Jon Hamm on the Set of “Mad Men”

Posted on January 15, 2014

It’s that time of year, darlings. Time for the Hamm to strap on his Draper again.

That sounded wonderfully dirty, didn’t it?

 

Jon Hamm is seen filming “Mad Men” Los Angeles, California.

There’s not much to be said here from a costuming perspective. We’ve been saying for years that Don would be dressing at the end of the series pretty much exactly the same way he dressed at the beginning. Still, he’s wearing a brown suit with wider lapels and a wider tie. It’s not exactly late ’60s trendy, but it’s Don’s version of keeping up with the times.

Here’s a little something to get you to yell at us. Having rewatched it recently, we don’t think the last season was very good. In fact, as far as we’re concerned, it was the first bad season of the show. The Sylvia stuff just doesn’t hold together and the Pete storyline was almost appallingly broad and comedic in comparison to previous seasons of the show. Peggy got treated like a background character and Joan got treated like an extra. We never saw Peggy deal with the breakup of the longest, most mature and committed relationship of her life and we never heard whether or not Joan’s massive risk-taking resulted in her securing one of the biggest clients on the agency’s roster. There were some decent episodes and emotional payoffs to be found, but the overall arc of the season felt stale, disjointed, and uneven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo Credit: Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com, Icono/PacificCoastNews]

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  • WendyD

    This BK will agree with you on the overall plots of this last season. The clothes were still gorgeous and the acting was still top-notch, but the story-lines left me wanting.

  • Nicholas

    Weiner also needs to kick the habit of blatant symbolism; last season felt like one that patronized the audience instead of deferring to their own interpretations.

    I mean, the name “Sylvia” alone …

    • filmcricket

      Weiner’s Sopranos was showing in the most blatant way ever last season, but it’s been growing steadily since about S4.

    • sugarkane105

      I feel dumb. What’s the significance of the name Sylvia?

      • Melissa

        Sylvia Plath maybe?

      • 3hares

        I thought it was a reference to Dante’s Inferno that Don was reading at the start? “I found myself in a dark wood…” Sylvia=woods/spirit of the woods. (From the Latin word silva.)

    • katiessh

      i read somewhere that the idea was that it was purposefully becoming more unsutble as advertising and culture became more brash and obvious

      • ideated_eyot

        Partly true, but the era was brash, not corny. Some pretty hokey stuff last two seasons.

  • Jackie4g

    It was prep work for Don Draper’s fall…………………and rise. I forgive Madmen almost anything, for the most part, that show has been relevatory TV

  • Ediths_Head

    Agreed. When I saw the premiere date announcement, I realized I’m really only excited to see what everyone wears, not to find out what is happening to them. All hail Janie!

    • MilaXX

      I’m just annoyed that AMC felt this final season was worthy of Breaking Bad split season treatment. Breaking Bad did it to allow the writers time to complete the story the way they wanted. Mad Men seems to be doing it in order to milk a little more mileage out of the show.

      • Amanda

        I believe this was mostly an AMC decision, not a “Mad Men” decision.

        • MilaXX

          I could be wrong on that count but whether it was an AMC decision or a Wiener decision, I still think it’s unnecessary for this show.

      • MK03

        AMC probably did it so they won’t be up against Breaking Bad at the Emmys.

      • jen_vasm

        Don’t forget that AMC/Weiner contract negotiation donnybrook from 3 years ago. The split season might be a compromise resulting from that.

        • MilaXX

          Good point. I forgot about that.

        • filmcricket

          Liked for the use of “donnybrook.” How very Peter Dyckman Campbell of you. : )

          • jen_vasm

            haha, just call me Word Nerd.

  • Chris

    “We never saw Peggy deal with the breakup of the longest, most mature and
    committed relationship of her life and we never heard whether or not
    Joan’s massive risk-taking resulted in her securing one of the biggest
    clients on the agency’s roster.”
    I could not agree more with this statement. It’s absolutely ridiculous to build an episode around Joan doing something so professionally risky she could get fired and never mention Avon again. Which of Don’s pitches did we never find out if he won or lost? Zero.

    • Gatto Nero

      In interviews Matthew Weiner said that of course Joan’s risk paid off. But he never let the viewers know!

