‘Mad Men’ finale: Jon Hamm, Matthew Weiner are praised at after-party

18 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mad Men’ finale: Jon Hamm, Matthew Weiner are praised at after-party.

Sunday night’s finale of Mad Men ended with Don Draper meditating on a hillside, right before the 1971 “Hillside” Coca-Cola commercial plays, sparking debate about whether the fictional advertising maven had created the actual iconic ad.The exhibit is part of The Television Academy Presents a Farewell To Mad Men, an event that will commemorate the end of the series with panels and a live reading, according to Variety.Based on all the foreshadowing in the previous seven episodes, and for most of Sunday’s episode, it was more surprising that creator Matthew Weiner let Don Draper survive than it would have been if things had gone much darker.When Matthew Weiner, the wizard behind AMC’s “Mad Men,” stepped through the doors Sunday night at the drama’s finale after-party in downtown Los Angeles, it was as if he had just completed a revelatory hippie spiritual retreat a la Don Draper.

I wasn’t planning to write anything on the series finale of “Mad Men,” but the show last night gave a major shout out to Atlanta’s most famous beverage company Coca Cola. In reality, the commercial was brewed up by Bill Backer, the creative director on the Coca-Cola account for the McCann-Erickson advertising agency at the time.

He’s now a guy who’s happy in a commune doing yoga on the ground and crying with other grown men, which made a weird amount of sense for a guy who’s lived such a guilt-filled life. Most of Los Angeles (at least, the portion that watched the show) was still 30 minutes away from the West Coast airing of the curtain closer, but anchored at the entrance of Segovia Hall inside the Ace Hotel, Weiner could barely take in a moment with his son, Marten Weiner — better known to “Mad Men” viewers as Glen Bishop — without friends and attendees stopping to offer congratulatory pats on the back, handshakes and hugs. Mid-way through the episode, a broken Don Draper called Peggy Olsen, his friend still at McCann Erickson, the company Draper just abandoned for a quixotic journey. He tried to make some amends in a way as he tried to get Betty to allow him to come back to be with the kids when she died, but she refused his help, saying that everything needed to stay as normal as possible. Matthew Weiner, familiar with the hit-or-miss outcomes of finales as a writer on “The Sopranos,” seemed to have met expectations, at least for those inside the hotel.

But bad weather forced his plane to land in Shannon, Ireland, instead, and Backer noticed how many of the initially irate passengers on his flight seemed to calm down and relax after chatting over food and Cokes in the airport cafe. Her blonde locks were styled in old-school Hollywood curls which framed her pretty features and she posed beside her on-screen ex-husband, Jon Hamm [Don Draper], who wore a suit. ‘It’s sort of like when you final get over a breakup, and then they come back and they want to go out on a date again, and you’re like: Wait a minute – I got over you!’ Christina told the magazine when asked about how it felt to watch Mad Men end months after she shot her final scene. The ending was so positive that minutes after the show concluded, it was already sparking a compelling round of Internet speculation that Don got his mojo back, returned to the advertising game and created one of the most memorable spots of the 1970s — Coke’s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” The spot featured a fresh-faced group of happy people on a grassy hillside singing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke.” She said he should return to work, because who wouldn’t want to work on the Coke account, but he broke down sobbing, saying he had nothing to go back to, that he had wasted his life.

He met each greeter with a smile and implored: “Did you enjoy it?” or “What did you think?” The 49-year-old writer gave well-defined endings to the show’s characters — from love (Peggy and Stan!) and power plays (Joan!) to an implied yoga-inspired Coke ad (Don!?). In that moment [I] saw a bottle of Coke in a whole new light… [I] began to see a bottle of Coca-Cola as more than a drink that refreshed a hundred million people a day in almost every corner of the globe. The five-time Emmy nominee was not sure that she had really said goodbye to her fan-favourite character of Joan, a formidable secretary far too good for her assigned roles in life. She may have stormed off after a group therapy session went wrong, but Don seems to have found his place there, and ended the episode meditating in khakis. Leading man Jon Hamm, caught near the crowded food line, was also bombarded with adoration from attendees, and after a brief talk with film director Jay Roach, he was roped into posing for a photo with Kiernan Shipka (Sally) and the show’s costume designer Janie Bryant.

They were actually a subtle way of saying, ‘Let’s keep each other company for a little while.’ And [I] knew they were being said all over the world as [I] sat there in Ireland. Up at the dimly lighted rooftop portion of the party: Jessica Paré, who played Megan, was talking with friends while smoking a cigarette, just feet away from Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. Davis was initially doubtful, saying, “Well, if I could do something for everybody in the world, it would not be to buy them a Coke.” Instead, Davis prioritized giving people a home and sharing peace and love. Peggy’s conversations with Don, where she became the grownup, and with Stan, when she surprised herself by admitting she loved him, were perfect Peggy. Then again, the “Mad Men” gang have made an art out of bidding adieu, taking part in various “final season” events leading up to the final end credits.

Yet the ad’s shoot—which first took place in Dover, England, then in Italy—was marred by bad weather numerous times and production costs eventually hit $250,000. The Hillside ad certainly had a big impact on Backer’s career: it was considered one of his highlights and he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1995. Joan may have lost the man of her life but found independence in her new job where she had control, working out of her house in an early version of a home business. Certainly not the most cynical viewers who probably found Draper’s spiritual awakening hard to swallow and Peggy’s connection with Stan a wee bit pat.

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