Catch Up On Mad Men Season Seven


Credit: AMC

Mad Men is back for its final season. Below you will find links to interviews, season reviews and episode recaps from various TV critics. Watch the episode, read the recap. Easy.

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Mad Men The Strategy


Credit: AMC

There’s an old expression that says you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. While that may be technically true, from a practical standpoint we often do choose our families. My parents are a four-plus hour drive away, and my sisters are farther. My family is my wife and the friends that live nearby. These are the people I turn to if I need something, and my wife and I are the people they turn to when they need something. It is what we’ve chosen. Don Draper is the most extreme case of choosing his family in that he chose a new identity and created a brand new family. However, Peggy and, to a certain extent, Pete have also created new families. Are the new families any better than the old ones? That’s a good question.

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Mad Men The Runaways


Credit: AMC

I started running away little by little when I was a child, away from a town that was too small and from parents who were also too small. I ran away a little more when I went to college and eventually ran all the way to New York City. I’m still running away, although I can see now that I haven’t made much progress. Running away is the only rational response to a generation that pretends to understand you. The strange part comes when you realize that you no longer understand the generation coming after yours. It can feel like you don’t belong anywhere.

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Mad Men The Monolith


Credit: AMC

I’m sure there is value in thinking of “The Monolith” in terms of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, but aside from the monolith at the beginning of the episode (the black door across from the elevator) and the early scene of Don walking through an empty office, I’m not sure how valuable this would be. (That being said, I was half-expecting that hanging phone handset to turn into a space ship or a bone.) Plus, I’m sure some of the recaps linked at the bottom of the page have contemplated the connections already.

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Mad Men Field Trip


Credit: AMC

I don’t expect wholesale change for Don Draper before Mad Men finished next year. I don’t expect it because people don’t usually change, at least not voluntarily, and if they do change then it’s typically not by much. Mad Men has been committed to the idea that change is slow and incremental, and even apparent change, like Pete Campbell in the season premier, is often temporary. Mad Men is mostly the story of how much a man wanted to change, and how difficult it is to do so.

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Mad Men A Day’s Work


Credit: AMC

The best episodes of Mad Men draw me in to the point that I have to remind myself to breathe. I find myself waiting to hear what someone will say or see how someone will react and even though the wait is measured in seconds, it feels like an age. I think I may have turned blue during season four, especially during “The Suitcase”, which still stands as this series best episode. Why do I mention it now? Because the scenes between Don and Sally in “A Day’s Work” are as good as anything the series has done. And I was holding my breath watching them.

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Mad Men Time Zones


Credit: AMC

Why does it mean so much? That is the question that was asked of Peggy a long time ago. Why does the work mean so much? The answer is complicated for Peggy, as it is for Don, and even though that question was asked a long time ago, it still stands. By the end of “Time Zones” both Peggy and Don are disappointed that they can’t fully enjoy something that means so much.

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Mad Men In Care Of

Mad Men Season 6 Episode PhotosCredit: AMC

If there is one common complaint about Mad Men season six it is this: It is no longer interesting to watch Don refuse to change. I understand that there’s no series, or at least no Mad Men as we know it, if Don got his act together in 1960. Don’s existential crisis is  the spine of the show and it is what drew me in at the beginning. However, if Don isn’t moving then the series is not as interesting. “In Care Of” finally gave us Don evolving and it was worth the wait.

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Mad Men The Quality of Mercy

Mad Men Season 6 Episode PhotosCredit: AMC

If you’ll allow me to torture the episode title and the passage in The Merchant of Venice from which it comes, Don and Pete show mercy on co-workers but I’m not sure that anyone who gave or received mercy was blessed, except maybe Bob Benson or whatever his name is. And Glen shows mercy on Sally and may just be the noblest character in Mad  Men.

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Catch Up on Mad Men Season Six


All Photos Credit: AMC

As I’ve done with the other seasons, here are the review/recap links for every episode in Season Six of Mad Men. Watch an episode and then come here and read a review. It’s what people do these days.

Here are the links to the pages for the previous seasons: Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason Four and Season Five.

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