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]

Apr 172015

Tweet The new business featured in this week’s episode of AMC’s Mad Men is focused more on personal lives and relationships than revenue-generating clients for Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) SC&P. The opening and closing scenes of “New Business” perfectly capture the extremes of Don’s complicated and hollow personal life. Don is at the Francis house making milkshakes for the kids as Betty and Henry arrive home and Betty announces she’s planning to earn a master’s degree in Psychology at Fairfield University. As he exits, Don [read more]

Apr 082015

Tweet The last Mad Men episode, “Waterloo,” closed out the 60s with McCann Erickson’s acquisition of SC&P, the promise of independence for the agency, and yet another new beginning. Don kept his job, Ted Chaough was back in the game, and the partners got very rich. We were left imagining how Pete and Joan would handle their new found riches and whether fiercely independent Don and flamboyantly flip Roger could cope under the control of a very big global agency. “Severance” picks up in April [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 152014

Tweet “The Runaways” is perhaps one of the more disjointed and weird episodes of Mad Men, but it still manages to move the characters along and capture some interesting and important moments at SC&P. The new IBM 360 computer continues to be a distracting and now maddening presence at the agency. Unusual alliances of twosomes and threesomes create new tensions and opportunities. Don continues to eat humble pie on his path to redemption, bolstered by the reappearance of his niece Stephanie, an invigorating threesome compliments of Meagan, [read more]