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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:20 am 
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By the way, if you haven't been watching HAPPYish - you may want to. It isn't Mad Men, but it has a lot of truth behind MODERN marketing.

This week's episode had the marketing firm working to obtain a spot that would allow them to actually make a pitch to Coke (competition to even get the "honor" of pitching to Coke is fierce). They explored the tie-in between the Nazi handbook and the purpose of marketing business brands.

It had the old commercial being directed by Hitler that was absolutely appropriate.

Just saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:35 am 
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He didn't become somebody, he just went back to the advertising world with the recognition that he has to keep going. He repeated his usual pattern, i.e. have some problems, run from them, then pick up the pieces and return to his life. He's done it multiple times during the show, and even in these final episode characters kept saying, "He always comes back."

There wasn't any awakening there. He had decided that he wasn't worthy a long, long time ago, so that wasn't really anything new. We didn't see him turn a corner (nor should we have), we just saw him get an idea for a commercial. He moved past his latest crisis of self, which was one of many he's had during the show's run, and got back to work. It was the usual Don Draper pattern.

All of which is FINE. Nothing wrong with that. That's exactly what I expected. Almost anything else would have felt forced and contrived. Don is Don. The End. I like the idea behind that and am 100% satisfied at the idea of that being the pivot around which the finale turned.

It's the execution that failed.

Again, to spend so much screen time on Stephanie and nameless hippies is a questionable way to wrap up seven seasons of character exploration, especially since his time on the commune didn't really teach us anything new about him. At this late juncture do we care that Stephanie doesn't have custody of her kid? Or that hippies like to walk in circles? And so on?

Don was secondary to his own story. He stood by as events happened around him rather than being PART of those events. That was the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:53 am 
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I totally disagree, still.

Although, yes the words of "that's just Don" were there - the awareness that Don wasn't being Don was also there.

Don truly lost himself completely, IMHO.

I believe maybe the Coke commercial was lost on people that didn't experience it firsthand.

I don't know.

But using that imagery for his return along with his absolute true embrace of a nobody to the peaceful oneness with his noneness, well, I just disagree that he returned as his previous amoral, self-serving, numb, lost self.

I absolutely disagree that he didn't have an epiphany.

Then again, I didn't write a book about the show.

My observations are uneducated and ignorant of most of the material. But these are the takeaways of me as this type of audience - a perspective of someone that sees a Don that's become more than he ever was in my eyes before.

But, again, I ain't got no book on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 10:06 am 
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Pender wrote:
My observations are uneducated and ignorant of most of the material.

Stop with this nonsense. Your observations are thoughtful and well-reasoned and completely valid. Matthew Weiner likes some ambiguity in his work, and there is certainly enough in Don's final moments on the show to take the more hopeful view you took as opposed to the more cynical view I took.

And even if you haven't watched every moment of the show, you clearly watched enough to have an understanding of who this guy is and the things that torment him.

Besides, what is ultimately most important is what we take away from it as individuals. You got a beautiful message from it, and that's wonderful. I sure as hell wouldn't try to take that away from you.

No need to bring the book into the conversation. The book don't mean shit. I sure as hell would never bring that up or think it's relevant in any way, 'specially when we're just two people talking. I don't roll like that and wouldn't want anyone to think I ever would.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Got all teary eyed, for what it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 6:23 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
Pender wrote:
My observations are uneducated and ignorant of most of the material.

Stop with this nonsense. Your observations are thoughtful and well-reasoned and completely valid. Matthew Weiner likes some ambiguity in his work, and there is certainly enough in Don's final moments on the show to take the more hopeful view you took as opposed to the more cynical view I took.

And even if you haven't watched every moment of the show, you clearly watched enough to have an understanding of who this guy is and the things that torment him.

Besides, what is ultimately most important is what we take away from it as individuals. You got a beautiful message from it, and that's wonderful. I sure as hell wouldn't try to take that away from you.

