‘Mad Men’ – Taking a Retrospective Look

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Mad Men

It has been some days since the final episode of the Mad Men aired. There was a lot of furor generated regarding how the show will end, with fans postulating various theories. Now the show has ended, the theories have either been proven or disproven. Mad Men was a great show, but the best anyone can now do is to take a look at the show in retrospect.

When the creator of the show, Matthew Weiner, first tried to pitch his idea to HBO and Showtime, both passed up on the offer. An opportunity arose when the idea was pitched to one of AMC’s Vice President. It so happened that they were looking for a series to replace Sopranos which was coming to an end. A deal was reached and AMC took a chance on the show. Many years later, AMC is not regretting that decision.

The first episode of Mad Men was aired on July 19, 2007 and the finale episode which was in the show’s seventh season was aired on Sunday May 17, 2015. This means that the show was on for approximately eight years. The show was a period drama set in the 1960s. The show received a lot of positive reviews, nominations and awards. With about 15 Emmys and four Golden Globe awards in its trophy box, AMC’s Mad Men surely made a lasting impression.

Prior to the airing of the finale episode last Sunday, AMC embarked on a massive campaign aimed at giving the final show a befitting farewell. The plan was that during the airing, no other station in the AMC network will have any program running. There will simply be a black screen with a message that their staff had gone to watch the finale of Mad Men. A lot of people saw this as an attempt to elevate the show to hall of fame status.

After all is said and done, the show has come and gone and one thing that most critics agree on is this was one of the greatest TV shows of our time. Leading up to the finale, the President of AMC said that last show, “will stick with folks for a long time.” Whether this is in a good or bad way is now another subject to be investigated. Though the final viewership of the show was amongst its highest, it was still not as high as many thought it would be. With 3.3 million viewers, it came in third behind two previous episodes of the show.

With the show now ended, one would wonder how the cast and crew will be dealing with the sudden vacuum. Having spent all these time together on and off set, there are bound to be memories both fond and not so fond.

The first fact emerging from the cast and crew is that one of the supporting characters of the show – Kiernan Shipka who played Sally Beth Draper, daughter of the main character, Don Draper – has been on the show longer than she has not been on the show. This simply means that she has spent more years of her young life on the show than she has spent out of the show.

Before going in for the last shoot, the cast and crew had a Q&A session with Variety’s Debra Birnbaum moderating. They reminisced on challenges, magical moments and best scenes. They remembered the early days when they had to work on a tight budget, attempting to properly re-create the look of the 1960s. Challenges are a part of life. They came, they saw and they conquered.

In rounding off the session, Matthew Weiner said he felt like they were going in for thanksgiving. Taking a retrospective look at the Mad Men and all the effort that must have gone into the project from conceptualization through the seven seasons to the final moment, this feeling of gratefulness and exhilaration is to be expected. Fans can now sit back and await what next these great minds will have to offer.

By Chimerenka Odimba


Variety: ‘Mad Men’ Finale Review: The Cryptic End of An Era (SPOILERS)
Variety: ‘Mad Men’ Finale: Stars, Production Team Reflect on Favorite Scenes, Emotional Moments
TV Line : Ratings: Mad Men Ends on High Notes
Entertainment Weekly: Mad Men finale ratings below show’s peak

Photo Courtesy  Christina Saint Marche’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License