      • jtabz

        Yes and yes … Weiner’s neglect (benevolent or otherwise) of his main female characters makes me worry that he’s out of touch with what makes so many people watch the show. My friends that watch (both male and female) are overwhelmingly more interested in the female characters, particularly those who we have come to know from their work in the adversing world. Last season, it felt like he had overestimated viewers’ interest in Don Draper.

      • MilaXX

        Which is annoying because we get to see EVERYTHING Don does, but one of the biggest moments for one of it’s major characters happens off line.

        • ailujailuj

          TOTALLY AGREE. this really annoys me. Weiner is misjudging is viewership, if he thinks the show is about Don.

          • Fionnuala Barrett

            Nay, he’s misjudging the show itself: this is not one of those cases where an album is released to a critical and popular panning, only to be resurrected over time. NO ONE is going to validate Weiner’s overweening interest in Don to the detriment of Joan and Peggy, whatever the amount of hindsight.

          • ailujailuj

            Oh hell yeah. I totally agree. I was being facetious.
            it could get ugly…

      • Chris

        I saw that and was glad it was definitively answered but it was crazy not to even put one line in the show mentioning Avon or even “Joan’s account.” I guessed she got it because you could see Avon products around the office, but as you say, he never let the viewers know.

    • gabbilevy

      All the worse because, IIRC, Weiner has said in the past that this show is as much Peggy’s as it is Don’s. Remember, that we open on her first day as a secretary at Sterling Cooper. This season better be coming up Peggy Olsen or this show isn’t going to stick its landing.

      • Chris

        And just once can Peggy be the one to end a relationship? Or not get mixed up with a married man. I know fundamentally people often don’t change but Peggy learns from her mistakes professionally is it too much to hope for her to learn from her personal mistakes as well?

        • PowerfulBusiness

          Big ups to all of these points.

        • KayeBlue

          Seriously! Professional women, including powerful professional women, do and did have loving, happy relationships and occasionally even *gasp* ended them on their own terms.

        • Gatto Nero

          I agree — but on the other hand I think her failure in relationships illustrates an interesting blind spot in what is otherwise a savvy, professionally driven woman. It’s not unusual to be smart in some areas of one’s life and to stumble in others. Maybe her entanglement with Ted was the final straw.

        • bawoman

          To be fair, she did end it with Pete and with Duck. She isnt always the dumpeé.
          We all know this show isnt necessarily about happy endings. Peggy is no exception.

    • Jenny Ziv Scott

      I feel that Peggy was already over Abe. They were so mis-matched and their differences were so apparent that it was a relief when he said they were over. He was so annoying, I was kind of glad she stabbed him.

      • bawoman

        Agreed.You could tell the relationship was dead, and that she knew it, well before Abe broke up with her.

    • 3hares

      I’m not sure we always found out if Don’s pitches went that well, always. The show does often drop this sort of thing as not important. The trouble was Joan’s story didn’t really fit in that category. it was practically like never telling us whether or not they ever got Jaguar after what she did.

  • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

    No yelling from here. I agree. Wholeheartedly. It was The Don and Megan Show.

    • Josefina Madariaga Suárez

      I would say “The Don and Sylvia Show”, with Megan as a special guest.

      • http://www.deborahwiles.com/ GoodSally

        oops. That’s what I meant. Yes.

  • newleaf1

    He looks so much like my dad from that era…

    Agree on the storyline. Too many dropped plotlines – for the women in particular, and the Sylvia thing played out too long.

  • MilaXX

    Last season is why I’m ready for this show to be over. I’ll still watch and I still mostly enjoy the show, but I think it’s said all it has to say. Last season was bad not only for the reasons you mentioned,but also because it was the same things we learned in the first 3 seasons, Don had a messed up childhood and can’t seem to form positive relationships as a result. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sure he has has moments of self realization, but for the most part Don is one step forward, 2 steps back. Other than the fantastic costuming there’s really nothing left to see.

    • Gatto Nero

      I’m still onboard, mainly because I want to watch the female characters’ arcs to their conclusion (including Sally’s). The themes about the old guard versus the new, and the movement of previously marginalized people (women, gays, people of color) into the spotlight are still relevant. There was too much Sylvia, too much Don and Megan and the hammering home of Draper’s psychological problems — but the outcome of the Sally/Sylvia confrontation was that his daughter is finally starting to learn who he is. The question that will remain unanswered until probably the bitter end is whether Don will redeem himself or fade into the sunset as irrelevant. I’m in.

