This month has come to a close and we’re ending it with one of the classiest looking workplace shows to ever come to the small screen: Mad Men. Set in the 1960s, this show was critically acclaimed and inspired people to have dapper parties across the land. Like all shows set in an office, it went above and beyond to make people fall in love with the characters’ lives when they were clocked in and out.
Name of Episode: “Person to Person”
Premiere Date: July 19, 2007
Finale Date: May 17, 2015
Site: Mad Men
Impact on Pop Culture
When you deal with a show set in a time that’s already happened, what it does is remind those who lived through that time as much as it educates those who were not even around or too young to know anything about that decade. Mad Men explored everything from sexism to adultery to racism in those days. Which, watching — were there any characters ever on the show who weren’t white?
Facts & Stats
- Last week we featured The Newsroom, which called HBO home. Did you know the network actually turned down housing Mad Men though? You do now.
- The show once paid a quarter of a million dollars to use a Beatles song in an episode — which is also how much Jon Hamm banked per episode.
- Hamm walked away with a lot of money then since he is the only actor on the show to appear in all 92 episodes.
- The smokes and drinks were all fake. The vodka was onion water — ew! Sounds gross!
- Creator Matthew Weiner said one of the biggest reasons for setting the shows in the ’60s was because of The Pill becoming available.
What I Knew Before Watching the End
Most of the actors on this show went on to be household names thanks to their constant praise and award show attendance, so that I knew. The show though? All I knew was that Jon Hamm was Don Draper and that they did something along the lines of advertising.
Was it easy to understand what was going on in this episode having only seen this single one? Yes, and it was actually interesting — with 20 minutes left. There were a lot of lines to connect and I wasn’t 100% on who everyone was and their relation, but by the end, I think I got it and I’d say it was an okay finale.
Apparently Don Draper had gone off before so it was no big surprise for anyone, but still — when someone you work with and care about is MIA, you’re going to freak. Which is what this Peggy lady did. Then I loved that she didn’t really care all that much after some guy said he loved her. What have we learned so far with this Finale series at Fandomania? Love, death, and starting anew. Those are the aspects of a good finale and this one kind of hit all the marks.
Betty has cancer, and while she doesn’t die, it’s 40 years ago when medicine wasn’t as good as it is today, so she was a goner if the show had lasted one more season. There was a proposal that went south, but again Peggy got some love. Plus, there was the fact that Christina Hendricks’s character went and started her own new production company, while Draper decided to find himself at some hippy-like retreat. The last montage gave fans a quick “Hey, this is where your favorites are right now, so don’t worry too much.”
What I think was left in the air for me was Draper’s whole being. Knowing nothing of him but what was presented in this episode, I got he was a man who had made a lot of bad decisions, but at the same time he seemed to be a smart man who knew he’d done wrong. So I didn’t get why he had that over dramatic goodbye with Peggy and then a breakdown. While I figure he’s the star of the show, I was much more interested in the idea of women in the workplace and what that meant then. By the time the show came to an end, they were in 1970 (I believe) and while women had been proving themselves to be more than domestic beings for some time, it was interesting to see Hendricks’s boyfriend freak out and leave her when she decided to start her own company. The same goes for the man who wound up with Peggy. He flipped when she mentioned the idea of leaving her job to partner with Hendricks, but then stayed put and kept her man. It was just an interesting dynamic to show: do what your man wants for your career and keep them.
While this finale presented me with enough information to not be lost in a whirlwind, it wasn’t one that’d make me binge on Netflix any time soon. It was far from the bore fest that was The Newsroom finale, but at the same time it wasn’t interesting until almost the end.