Paul Flynn On Why He's Watching Mad Men, Series 7

23 April 2014

Paul Flynn On Why He's Watching Mad Men, Series 7

From ice-queen housewife to political spouse, it’s been quite a journey for Betty

Here we go again then…

Yep, the super-stylish indictment of the amorality of the ’60s advertising industry is back. It is also the end of the road for our imaginary friends, cooked up by the brilliant Matthew Weiner.

Can I come to it now, or should I start at the beginning?

Start with season one. Mad Men isn’t quite a Breaking Bad, the only show in which each season incrementally improved on the last. But take out season fi ve and it is. It’s amazing to remember a time when Jon Hamm, January Jones and Christina Hendricks weren’t quite the stars they are today; when John Slattery was just a local councillor who wanted Carrie Bradshaw to wee on him.

So where is everyone now?

It’s 1969, the calm after the storm: ’68 was a big year for counterculture and a bigger year for Mad Men. Don Draper was outsed from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Lou tried to bring some vigour to the fi rm. Ted left Peggy. Everyone was bruised and in crisis.

Sounds messy…

But what a beautiful mess. The production values are the Touche Eclat of the operation. They lend sublime trickery to it, reimagining the dawn of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll as a complex upending of moral boundaries. Mad Men is about what the dawn of megacapitalism did to us all. After Don’s spectacular breakdown, it remains to be seen how much darker series seven can get.

Take a punt on how it’ll end…

The smart money’s on a Don Draper overdose. But season seven is split into two miniseasons, so we’ll have to wait till autumn for the grand finale...

By Paul Flynn. Mad Men is on Sunday, Sky Atlantic at 10pm 

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