Mad Men, it's been a great eight years, but like all things, the time has come for it to end. This is it, fans—after this week, no more Mad Men. No more yearning ad campaigns, volatile meetings, martini lunches, sexist banter, infidelities, slick decor, child neglect, crumbling marriages, counterculture confusion, political rage, inadequate dating partners, drug experimentation, shocking return cameos, and occasional moments of revelation, contemplation and even personal satisfaction. That's it. Kaput. Dunzo. Mad Men is no more, but just like real-life, especially for those of us who experienced life during the 60s, we'll always have the memories.
Grab a coffee. Let's reminisce.
Oh, thanks, Bob. Always so thoughtful.
Whether smoking, drinking, driving, or driving the ladies mad with desire, Don Draper (aka Dick Whitman) always manages to look good while doing it. An existential everyman (if the man is exceedingly handsome), Don came from an almost Faulkner-like Gothic background of sin and degradation. And when opportunity presented itself in the form of wartime manslaughter, he reinvented himself, becoming a fantasy figure who understood the American middle-class fantasy behind the ad-speak.
A super-ambitious mega-successful Super Adman. But money, booze and dames didn't necessarily give him personal satisfaction.
The self-made man, on the move.
But you can't run from yourself. Duh, Don.
Luckily there's the distraction of creative work and the collaborative nature of work relationships—that works for awhile.
But if you don't get your shit together, work relationships can sour.
Work can only take you so far from yourself.
The demands are many.
The rewards, for some, are often few.
Work is no bed of roses!
The marriage bond has potential for personal fulfillment and connection. But not if the bond if based on a lie, or multiple lies. What say you, Betty Draper?
Betty wouldn't be down with today's helicopter parenting paradigm.
Family life is no easy solution. There's all that required empathy and caretaking to consider. And kids—they're so needy! All the time!
But they are cute—you gotta admit.
The answer is to find the perfect woman. As in advertising, her perfection guarantees your every desire will be fulfilled.
Romantic love is the ultimate escape.
The problem is, she really hates sherbet and will only eat it sarcastically.
And nothing you do or say will change her mind. Women!
Once a woman reveals herself to be a human individual, it's time to move on. Or maybe she moves on. It's one and the same. It's not as if the younger generation has any answers. They're just as baffled about their life's direction.
Same song, different dance.
One thing is certain—ask yourself, what would Pete Campbell do? Then do the opposite.
Although Pete has his good moments, particularly when he's teaming up with Trudy, the only woman he's ever professed to love. The reality is that Trudy is the only woman who's ever loved Pete. Hey, whatever works!
The search may take us to places we're not ready to go.
An endless loop of self-contemplation.
Finding the courage to stand up to injustice is a personal victory, no matter what the outcome.
And helping those in need makes us better people.
True expression from the heart is a gift. Try not to squander it.
And so, adieu.
We end with a song.
I think I'll miss Peggy most of all.
Like a boss.
Thank you to Matt Weiner, et al., and to the tireless GIF-makers throughout the Internet.