May 242015

Tweet I wasn’t looking forward to watching the final episode of my beloved Mad Men. Fortunately, “Person To Person” came through as a powerful, poignant and perfect finale. The genius of the series finale is, rather than definitively revealing where the characters have ended up, it leaves us anticipating where they are headed. Overall, the finale is about happy and hopeful anticipations, heartfelt goodbyes, going away lunches; emotionally cleansing phone calls, and new beginnings. We have a good sense of how Peggy, Stan, Joan, Pete, [read more]

May 172015

Tweet Last week’s Mad Men episode “The Milk and Honey Route” takes us on winding and complex emotional journey. Most of the action and interactions center on events and relationships outside the hallowed halls of McCann-Erickson, but they surely will reverberate back to Madison Avenue. This Mad Men episode brings us face to face with death, provides glimpses of rebirth of spirit and reveals a cleansing of past sins on a path to the future. Leading into the series final episode we know the apparent fates [read more]

May 082015

Tweet “Lost Horizon” is one hell of an episode. It seemed a bit disjointed at times, but it was rich with action, angst, anger and anticipation. “Lost Horizon” is a deep dive into what it’s like to have personal and professional lives upended by a Madison Avenue agency takeover. The nitty-gritty, not-so genteel, policies, politics, and prejudices of McCann-Erickson took center stage. Both Joan and Peggy were caught in the net of McCann’s boy’s club culture. Joan is a victim of “systemic” sexual harassment and [read more]

May 022015

Tweet “Time & Life” is powerful episode that breaks through the thin veneer of complacency at SC&P and brings everyone face to face with the reality they naively hoped would never materialize. SC&P, the agency, will disappear and the partners will no longer be masters of their universe. Finally, after 10 years Jim Hobart of McCann got what he wanted: the acquisition of SC&P. With this transaction McCann eliminates an industry competitor, neutralizes a threat to their General Motors account, brings top creative talent to [read more]

Apr 262015

Tweet “Forecast” opens with Don’s real estate agent, Melanie, preparing to show Don’s apartment to prospective buyers. Melanie is far from encouraging and tells Don that his apartment reeks of loneliness. She says, “It looks like a sad person lives here.” Don responds with a weak declaration that “A lot of good things happened here”.  Past episodes of “Mad Men” chronicled Don’s attempts to face up to his past and clean up his present state of affairs. From acknowledging his humble, shadowy beginnings, to coming [read more]

May 292014

Tweet Despite the fact that a death wish and a death bookend this episode, “Waterloo” sets Mad Men on a positive trajectory for the  final episodes. This is an especially powerful and emotional episode that unites Don, Peggy and Roger in rejuvenated relationships. The July, 1969 moon landing mesmerized the world, and kept everyone on edge hoping for the astronauts’ safe return. “Waterloo” draws on the emotions of that event as the backdrop for the next stage of SC&P’s evolution. Ted pulls a bonehead “death wish” stunt with [read more]

May 222014

Tweet This week’s episode of Mad Men focuses on family, proposals and prospects with New York as the convergent center of the action. And there’s lots of it. Pete gets something he’s always wanted, reconnects with his partners and realizes that he’s “different” in New York. Jim turns the IBM 360 into a partnership for Harry over the objections of Joan and Roger while Ted continues to be a distant, largely irrelevant voice in Los Angeles. Bob Benson returns to New York as the bearer of bad [read more]

May 082014

Tweet This week’s episode serves up ample portions of humiliation, irony, and payback for past transgressions, especially for Don and Roger. At SC&P, the screws are tightened and the tables turned on Don in ways that he never expected. Roger’s sins of his past and present came back to haunt him with a slap of reality delivered by his daughter, Marigold. Harry’s maneuvering with Cutler pays off with the installation of a new IBM computer bringing with it a both a boost to his status and [read more]

Apr 242014

Tweet In this season’s Mad Men premiere, it is clear that unrest, uncertainty. and uneasiness are simmering at SC&P, and in the lonely lives of Don and Peggy. In “A Day’s Work”, frustrations boil over, old rivalries are stoked and new flash points of controversy ignite. Valentines Day 1969 is far from being a happy celebration of affection and admiration. A bouquet of roses sets off a day of stress and humiliation for Peggy, another unannounced visit to the office by Sally brings Don closer to facing [read more]

Jul 012013

Tweet “In Care Of” is a powerful yet depressing episode that delivers closure for some, and opens doors to new possibilities for others. Ted breaks Peggy’s heart, Pete’s mother gets lost at sea, and Bob Benson brings Pete’s stint on Chevy to a crashing halt. Don is a one-man wrecking crew and his actions lead to just about everyone being touched by disappointment, loss, or coming to grips with their demons. Fresh on the heels of loosing Sally, Don is content to let Megan slip away to [read more]