      • MilaXX

        Weiner doesn’t deal with the themes of marginalized POC. He uses it as window dressing. I fully plan to watch the final season, but I completely agree that last season was a good 75% crap and 25% good tv.

        • Sobaika

          YES!

          I used to think it was kind of genius – treat the people of color the way these characters would have, as nothing more than background noise. But as the seasons went on and women, gay characters, and Jewish characters all had opportunities to exist as complete and multi-dimensional. Every black character has been there only to serve the arc of one of the main (white) caste – Carla for Betty, the Playboy Bunny for Lane, the girlfriend for Kinsey, and so on.

          The best we got was Dawn, and she mysteriously ceased to be relevant just after the MLK episode. Things that make you go HMMM.

          • MilaXX

            CHURCH!

          • MilaXX

            And let’s not forget the “scary black folk” imagery like the mugger that attacked Joan, the people who mugged Abe, and the lady that robbed Don’s apartment.

          • sugarkane105

            The woman who robbed Don’s apartment was really scary, thanks in large part to the actress who portrayed her. I thought she was creepy as hell, and was hoping she’d get some sort of guest starring nomination for something.

          • Chris

            Right! Why start to explore Dawn’s life only to never pick up that thread again? Also did they fire Peggy’s secretary in the merger? She dropped off the face of the earth.

          • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

            “Caste” for cast is either inspired shade-throwing or the best Freudian slip ever.

          • Joy

            Great point on how the characters are there to serve the arc of one of the main characters. I love Mad Men, but when it comes to writing POC they do a crap job. Boardwalk Empire is winning when it comes to this.

        • Gatto Nero

          Maybe that will change. (I hope so.) I remember Roger’s horrifying minstrel show antics at his summer party (several years back in the story arc) and think how unimaginable that would be in the current MM universe. Still Weiner’s taking his time, and he may never get there. If not it will remain a major flaw of the series.

      • Chris

        The problem was that Sylvia was IMHO the most uninteresting character ever on Mad Men. I’ve never been less interested in a character and it seemed like we learned almost nothing new about Don from their relationship. At least nothing that couldn’t be conveyed using 70% less screen time. As a result it seemed Joan among others got short shrift.

        • bawoman

          Sorry, for me that award goes to Megan.
          But I agree Sylvia was snoozeworthy.

          • Chris

            I at least found Megan visually interesting even when she was boring as a character. She really brought the 60′s look into the show in a chic way. Sylvia was even visually boring. There was nothing about her that didn’t put me to sleep.

    • filmcricket

      Weiner seems basically to agree with David Chase that people don’t change. (For all that Don once said “What people have done isn’t an indicator of what they will do,” it actually is a pretty good bellwether, and Don’s living proof.) While that may be true to life, there’s only so long it can be compelling drama. It’s why I gave up on The Sopranos before the end: I realized Tony wasn’t going to change, and since I didn’t give a damn about any of the other characters, I stopped caring about the show.

      The difference with Mad Men, for me, is that I care very much about Peggy, Joan, Sally, and even Pete (in the sense that I want to know what happens to him). They’re the main reason I’m going to be watching to the last frame.

      • PowerfulBusiness

        But what could be interesting is Weiner seemed to position Don as a man on the verge of SOME change by the end of S6. Yes, we could go into S7 and Don won’t give a second thought to being with the kids or letting people in on his true self, but…it doesn’t seem that way. Weiner is so deliberate I doubt he would construct an entire season that led up to Don’s decision to man up and stay in NYC, let Megan go (fingers crossed), come clean about his childhood to his professionals and to his children – there seems to be something very significant there for S7.

        • filmcricket

          You may be right about that – I hope you are – but I also recall S4 Don finally pulling himself out of the gutter, trying for some self-reflection, and settling down with one woman. And look how that turned out.

  • ailujailuj

    uggh… just the sight of Don’s assy smirk makes my eye tick.
    but I’m excited for the season! There were so many missteps last year (agree with the sylvia and Petey train wrecks and the only plot lines worth pursuing were the ones the writers shat upon). So, let’s do this right in 2014 or there are going to be some loud and messy kitten attacks.

