Mad Men final 7 episodes

#1
What do you think so far?

I'm all in.

A couple random thoughts

--The "Is this all there is?" motif in the premiere had some pretty obvious Sopranos call backs.. There's the episode, I can't recall which, where Tony says to Melfi: "...After all the bullshit, is this all there is?"
Also, one of the very first lines of "Soprano Home Movies" is Carmela saying to Tony (who's sleeping, of course) when the Feds are banging on the door: "Is this it?"
Chase (aka Mr. "It's All There") even says "is this all there is?" in the "Magic Moment" commentary for the DGA. I've always thought of this show as an extension, at least in tone, of The Sopranos--I mean, it premiered only month after "Made in America." End of era indeed.

-I watched the pilot again, and Joan says to Peggy, "He may act like he wants a secretary, but most of the the time they're looking for something between a mother and a waitress."

Hmm. Diana. Waitress. People say she looks like Don's step mom, but I haven't gone back and looked.

Either way, I don't think we've seen the last of her.

Oh, and I have a trivia question: who is-I think-the only actor(s?) to appear in The Sopranos, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire?
"When my time comes, tell me, will I stand up?"

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#2
I have to say, Mad Men always has me worried at the beginning of their seasons, and this final half-season was no different. However, come crunch time at the end of the season they manage to pull it all together in spectacular fashion. And this is no different either.

The penultimate episode was absolutely amazing. I really love that each of these seven episodes has ended their final scene with Don losing something. Its very poignant.

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#4
Wow, that was pretty amazing. I've seen better series finales, but not many that seemed to tie up everything as satisfyingly as that did. It managed to somehow strike a balance of being hopeful but also very bleak. Especially with that final scene; it was pretty ballsy to have the Coke ad as the final images you see of Mad Men. It was like Weiner wanted to remind the viewer of the heartlessness of advertising that was at the core of the show. All the while the viewer thought Don was the main character, when in fact it was the ads that created such chaos in all the cast's lives.

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#5
I just finished watching the show for the third time and I'm still amazed more than ever just how good it is. From beginning to end, but especially from Season 3 on, Mad Men is probably the most consistent show I've ever seen. As much as I love Sopranos, I think Mad Men may have overtaken it (and Deadwood) for the title of my favorite series. (They're all pretty much tied, though). And contrary to the common criticism that MM is somehow cold, or dry or unemotional, I find it tremendously moving. And so, so, so, well-acted and gorgeously shot and every other thing.

But above all, the writing and structuring of the episodes and layering of details and character development is simply awe-inspiring. It's definitely the successor to Sopranos with its serialized arcs over each season where every episode is nonetheless a self-contained kind of mini-movie or short story unto itself. Just unbelievably subtle and intelligent writing on this show. So dense, too, that it kind of demands re-watches.

It's weird because I've always thought that Matt Weiner's solo-written episodes of Sopranos are (with the exception of Mayham) the weakest of the last couple seasons. They're all too blunt, kind of lacking subtlety. But MM rectifies that. It's his masterpiece. No, it's a masterpiece. Period.

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#6
Guest wrote:I just finished watching the show for the third time and I'm still amazed more than ever just how good it is. From beginning to end, but especially from Season 3 on, Mad Men is probably the most consistent show I've ever seen. As much as I love Sopranos, I think Mad Men may have overtaken it (and Deadwood) for the title of my favorite series. (They're all pretty much tied, though). And contrary to the common criticism that MM is somehow cold, or dry or unemotional, I find it tremendously moving. And so, so, so, well-acted and gorgeously shot and every other thing.

But above all, the writing and structuring of the episodes and layering of details and character development is simply awe-inspiring. It's definitely the successor to Sopranos with its serialized arcs over each season where every episode is nonetheless a self-contained kind of mini-movie or short story unto itself. Just unbelievably subtle and intelligent writing on this show. So dense, too, that it kind of demands re-watches.

