“‘Mad Men’ is truly one of the shows that was instrumental in proving to viewers and critics in the mid-2000s that well-crafted, well-produced scripted series could exist on basic cable networks.”
-Robert Yaniz, Jr., ScreenRant
“It’s the end of one of the best shows ever made.”
-Alan Sepinwall to The International Business Times on the final season of Mad Men.
Matthew Weiner’s critically acclaimed AMC show, “Mad Men,” premiered its final season on Sunday, April 7, 2015 to 2.3 million people, according to Deadline Hollywood. I tried to watch the first season about a year ago and never really got into it. I sat down to watch the final season to give it another chance and I hated it.
I love Jon Hamm, Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, Christina Hendricks…but the entire premise of the show is entirely ridiculous to me. Personally, I think AMC is just trying to extend its “Breaking Bad” legacy and not fade into “The Walking Dead” irrelevancy. Matthew Weiner, the creator and director, is a smart and talented writer with serious past experience – he wrote “The Sopranos” a million years ago – but “Mad Men” falls flat for me.
It’s known for being a slow show, which I can understand, but beyond that, there is no real storyline. I find the clothes fun but the plot boring, unrelatable, stupid, out of touch and generally unbearable. My main point of concern is all of Don Draper’s mistresses: why does he have so many? He switches out mistresses faster than he empties his ashtray, which is really saying something. I find the family scenes horribly depressing and Don’s childhood flashbacks even worse.
The main characters of TV shows are fundamentally relatable in one way or another. For example, I am absolutely nothing like Olivia Pope of “Scandal,” but I can still watch the show and feel for her and relate to her struggles, even though she’s dealing with a love affair with the President and has a secret spy for a dad.
Don Draper is utterly mysterious and complicated but not in an endearing way. The show doesn’t make me want to find out more about Don Draper. It makes me want to shudder and forget that people like him exist. I find him loathsome and I feel sorry for the harem of women he has around at all times.
Beyond Don Draper’s womanizing sliminess, “Mad Men” also shows us the way advertisers prey on basic human instincts and impulses to advance a capitalist agenda. It’s creepy watching old rich guys try to market pantyhose and lipstick, mostly because they are trying to embody what young women want to look like based off their own experience with women, which is always degrading, patronizing, overtly sexual and discriminatory. I dislike the omnipresent strategy of using female sexuality to make money, and this show is built on just that. It was a different era and women in the workplace have since made progress, but I believe that watching it happen all over again on television is not helping our society move away from overtly gender-stereotyped workplaces. All I can say is thank God the show ended, even if it did take seven years too long.