In the first episode of “Mad Men,” Don Draper (Jon Hamm) declares, “Advertising is built on one thing: happiness.” Is there a more effective approach to understand people than by looking at what they purchase? The 1960s were a crucial decade for advancement in America, and “Mad Men” examined the burgeoning trends in the advertising sector at this time. It also provided an excellent history lesson on the social, political, and economic changes that took place in this country.
The fictional lives of staff members at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency are followed in “Mad Men.” Don Draper works as the company’s creative director and junior partner. Even though Don seems to have the most charisma in whatever area he enters, tragedy often interferes with his life. The show gradually reveals how Don’s prior traumatising events influenced who he became. Despite having a fantastic cast of people, “Mad Men” ultimately poses the question, “Who is Don Draper?”
“Mad Men” received a tonne of attention throughout its time on AMC and won four straight Emmy Awards for best drama series. Mad Men maintained a steady level of strength throughout its entire run, unlike some excellent shows that tend to lose steam at the conclusion of their runs. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen “Mad Men” yet; you won’t be disappointed by the conclusion! All of the character arcs on “Mad Men” received a happy conclusion in the series finale, “Person to Person.” Here is a list of “Mad Men” seasons, from worst to finest.
The sixth season of “Mad Men” isn’t terrible by any means, but it’s undoubtedly the least interesting. Season 6 closes on a somewhat depressing note because the show started laying the groundwork for plot arcs that would culminate in the final season. Peggy Olson’s (Elisabeth Moss) future is uncertain, and Don’s marriage to Megan (Jessica Par) is disintegrating. While Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) and Peggy cherished their relationship, Ted decided to go to Los Angeles to be closer to his family and work at a different division of the business.
In Season 6, a few of the reoccurring storylines fall flat. Don has a protracted relationship with Sylvia Rosen, his next-door neighbour (Linda Cardellini), which his daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka) eventually learns about. Although Don has always been a complicated person, his latest affair makes him downright unlikable. Having said that, Cardellini puts on a fantastic show.
Season 6 also spends a lot of time on the Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin) character. Jim is a partner at the newly formed Sterling Cooper & Partners, which was formed when Cutler Gleason Chaough and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce amalgamated. Don, Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), and Bert Cooper are constantly bothered by Jim (Robert Morse). Jim is a necessary enemy, although he’s nothing compared to the villains from prior seasons, like Duck Phillips (Mark Moses). He’s also just plain unpleasant.
The second season of “Mad Men” struggles to live up to the high expectations of the audience after the brilliant first season. Despite being a good season of television, season 2 lacked season 1’s “newness.” There are still some excellent plots, though. Peggy develops into her role as a copywriter after becoming a mother to Pete’s child at the conclusion of season 1. In the toxic workplace of Sterling Cooper, she fights against systemic injustice. Pete also develops in maturity. Pete feels he lost the opportunity to marry Peggy after confessing his love to her.
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Season 2 of “Mad Men” saw a rise in experimentation. The “The Jet Set” episode takes viewers on a self-contained, dreamy trip through Don’s search for fulfilment. Don indulges in a hotel when his baggage disappears while on a work trip to Los Angeles. He starts dating Joy, a young woman from a wealthy nomad social circle, played by Laura Ramsey. Joy questions Don, “Why would you deny yourself what you want?,” during their intense relationship. Perhaps this was a means for the show to probe Don’s refusal to experience true joy. Joy embodies everything Don aspires to be: she loves him without reservation and doesn’t demand that he make a commitment. The second season concludes on an intriguing cliffhanger. In the final episode, “Meditations in an Emergency,” Don’s wife Betty (January Jones) tells him she is expecting a child and asks, “Is Don ready for the responsibility?”
After Don marries Megan at the conclusion of season 4, he realises he will never be able to commit to anybody for real. Season 5’s dark mood and frightening locations reflect Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s struggle to reinvent its corporate identity. Additionally, the main characters of the programme go through a lot of significant character growth. In “Far Away Places,” Roger admits that he is no longer a young guy. Peggy joins Cutler Gleason Chaough after leaving the company. Sally discovers that her father once wed Anna Draper, and Pete had an affair with Beth Dawes (Alexis Bledel) (Melinda Page Hamilton).
The passing of Lane Pryce is prominently featured in “Mad Men’s” Season 5 (Jared Harris). When Lane learns he could be sent back to England, he forges a check in Don’s name. Lane experiences a depressive episode after the other senior partners learn about his larceny. In the episode “Commissions & Fees,” Lane commits suicide. It is a tragic time, especially for Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks). Joan confided with Lane about going through a divorce from Greg (Samuel Page), her husband.
The “The Phantom” episode makes for a fantastic season 5 finale. Megan is given the chance to perform in a commercial. Don leaves the set while the song “You Only Live Twice” is playing after watching his wife work. Actually, Don leads two lives—one as Dick Whitman and the other as Don Draper.
“Mad Men’s” final season was split into two episodes with the subtitles “The Beginning” and “The End of an Era.” The “The End of an Era” segment of the series has enough noteworthy moments on its own to place it at the top of this list. Even if “The Beginning” is still excellent, it largely serves as a prelude. The subject of “The Beginning” is Sterling Cooper & Partners joining McCann Erickson’s network of advertising agencies as an independent company. At the heartwarming conclusion of “The Strategy,” Don, Pete, and Peggy eat dinner together. It’s incredible to consider how much these characters have evolved since their first appearances. Bert, who passes away after witnessing the “Apollo 11” moon landing on television, is given a lovely send-off in the following episode, “Waterloo,” which features a fantastic musical interlude.
The characters of the show adapt to the new realities of the 1970s in “The End of an Era.” Everyone embarks on new paths in the series conclusion, “Person to Person.” Pete and his wife Trudy’s romance was reignited (Alison Brie). Joan launches her own business. Roger discovers a relationship he can commit to with Megan’s mother, Marie Calvet, while Peggy confesses her love for her coworker Stan Rizzo (Jay R. Ferguson) (Julia Ormond). In the final scene of “Mad Men,” Don practises hippy commune meditation. He grinned, and the programme hints that he would later go on to develop the famous Coca-Cola “Hilltop” advertisement.
Some television programmes struggle to establish their identities throughout their first season, but “Mad Men” knew exactly who it wanted to be from the very first scene. The sitcom “Mad Men” introduces its main characters’ distinguishing traits in its debut episode, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Don can’t be entirely honest with anyone because he’s a serial womaniser running from his past. Pete has a lot of ambition, but his arrogance often gets him into problems. Despite the persistent prejudice in the advertising world, Peggy is committed to being successful. She is prepared to put her critics to rest.
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Additionally, season 1 does a fantastic job of weaving historical facts into its fictional plot. The show’s climatic penultimate episode, in which Pete learns Don has been lying about his identity, is set against the backdrop of the 1960 U.S. presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Don was born Dick Whitman and used to go by that name until he adopted his Lieutenant’s last name during the Korean War. Don’s history is not his sole source of reminders. Adam, his brother, approaches him (Jay Paulson). He is paid off by Don, who requests that he never speak to him again.
With Don’s pitch to Kodak in the first season finale, “The Wheel,” the show’s themes of materialism and family are summed up. Don offers a poignant speech on the value of memory and names their new projector “The Carousel.” Don includes pictures in the photo reel from his family’s collection. It transports us to a place where we yearn to return, he claims.