The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

‘Mad Men’ Finale Marks End of an Era

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On Sunday, May 17, the world said goodbye to the world of 1960s Madison Avenue as the finale of AMC’s Mad Men aired.

 

AMC, a TV network known for it’s tantalizing take of television with exceptional shows like Breaking Bad, did not fail to impress with the first season of Mad Men in 2007. The critical acclaim that followed was not beginner’s luck; all seven seasons of the show have been universally lauded for the rich characters, captivating storylines, and historical accuracy.

What made Mad Men astounding for me was undoubtedly the cast of characters, ranging from plucky and likable to corrupt and despicable. The talented cast brought the essence of advertisement men and demure secretaries to life. One of the most fascinating aspects of the show is the main character Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, who may be one of the most complex, conflicted characters on modern television. The two leading ladies, characters Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) and Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks) show immense growth through the series as they combat the prominent sexism present in the office place during the 20th century. The character development, occurring over a decade-long time span on the show and an eight year run in reality, never once faltered or detracted from the show’s quality.

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Personally, I believe that the greatest charm of Mad Men is the historical aspect. Whilst engaging in their own personal dramas, the characters’ work is interrupted by the assassinations of JFK and MLK, the rise in popularity of The Rolling Stones, and the Vietnam War. The careful weaving of the storyline through markers in U.S. history is impeccable and breath-taking, and one of my favorite aspects of the show. It’s a way of relating to the viewers as Don Draper constructs pitches for companies like Lucky Strike, Heinz, and Hershey’s. The cultural values of the decade are exuded through the characters’ fashion, excessive cigarette smoking, and cutthroat business demeanor.

The end of Mad Men is truly, as AMC markets, the end of an era. There have not been many other shows on television that have upheld this level of sophistication, poignance, and excellence. Donald Draper, we salute you.

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