We All Go a Little Mad, Sometimes

have been dying to talk with you guys. I’m failing a little bit at balancing the things-I-want (friends, Daily Sampler, watching useless television,) with things-I-need (sleep.) Also, I suck at 12 hour days and there’s a lot of that going on now so… yeah. We’ll get there.

All I care to talk about this evening is Mad Men. What did you think of the first of six final episodes last night? I thought it was pretty lackluster. Granted, I forgot a lot of what happened an entire year ago, and it’s hard to dive back in.

What I imagined was a jump ahead into the future- maybe only a year or so, but I thought we’d have a taste of progress. Now, in the world of Sterling Cooper, progress doesn’t have to mean all of the characters are on their way to well-adjusted happy endings, but I surely thought we’d see more than linear sameness. We all have figured out by now that Don is feeling lost and as society around him grows (mostly their sideburns and mustaches,) Don remains the same. He’s not the “it” guy anymore. Who is Don Draper with two divorces, teenaged children, and a shrinking career at the end of an era? Maybe I thought we’d see more of Don reaching this realization, and moving towards the next chapter. Be aware, for Don Draper, the next chapter might be the end of Don Draper. Anything is possible.

Instead, we witnessed (more) Don and Roger shenanigans with young lovelies, which I’ll admit is still enjoyable. More Roger, always. But then we saw a lot of Don napping. A lot of Don casting models. A lot of Don having restless dreams about dead lovers. (PS I hated Rachel and I don’t care that she’s gone- who cares?) Don “finding comfort” with a random brunette waitress in a back alley. You know, the same stuff he’s always done.
Then we had Peggy. Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. She was doing… you guessed it, the same paranoid, self-conscious Peggy stuff she’s always done. Overthinking everything, how she appears to others, her dating life, etc. Little to no progress on the Peggy front, except for maybe that she is tougher skinned on the sexist front than she used to be, and that she realized she needs a vacation.

Joan and Pete seem to be continuing on with business as usual (with the exception of Joan’s aimless shopping spree,) despite being newly minted millionaires. Nothing new to report there. With the majority of the non-Don/non-Peggy storyline focusing on Ken Cosgrove, randomly, I found myself disappointed and confused. Ken has been disgruntled and unhappy for “years” now. Why are we all of a sudden developing his storyline? Do we really have the time for that?
I was beyond thrilled to watch Mad Men streaming live on AMCTV.com. It probably doesn’t sound like it. My main concern is that after waiting a long year for these final episodes, shouldn’t we be seeing more happen to move these characters towards some kind of endgame? And bonus question: do we think Don will survive the last episode? Can there be a Don Draper in 1982? I have a hard time imagining it, and I bet you do, too.
Talk amongst yourselves. Let’s try and do this more often.

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