiner will not end his series with Don and his family sitting in a diner, eating onion rings, listening to Journey, and a smash cut to black.
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Krystal
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Obviously not, but if everything is just upended and no complete sl I'll be just as pissed.
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Dax
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There will be closure.

But it's not like there are any huge unanswered questions NOW... The company is gone. Roger, Peggy, Ted, and others (Harry, Stan, secretaries) are at McCann. Joan and Don are not, and Pete is leaving. Betty is dying.

What's next for Dick and his kids, is the biggie.

And I'd say there has to be more for Peggy, the show's female lead, and the Don/Peggy relationship, because the last we saw of them together was, I think, Peggy storming out of that 'evaluation' because she thought Don wasn't taking her/it seriously... really don't think they're going to leave that there and not revisit.
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Dax
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http://deadline.com/2015/05/mad-men-john-slattery-interview-1201427887/

Jon Hamm was 'oh, that guy' on The Unit and What About Brian...

Elisabeth Moss was Zoey Bartlet and a great bitch on Invasion.

Christina Hendricks was in a couple of the best Firefly episodes.

Vincent Kartheiser was Angel and Darla's very cleverly SORASed son.

John Slattery was great on Ed...

But from now on, they'll forever first be 'from Mad Men'... man, what a perfect cast...
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Krystal
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It is a great cast for sure. I don't recall Moss in Invasion and I liked the show a lot. I do recall seeing her here and there (I think)...
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Krystal
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I think the best shows have featured actors who in the past have not been famous. Cranston was well known but for something altogether different. I did not know of him at all as I never watch shows like the Middle. He looked somewhat familiar to me in the beginning, but it was months before someone pointed out to me that he was on the Middle. The work was 180 different, and I give Gilligan kudos for choosing him. I never saw Aaron Paul before either. Many of the lesser characters, I had seen repeatedly in small roles (Gus, Hank, Mike, Saul), but never thought that much about them as they were never given the opportunity to shine in those smaller roles.

Deadwood was similar, Olyphant was new to me (and at his best), but Molly Parker was in the show as well, and Ian McShane who I am surprised has not done more work since.
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Dax
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Moss on Invasion... Christina... only 5 episodes, but she was really good... got pregnant... here's a couple clips - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMynGpnD3JU

Cranston - Malcolm in the Middle, not The Middle... yeah, it was very fortunate that Cranston and Gilligan met on one of VG's X-Files episodes...

I knew Paul a wee bit from Big Love, but (while everybody on that show was generally really good) the role wasn't anything to prepare us for how awesome he was...

Giancarlo Esposito was always Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing to me, until Gus...

Jonathan Banks (Mike) was a favorite on Wiseguy, a show that was a major influence on many great things to come, and what launched Kevin Spacey's career...

I was very familiar with Bob Odenkirk's comedy career. Prior to Saul, he had a recurring 'acting-not-just-comedy' role on The Larry Sanders Show, but sure, still nothing on the same level as he's got now...

I agree with you that it's often an advantage for a show to have an un-or-lesser-known cast over a bunch of people that are already stars... makes us easier to invest in the characters when we don't have a huge familiarity with the actors playing them...

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blosslover
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John Slattery was from Homefront the show on ABC that introduced the world to Kyle Chandler. It was in the early 90s and Slattery already was grey.

Cranston was from Seinfeld. Giancarlo Esposito was in New York Undercover, but also on GL back in 1982. There are clips, I feel like I've always known him, but that's because he was on Sesame Street.
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Krystal
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I think Esposito was in Oz
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Dax
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Surprisingly not (because it sometimes feels like nearly every guy was), but he was on a season of Tom (Oz producer) Fontana's other show, Homicide: Life on the Street...
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Krystal
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Ok. I liked that show a lot.
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bilki
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As a part-time new age ding-dong myself, I say this with all due respect. I really wish they'd have had Don return home, rather than out there with those new age ding-dongs. I get that he was maybe finding some peace within himself but some of those scenes felt so clunky and melodramatic.

I felt so badly for Sally and Bobby trying to navigate through their mother dying with little to no adult guidance. Betty was being truly selfish by telling Don to stay away.

I had secretly hoped that Peggy and Stan might end up a couple but I don't trust Weiner any farther than I could throw him, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Holloway-Harris! It took me a minute to figure out where the Holloway came from. Good for Joan!
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Dax
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Peggy/Stan works for me.

