MAD MEN / The Last Episode

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So, Mad Men‘s finally over, and so too are my episode reviews. (This is not the last I’ll be writing about this show.) In any case, I closed up shop going point/counterpoint with Lili Loofbourow for Dear TV at The Los Angeles Review of Books:

“So here’s my thing: I can’t talk about this ending yet. I have things to say, lots of them, but I don’t know what they are. This is a television series that I’ve experienced — and re-experienced several times in its entirety — as a fluid, living thing over the past eight years, and all of a sudden it’s ground to a halt, the weight of seven seasons of detail has spilled out all over the place, there’s lawnmowers and chip-and-dips and Mark Rothko paintings everywhere. As the man says, ‘A lot has happened.'”

“The Waste Land”

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MAD MEN / “Lost Horizon”

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I’m skipping next week, so this is my last weekly review of Mad Men before the series finale. As such, I endeavored to make one last big stand in my years-long effort to show that Don Draper is not the protagonist of Mad Men:

“I mentioned this last week, but, when we talk about this era of television production, we talk about an era dominated by shows that are themselves dominated by male anti-heroes. But anyone who’s actually viewed and loved these shows knows that they don’t actually work that way. Mad Men isn’t dominated by Don Draper any more than Jaws is dominated by the shark. What makes these shows great is what grows up to surround the anti-hero. These guys are anti-heroic in that they’re bad and quasi-villainous, but they’re also anti-heroic inasmuch as they’re surrounded by heroes far more compelling than they are. We all want to know what happens with the shark, but the real action is on the boat.”

“Age of Olson”