Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.
Q & A
Q: Why is “The Americans” so complicated? Is this to the show’s advantage?
"The Americans'" complex web of characters, plot lines, and Cold War-era details might make the show more compelling, but also more convoluted and difficult to follow.
Q: Who is Don Draper at the end of “Mad Men”? Is he static in a world roiling with change?
Don Draper is the fulcrum around which the world of Mad Men pivots. Don’s mastery of deception, in both his personal and professional lives, weaves through the entire series. In the seventh and final season, all of Don’s artifices and the accouterments of success, begin to fall away. “It is really about Don being peeled away, as a lot of this season has been.” Don is being stripped away and someone — someone not quite Dick Whitman but someone other than Don Draper—is being revealed.
Q: How do the set decorators and art department on “Mad Men” handle time transitions?
The Mad Men writers aren’t the only storytellers on staff. The set designers and decorators use subtle clues to propel the narrative forward throughout the series from 1960 where to the show beings to where it ends in 1970
Q: Is Betty (Draper) Francis Don’s quintessential customer in “Mad Men”?
Betty (Draper) Francis' lung cancer diagnosis in the penultimate episode of Mad Men is a little on the nose. Cigarettes are almost worthy of a credit as series regular in the cast and some of the most famous scenes in the show revolve around Lucky Strike and Don’s open apology letter for selling them. But writing it off as that simple wouldn’t give the show or Matthew Weiner, its creator, enough credit. If anyone would get lung cancer, of course it would be Betty. (As Erin Gloria Ryan details for The Muse, we should have seen it coming.) From the first episode, Betty has always been Don’s best customer.
Q: What happens to the “Mad Men” women?
While "Mad Men" is, undoubtedly, Don Draper’s story, the series has always provided viewers with complicated, diverse, and challenging female characters. In the final season, viewers can move toward closure on the stories of Betty (January Jones), Megan (Jessica Paré), Joan (Christina Hendricks), and Peggy (Elizabeth Moss).
Q: What happened to Don Draper at the end of “Mad Men?” Did he create the iconic Coke ad?
In the near final scene of the season finale of "Mad Men," Don Draper sits cross-legged with the Pacific Ocean behind him. He looks contented, cleansed and rejuvenated. Arguably, the implication is that Don Draper will return to McCann and create his swan song - the "Buy the World a Coke" campaign, which in reality proved to be one of the most influential and moving advertising campaigns in history.
Q: How does “Mad Men” make viewers nostalgic for a time they themselves don’t remember?
It is almost impossible to talk about the impact of Mad Men without addressing the nostalgia factor. Nostalgia is the pleasure and sadness that caused by remembering something from the past and wishing you could experience it again. Instead of wishing for an experience again, watching Mad Men can leave you longing for a bygone moment you never actually experienced.
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