No need to bring the book into the conversation. The book don't mean shit. I sure as hell would never bring that up or think it's relevant in any way, 'specially when we're just two people talking. I don't roll like that and wouldn't want anyone to think I ever would.

I just mean that you've likely done a huge amount of research and studies that I have not.

Ignorance is not a shameful quality, so long as you own it - which I do on the Don knowledge.

I reflected on your point and I could definitely see where a cynical approach could be seen from the finale.

I hope not.

But, yeah, I can see that Don being just Don could really be the outcome.

I felt the meditation and centering of himself as more than a ploy, though - and I really do hope it was for him. A redemption, if you will.

But, I agree, there is enough ambiguity that Don's smile could be a Buddha smile or a bullshit smirk.

I definitely took it as a positive and the scene did bring tears to my eyes, too. Most men would likely empathise with the Universal Fridge story, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 7:52 pm 
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Had to wait until tonight to watch, but I too am quite happy with Don's story. For me it felt that he had to go to that commune, he had to hear that generic guy say all those same things he feels about himself, but didn't have the courage to say, and he needs all that hippy shit to think of that Coke campaign. Don's not going to change, it's not like he didn't fuck that girl before he went off to hippieland. He just needed a walkabout.

Glad the rumor about Pete's plane crashing turned out false. He was an asshole, but I didn't need to see him die.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:08 pm 
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Pete got better though. I couldn't hate him this season.


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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:19 am 
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Pender, for what it's worth, the show's creator also feels that Don had a moment of enlightenment in that last episode:

“The idea that some enlightened state, and not just co-option, might’ve created something that is very pure” was an attractive way to end the series, Weiner said. “To me, it’s the best ad ever made, and it comes from a very good place.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/mad-me ... ar-BBk3v48

Jon Hamm feels the same way:

When we find Don in that place, and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment. There was a void staring at him. We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger.

My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this thing comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, “Wow, that’s awful.” But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led.


http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/ ... share&_r=0

And yes, portions of both comments are included in the book. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 1:19 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
Pender, for what it's worth, the show's creator also feels that Don had a moment of enlightenment in that last episode:

“The idea that some enlightened state, and not just co-option, might’ve created something that is very pure” was an attractive way to end the series, Weiner said. “To me, it’s the best ad ever made, and it comes from a very good place.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/mad-me ... ar-BBk3v48

Jon Hamm feels the same way:

When we find Don in that place, and this stranger relates this story of not being heard or seen or understood or appreciated, the resonance for Don was total in that moment. There was a void staring at him. We see him in an incredibly vulnerable place, surrounded by strangers, and he reaches out to the only person he can at that moment, and it’s this stranger.

My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, this thing comes to him. There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, “Wow, that’s awful.” But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led.


http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/ ... share&_r=0

And yes, portions of both comments are included in the book. :)

8-)

Glad the smile was real - I just don't see someone using meditation for any length of time and not being real about it.

After all, since that is the last image we see of Don and his Buddha smile, I felt it was eternal for him.

"This is where I am in the Universe [the forgotten/ignored shelf of the Universal Fridge] and this [the Coke ad] is what I do. I am truly okay with that [Buddha smile]."

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 1:56 pm 
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All credit to the positive folks who saw it that way. I feel like it was TOTALLY against everything this show has always done and said and presented, but I suppose in some ways that's the ultimate twist, right?

On a personal level I choose not to believe -- I believe that the author of something stops being the arbiter of what his/her stories mean once they are released to the world -- but at this point it can't be denied that that's exactly what was intended. Don finally found peace.

I imagine that with time, when this sinks in, I'll come to appreciate it more.

There IS a case to be made that after his total collapse in the final stretch of season 6, all of season 7 has been nothing but building to this point. First rebuilding his career, then realizing he can't fix his family, then exploring what makes him so empty inside, and finally, finding out.

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:04 pm 
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hey everybody my book is cool get it yeaaaahhhh!!

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 Post subject: Re: Mad Men
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:40 pm 
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What book?

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