Delicate But Potent

 

Mad Men is going into it’s final season this weekend. I’m kind of in denial about it.

There’s an ongoing debate in my house about whether Mad Men or Breaking Bad is the greatest television show of all time. I’m on the Mad Men side and there are dozens of reasons, but it’s mostly because, while I really enjoyed the ride of Breaking Bad, I’ve never once felt the need to revisit it. Granted, it’s only been a year, but still.

I’ve watched Mad Men in it’s entirety 3 times, and I’m sure I’ll watch it again. I plan on watching Rolling Stone’s “Top 30 Episodes” this weekend, because, well, why not, right? There’s a good chance that will lead to a full rewatch.

I’ll probably reflect on the show in a more cogent way in seven weeks, but for now, I keep thinking about how this show is ending.

About how it was the first show I got from Netflix. (Back when I got actual DVDs from Netflix.) About how I watched it at the behest of my women’s study professors, and couldn’t believe the level of detail, the time taken with the characters, how engrossed I was in it, how disgusted, how immersed.

I couldn’t believe how well this show played The Numbers Game, as I called it. There were so many different kind of women here. Hell, there were distinct characters inside of each type of woman. Betty and Trudy were both housewives, but they weren’t at all alike. Joan and Peggy both had careers but their lives didn’t look the same.

Every season Mad Men has snuck up on me. Every season I think, it won’t be as good, as interesting, as funny, as stylish, and it always, always is.

And I’m curious how it’s going to wrap up. I don’t think there’s going to be an ending, per se. Mad Men isn’t that kind of show. But there’ll be something. Mad Men is like a novel, it’s not going to end with something big. It’s a story of moments. It’s going to end on a moment, a quiet, small moment.

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