Monday, April 29, 2013

How Mad Men Will End

Haven't been able to stop thinking about last night's episode of Mad Men all day today (minor spoilers ahead). Been almost a full day and can't stop thinking about it.

Some random thoughts, I just had to get out:

1. Starting to really realize the show really isn't "about" anything that's going on in the actual story we are watching. Don's marriages, Peggy's career path, Pete's jerkiness, etc. Doesn't really matter (more on this at the bottom).

The whole episode I was going nuts trying to realize the significance of Bobby ripping off the wallpaper in his bedroom. So mundane. But then I realized that he had to get grounded by Betty for something so that he couldn't watch TV so that Don had to take him to the movies so that Bobby would say one of the most profound things ever so that Don would have the biggest catharsis he's ever had on the show.

Jon Hamm's performance sitting on the bed talking about faking it as a dad was (A) an acting CLINIC and (B) so comforting to someone like me that is freaked out about faking it as a dad. If you don't inherently love children then you just have to wait for these little people to have a profound moment for you to respect them and feel proud that you influenced them. I completely get that. I'm on board with kids now. Actually feel a little relieved.

2. I love how they didn't even acknowledge that Megan won the award, other than a throwaway shot of the award sitting lopsided on the couch. I know that MLK's assassination was of greater import, but it also jumped out to me that Megan's just good at everything she does. Copywriter? Awesome. Actress? Awesome. Winning awards? Awesome. Wife to a crappy husband? Awesome. Mother to crappy husband's kids? Awesome. Sexy singer and lap dancer for crappy husband in front of his friends? Awesome.

Megan Draper is LeBron James-level otherworldly right now.
She is just good at everything. Crazy Betty may not have deserved Don but now Don doesn't deserve Megan. Love that we have gotten to experience this dichotomy.

3. MLK's assassination must have been WEIRD to live through. Joan's awkward hug of Dawn summed it all up. Joan felt like she needed to do something but Dawn was like "Uhhh... thanks?" And brilliantly played by both actresses. Pretending to be awkward doesn't always work. Awkward is such a pure state of being, it can be hard to replicate. But they nailed it. Strange times for sure.

4. Biggest point I can't stop thinking through: now that we are in Season 6, everyone is talking about how the show is going to end/what's going to happen at the end. Based on last night's ep, I am now convinced that NOTHING is going to happen in the end. Do we really think Weiner is going to tie loose ends up in a tidy little bow after refusing to do that kind of nonsense for 6 full seasons? That would be completely contrary to the spirit of the entire series.

I can't even tell you any other specific events that transpired last night (other than the character's experiencing the news of MLK) but I have spent an entire day thinking about being a dad and what it would have been like to navigate race relations in the 60s.

Isn't that what Mad Men's always been "about"?

In that regard, it's the most "what's life all about" show of all time. Our real lives don't happen all at once in dramatic season/series finale fashion.

It just happens.

That's what Mad Men does. Sure, Don went from creative director at Sterling Cooper to founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce but it didn't happen in grand guest-star-sweeps-week style.

It just happened.
So I don't care what "happens" to Don or Peggy or Roger or Pete, etc. to me anymore. I'm just enjoying watching the camera roll the footage of these people's lives during this era. I essentially consider it to be a documentary at this point.

Don will cheat on whoever he is with at the time. Some major cultural even will be taking place that will affect the characters. He will step outside and smoke a cigarette and take a confident sip from a tumbler. We will see the back of Don's head. There will be no answers because there were no questions to begin with.

The end.
I will almost be disappointed with anything else.