It's weird because I've always thought that Matt Weiner's solo-written episodes of Sopranos are (with the exception of Mayham) the weakest of the last couple seasons. They're all too blunt, kind of lacking subtlety. But MM rectifies that. It's his masterpiece. No, it's a masterpiece. Period.

Forgot to log in, but this was me.

Also, what's interesting is watching interviews with Matt Weiner he really seems like such a surprisingly warm and kind person -- I'd read all these things about how his ego is awful and he was an asshole to co-workers,etc, but he comes across as very nice and very very open to discussing at length the intricacies of the show. Kind of like the anti-Chase, haha. Though Chase has in the last couple years been talking more openly about Sopranos and the ending. But Weiner's warmth is telling because the show radiates such a compassionate humanism at the end of the day, whereas Sopranos was rather more cynical. Not that one is necessarily better than the other, I appreciate both depending on my mood just like I appreciate different flavors of ice cream. But I do like Mad Men's humanism, just because most shows are not just cynical but thoughtlessly manipulative and crass and disinterested in people.

Chase definitely isn't in that category either, he just has a darker world-view, and was writing about a darker world with Sopranos. For example, Not Fade Away is a fully Chase-ian work, but it is also probably a warmer and more optimistic or compassionate work than The Sopranos. Don't get me wrong --The Sopranos has such a remarkably nuanced portrayal of what are ostensibly horrible people, and that in itself is a kind of humanism, sort of a quasi-Catholic reminder that no one is beyond redemption. But ultimately, especially by the end of the series, it seemed to suggest that very little goodness was left in the heart of Tony and most of the other characters. (Again, this isn't a negative evaluation, just an observation).

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#7
Interesting comments, misterie, as usual. And obviously extremely high praise from you for Mad Men. Maybe one day I'll watch it, but likely not for quite a while because of what's on my own plate creatively and life-wise for the foreseeable future. I don't multitask well, and really giving myself over to a series is a major commitment of time for me. So I don't think it's something I'd watch casually in "down" time.

I did try it out for a half an hour or so when it first started and it didn't grab me. And, probably because I also felt Weiner's solo credited Sopranos episodes were least impressive of virtually any established writer on the show, I didn't give him much of a leash. But it was the Madmen pilot script that so impressed Chase and got him the Sopranos job, so there must be considerably more to it than I was able to find in 30 minutes. One day . . . :wink:

P.S. - Guests aren't supposed to be able to post. Don't know how that happened! But thanks for bringing it to my attention so I can try to sort it out.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#8
Thanks Fly. Yeah, watching a show like Mad Men certainly is a huge commitment, as it's even longer than Sopranos -- about 90 episodes! I will say this, though -- I think that, like Sopranos, MM only got better with time basically. And that the first two seasons are, while quite excellent, definitely the weakest and more possessing of that blunt quality Weiner showed earlier. There's a bit too much winking at the audience in the beginning as to how different the 60s were from today, etc. But like I said, Seasons 3 through 7 really step it up with such inventive, multi-layered writing and cinematic production values (The 90-minute Season 6 premiere is basically a movie unto itself, lush and dark and philosophical and very Chase-ian in theme and execution).

Coincidentally, I finally got around to watching Boardwalk Empire recently. It was a good show, but I only really could say I loved the fourth season and parts of the fifth -- the first three were entertaining enough, but empty: all dressed up with nowhere to go. Strange that Winter, who I think was the best Sopranos writer besides Chase and whose scripts on that show evinced such intelligence, would end up making such a generic, simple crime drama relying so much on action and plot -- while Weiner, whose style seemed to clash with Sopranos often, ended up creating its real spiritual successor in terms of ambiguity, unconventional narrative, slow pace, layered episodic mini-movies, dark themes, etc.

Re: Mad Men final 7 episodes

#9
Well, your critique has definitely convinced me that if I will ever give one of them another shot, it will be Madmen. I watched more of BE than Madmen, probably the first three episodes. But it just didn't appeal to me. I really, really have no interest in a series about organized crime, as silly as that sounds from someone who was utterly and completely obsessed by The Sopranos. But I'm sure you get my drift.:-)
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"
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