Holloway-Harris because you need two names. Cute. I like Joan wanting to keep going and not retire and stick with Richard.

Yeah, I'd rather we'd have seen Don go home than stay off on his own (or with new friends) at the end... But I do expect that he WILL go home.... Last words to Peggy were 'see you soon' and to Betty 'talk to you soon'.. Gonna take that as true.

Happy-looking endings for everybody but Betty and Sally...

I liked how he offered to move out and help Stephanie... as with Diana, he's just searching for someone to rescue and have a meaningful connection withand be important to... but her 'what are you doing here? You're not family' was a fun response... Really cold of her to take off on him like that, but... It's okay. He needs a little recharge time, and then I think he'll go back to NY...

Stephanie and Diana and Margaret (Sterling) all abandoned children... Sad.

Story ran from March of 1960 to November of 1970. (The Coke ad was released in July 1971)

http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/05/18/the-man-behind-the-id-like-to-buy-the-world-a-coke-ad-besides-possibly-don-draper/

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Gatekeeper
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I wish Don would have gone home. I felt he was disconnected for the 'group'.

I just assumed that Don wrote the 'Coke ad' while he was on that retreat and then went back home to the ad agency.

Happy for Joan. Happy for Peggy & Stan.

Scene with Roger speaking French and saying 'this is my mother'. LOL!

Looks like Sally will be playing 'mom'.

Betty smoking still in her last scene was terrible.

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Gatekeeper
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I noticed this girl too and I'm going with the thought that Don thought up the 'Coke Ad' and went back to NY. http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/18/mad-men-coke-commercial-finale
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Krystal
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Does not sound wonderful.
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Dax
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Funny 'oops' in Gate's review... she'd said 'happy for Peggy and Sal', meaning Stan. Peggy and Sal would be a far stranger coupling...

On the negative side, I don't think it'll go down as one of the all-time great finales...

But it didn't HAVE to. The show's position as one of the all-time great series was secure. They just needed to not fuck it up by having, say, Don commit suicide by throwing himself from the top of a building. It's unfathomable to me how many people suggest that would have been a satisfying ending.

This is an ending that makes sense, and does not cheat on anything that has gone before... the end gives everybody new beginnings. It's a happier spot for most of them than we're used to seeing, maybe, but that's just where we're leaving off. Of course, they'll go on and have good and bad moments throughout their lives like everybody else.

I did think we might have been building to an entirely different kind of life for Don... and that's not the case, but... well, maybe he WILL be different this time. He does have a family and people that care about him and a 'home' to return to. Yeah, the meeting at McCann he walked out on looked a bit like a fate worse than death for someone like Don, but... maybe he can make it. Not content to just sit back and be part of the machine (like Ted is doing), but if he can stand out and 'be a star' again... well, the Coke ad is big (to put it mildly), and that's an account he never would have had at SC&P.

I like that Peggy didn't take Joan up on her offer to partner up, because now Don & Peggy (and Roger) are still 'together'...

Weiner always avoided having our people be given 'credit' for any real-life ad campaigns that everybody knows, with huge exceptions at the beginning ('It's toasted') and the end.
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Dax
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http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/mad-men-finale-jon-hamm-matt-weiner-reflect-1201499167/

http://www.tvinsider.com/article/1613/mad-mens-cast-and-creator-say-goodbye-series-finale/
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bilki
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Yes, I agree that it wasn't a great finale. I wouldn't even say it was a great episode. I happened to catch "The Suitcase" during the marathon and was reminded of how great this show could be at times.

All those people pointing to "clues" that Don was going to commit suicide were good for a laugh, though. I wonder if they were pissed it didn't happen, or relieved. Their certainty is a shining example of how we see what we want to see.
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Dax
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http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/05/18/the-annotated-mad-men-don-draper-buys-the-world-a-coke

Some HAD successfully predicted it... http://www.vox.com/2015/5/12/8589783/mad-men-finale-predictions
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KMInfinity
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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.
Edited by KMInfinity, May 18 2015, 07:04 PM.
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Dax
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>> 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.
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KMInfinity
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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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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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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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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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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-finale-stan-peggy-kiss-jay-r-ferguson/
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bilki
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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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Roger told Joan he was taking Margaret out of his will...
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bilki
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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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