Tuesday, November 10, 2009
we've got tea
"Mad Men" finished up Sunday night.
Here's a column I wrote for a class today about the show and its season finale.
It was a real wonderful ep, top five of the series.
"Sunday night was bittersweet.
Audiences were given one of the most satisfying television episodes of recent memory, but now they must wait until the summer for more of the same magic.
"Mad Men" wrapped up its third season on AMC by tying up some loose ends and launching some new beginnings.
The fictional series, which depicts the lives of those working at the Manhattan located Sterling Cooper advertising agency in the 60s has been a roller-coaster of change for the last few months. From the start of its third go 'round, it has been a slow burning mess of emotion, all building up to Sunday's finale.
The series' landscape changed drastically for all of its characters as marriages crumbled, agencies shifted and new alliances were formed. In just forty some minutes of screen time, the show's creators expertly jam packed an episode with shake ups, never giving it a bloated feeling.
This balancing act, of giving viewers closure but so many questions about a series' future is certainly a skill series creator Matthew Weiner gleaned while working on another of this decade's greatest series, "The Sopranos".
The two series share many similar parallels, but one Weiner has not been borrowing much is similarities between the shows' two main characters.
Unlike Tony Soprano, "Mad Men"'s Don Draper is an always suave, rarely if every rattled boss. The character has a temper that is almost always in check and emotions which rarely pop up. He has always kept a wall between those closest to him.
On Sunday, Weiner crashed through that wall.
Audiences are given a new Don Draper. He has to become a man willing to drop to his knees and ask for forgiveness (well, in a calm and collected Draper fashion), while throwing his whole future up in the air to continue with the profession he loves.
There were so many elements this finale got dead on. Not only did it show another side of its rock-solid front man, but it was a bundle of rewards for those who have been paying attention all season.
It is almost painful when a favorite show finishes its time slot and it sinks in these sets and characters will be gone for a whole week. With great television this is always the case and "Mad Men", like all thought-provoking TV, does this expertly.
So, it is a testament to Weiner and the show's writers for rewarding its fans' patience throughout its masterful third season.
However, with those rewards come looming uncertainties about the world within the show's future, which is why its viewers will keep coming back."