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Hywel's Mad Men Blog

Hywel's Mad Men Blog


I don't blog.  But I had to write down my thoughts because this TV series has made me so..simply happy.

Well, Mathew Weiner and the writers of mad men have astounded and amazed me throughout the 7 series of beautiful TV. I've loved it because it has been real, funny, cynical, honest, and the last episode couldn't have lived up to itself more.  I instantly wanted to go back to the start and begin again.   But it has aloso felt like a language only some people can understand.  Many others have quit early on, don't get it, gave up half way through because 'nothing happens'.  Its so much about what isn't happening, and it seems either you're in tune with that, or you can't get on board.  But lets talk about the end.

I get angry when a TV series or a film tell us that life ends in total misery, it mustn’t.  I mean, maybe life does end with death, but I want my TV to be optimistic.

It wouldn't be enough for Don to be given a definitive end. He needed to go on a journey of self discovery, and instead of giving us the Hollywood ending that those things often have - total redemption versus final goodbye of death, it gave us what is quintessentially madmen, it gave us something much more real.  Don V2.  The same, btu changed.

Don is too much of a real person, an optimist, a coward, to jump off the building.  He is a hedonist who needed to go cold turkey, he needed a good cry and then to write another advert.  The whole series could have been a joke.  Stories of interviews with the creator have implied for many years that he knew how it would end from the start, and that' sled to believe that it must be a dramatic ending.  Yet here it was.  A coke advert.  A re-writing of history.  A joke - a trick of a joke, which is simultaneously flippant and completely of depth and believable. 

It restored my faith in entertainment, and it restored my enjoyment of working in entertainment.  I've been there with Don.  What have I done that is of any worth?  Nothing.  I've entertained people. And then the flipside of that is that the very purpose of life is to enjoy, and if you can help people enjoy life what better purpose is there, or pastime is there to spend your time. And if you can get paid for that? Great.  Oh yeah, and he was a terrible human being to lots of people along the way.  You shouldn't be that... 

As discussed in the Box Set Pod this week with Disney Producer Jeff Jenson, Mad Men is possibly a hugely hyped series because people in the media love it and not huge numbers of 'normal' people do... It’s easy to be cynical about this and say it’s 'an industry thing'.  I disagree. Sometimes things are 'industry trends' and will pass on the breeze of latte's and man bags. But sometimes if you want to know about music, ask a musician, or if you want to know about baking, ask a baker.  The customer IS always right, but sometimes it takes many years for the large numbers of customers to get round to consuming the thing that is so great.  In Mad Men's case, the writers directors producers and creatives of the world have spoken and said its the best thing every written for TV.  I agree, and I think it will last a long time and reach a lot of people.

I always say that TV should be optimistic, because people are optimistic.  Where there is life there is hope - as Stephen hawking said.