Why ‘Mad Men’ Gives Us Hope on the Gun Violence Issue

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Mad Men’ Finale Coke Ad Appeared On ‘Happyish’ On The Same Night (But It Wasn’t The Real Thing).

“Mad Men” is over, but for the women and the (very few) minorities on the show, things really were just getting started. “Mad Men” focused on the story of Don Draper, and we see him go from wanting the American Dream to finding that dream itself wanting.Jon Hamm has seemed rather content with the conclusion of “Mad Men” on Sunday, which marks the end of the line for the character that effectively launched his career.The AMC series went out with an ‘ohm’ on Sunday night: In Don Draper’s last scene, he’s meditating on a hippie commune in Big Sur; the final shot of his face cuts to the iconic 1971 Coca-Cola “Hilltop” ad. But it wouldn’t have to be the end for all of the show’s beloved characters if Hamm had it his way — he’s got a pretty solid idea for a spinoff.

Mad Men was Don’s show, and enough of the finale was devoted to him and the tertiary characters around him (welcome back, Stephanie, I guess?) that there can never be any doubting it. It’s not said explicitly, but it’s pretty clear we are meant to believe that Don co-opted his time at the commune for the pitch of his career: The actors in the Coke ad look uncannily like the people Don got to know in Big Sur – right down to a nearly identical hairstyle between a few of the women in the ad and one from the episode (“The Real Thing”). But by the show’s finale, Peggy Olson, played by actress Elisabeth Moss, emerged as the show’s true co-star, and we leave her just as she is starting to “lean in” to her blossoming love life and ascendant career. At the Television Academy’s “Farewell to ‘Mad Men’” event on Sunday, the now-former Don Draper claimed it would be “less fulfilling” to watch the ensemble move on into the 1970s and beyond, with one exception: Sally Draper. “I think a big part of what I really appreciate about this show is that, when people are crying when they watched [Sunday’s] episode, is that the story is complete,” Hamm said. “So I think the idea of a spinoff, or a prequel, or an origin story, or whatever longer time to spend with these characters, I think it would be less fulfilling somehow.” “With that said, it would be Sally,” the star added. “We would want to watch Sally grow up.

In the show’s final scenes, we see images from the famous 1971 “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial that features a diverse cast singing the praises of soda on a hillside. The implication (which sharp viewers predicted, after so many Coke allusions in recent episodes) was that Don would return to McCann Erickson with a brilliant idea in hand for a commercial featuring a multiracial cast singing about a world living in “perfect harmony,” thanks to a particular soda. Enigmatic and gorgeous as that final moment was, the parts of the Mad Men finale that really had everyone up off their couches were about everyone else: Peggy and Stan’s phone-call confession pulled straight from When Harry Met Sally, Roger including Kevin in his will, Joan forging ahead with Holloway Harris, Peggy handing Pete back his signature line. In fact, the real-life person behind the idea was a creative director at McCann Erickson named Bill Backer, who was inspired by seeing some formerly irate air travelers communing over Cokes.

Anyway: In a coincidence so strange it’s almost suspicious, an altered recreation of the same ad appeared on last night’s episode of the new Showtime series Happyish, which is also about an unfulfilled ad exec. The show leaves the ending open to interpretation, but Don has either conquered the diverse new world through mediation and advertising, or let it blissfully pass him by as he watches the wheels. On Happyish, the ad – with considerable changes to the jingle’s lyrics – is presented to a focus group of millenials to see if they think today’s society is too cynical for that type of message. Yeah, I’d watch that show. ‘Sally Through the Decades.’” Hamm also spoke highly of actress Kiernan Shipka, who has played Sally since she was just six years old. “I’ve looked at pictures of Kiernan when she was in season one … and I don’t have children, but I don’t understand how that works,” he said. “They just grow into completely different people.

Whether or not Don actually invented it, the series still ends with an ad that packaged genuine emotions—peace, love, friendship, joy—and used them to sell sweet chemicals. And there’s a chance she could take a page from the Olson playbook and go behind the scenes soon. “I’ve been getting more into producing,” she said in an interview with Gotham Magazine last August. “I bought this book and am developing it. The cynicism that surrounded Mad Men from the very beginning, that made it a story about a guy who invented love as a way to sell nylons, was the feeling that defined its final moments.

But that’s been part of Don’s journey, is watching this child, who he’s responsible for, grow into this woman, who he’s also responsible for.” And, like Hamm, we would really, really like to watch that woman’s story unfold — either that, or a gander at what’s going on at Holloway Harris by 1980. Love, the original commercial has remained iconic enough that “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner chose to end his series—and Don Draper’s journey toward redemption—with it.

And yet: If the world’s rotten anyway, if we’re all just products like Leonard waiting to be picked up off the shelf, if the past will always haunt you and even sunny California isn’t the answer, then what better can we do than settle in and make the best of it? But seven seasons of the show have taught us that a happy ending is not just that, as much as our own weddings or children or personal successes cannot guarantee contentment. He’ll star in the psychological thriller “The Blunderer” alongside Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel, which is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1954 novel. But overall, it seems like Kartheiser is taking a very anti-Pete approach to the future. “I have no prospects right now,” he told HitFix in April. “I’m not signed on to do anything else.

Mad Men leaves us with a final gift, saying good-bye to these characters in their moments of happiness—real happiness, not something Don or anyone else sold them. I read the script and if I like it I try to find something that I can add to telling of the story, something that makes my perspective and my performance valuable and important and if I can come up with that then I’ll work and if not then I’ll be a janitor.” Betty Francis’s sad, cancerous fate was one of the more shocking moments of the last “Mad Men” episodes. But for those saddened by the prospect of leaving Betty behind, cheer up – Jones will continue her role on Fox’s Will Forte-led show “Last Man on Earth,” which was recently renewed for a second season. A thriller with Charlize Theron called “Dark Places” comes out this summer, and she recently shot Nicolas Winding Refn’s upcoming movie “Neon Demons,” alongside Keanu Reeves. Last year, he unveiled his directorial debut “God’s Pocket” (which starred “Mad Men” co-star Hendricks) and this summer, he’ll be in “Ant-Man” and has a cameo in Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp,” alongside his Sterling-Cooper pals Hamm and Rich Sommer.

According to Pare’s reps, she has nothing lined up at the moment – but in a 2013 interview with Esquire (with this author), she did mention a new musical project involving Alex Lifeson from Rush and Pare’s partner, John Kastner. He’s described as a “personal board game evangelist” and says his goal is to “bring gaming to the masses.” But this is just a side project; acting is still his first priority. He’s recently booked a role on Showtime’s gritty drama “Ray Donovan.” “This is the first time I’ve worked on a show where I’m coming on as a fan,” he told Speakeasy in March. Ted Chaough made his mark in “Mad Men” by having great taste in women, as he became obsessed with Peggy at one point, and in these last several episodes, an epic mustache.

Rahm currently has nothing on the books, but appeared earlier this year on “Madam Secretary” and “Bates Motel.” Could there be another “Mad Men”?

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "Why ‘Mad Men’ Gives Us Hope on the Gun Violence Issue".

* Required fields
Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site