  • Janet B

    The brown suit reminds me of my dad, he wore similar ties too. I do recall a orange/brown/olive tie, maybe to update the suit in the 1970′s

    • tallgirl1204

      Nice. My dad was a short-sleeves and tie and pocket-protector type. Think Apollo 13 (he was an engineer). I remember seeing men like Don on t.v.– they always looked rich to me, because they didn’t have to worry about their pens wrecking their jackets. Just a child’s assumptions.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOctocornNetwork International Model

    Geeking out over The Algonquin.

    • AmeliaEve

      The Algonquin does not seem like a Don Draper place to me AT ALL. It’s literary. And it was a bit down at heel in the ’60s. It is neither fashionable nor establishment, but it’s right in the neighborhood of lots of other hotels and men’s clubs, so it wouldn’t be a discreet rendez-vous spot for him, either. I can’t imagine what he is doing there.

      And yeah, last season was comparatively week. but O still love ‘em.

      • MK03

        Seeing as Cutler is with him, it’s probably business-related.

        • sweetlilvoice

          I didn’t even notice Cutler at first. Man, he is looking really old and out of date here. Not as sexy as on the show.

  • carnush

    Oh man I cannot WAIT for this to come back.

  • Amanda

    Mmmm Draper Hamm.

    I actively disliked season 5 while it was airing. Upon rewatch, I warmed to it. I wonder if the opposite will be true of season 6.

    • Spreecord

      Look, I’m just saying he can come to me for some NSA face-slapping any time he wants. And after the shit he’s put me through the last few years, I’ll actually mean in, unlike his hooker.

  • Amanda

    Subtlety has been on the decline with each season. Some argue that it is a sign of the changing times (ok), but I also think it’s due to the departure of several writers/producers.

  • BoxOfficeChica

    I actually thought S5 was worse than S6, maybe because S5 severely lowered my expectations and I wasn’t expecting very much last year. Both were a clear drop-off in quality from the earlier seasons.

    • MK03

      Season 5 was the nadir for me. It became The Wonderful Perfect Megan Show, which was boring and annoying. Season 6 at least proved that Megan’s as fucked up as everyone else on the show.

  • alyce1213

    I’m a little confused about all the fedoras. This is supposed to be late ’60s, right? I recall men’s hats being out, for the most part, by the early-to-mid ’60s (Kennedy influence), especially for younger men — yet every man in the scene is wearing one. I know Janie Bryant knows her stuff, but I was around in NYC then and it looks off. Any fashion historians want to weigh in?

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      Older men continued to wear them – especially older businessmen.

      • alyce1213

        I suppose I have a hard time thinking of Jon Hamm as an older man, ’cause I’m older than him. :)

      • deathandthestrawberry

        Yep. My grandfather continued to wear a fedora until his death in ’91. I don’t think he ever wore a pair of jeans either.

      • MarinaCat

        True. My father was the same age as Don, worked in Manhattan and wore the same style hat well into the 1970s. He was on a similar fashion wave-length as Don.

    • boweryboy

      I think this sentence of TLo’s sums it up perfectly: “We’ve been saying for years that Don would be dressing at the end of the series pretty much exactly the same way he dressed at the beginning.”
      I think that can also be applied to most of the male characters on the show who are in Don’s age range. The taxi photo, for example.

    • ailujailuj

      not sure if you meant that men’s hats were out for the period or permanently but I saw them in the city all the time when I lived there 5 yrs ago. My boss, who was 2nd generation italian, wore a fedora expertly every day.

      • alyce1213

        I meant for the period, late ’60s.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        Some men can rock a fedora regardless of fashion. Some men only think they can…

        • ailujailuj

          So true… I have 2 that I love to wear myself but it took forever to find the right one that works on me head. they are to be taken seriously and with a nice scotch. I was looking for something and found this from the wiki:

          ?The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by dramatist Victorien Sardou, Fédora, written for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was first performed in the United States in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora, the heroine of the play. During the play, Bernhardt, a notorious cross-dresser, wore a center-creased, soft brimmed hat. It was popular for its stylishness and its ability to protect the wearer’s head from the wind and weather. Since the early part of the 20th century, many Haredi and other Orthodox Jews have made black fedoras normative to their daily wear.[

    • CMSmith1848

      My grandfather, an exec at an energy company, wore them until he died last year at 85. I loved his fedoras. So many family pictures with him in his fedora.

  • AutumnInNY

    Yes, TLo, everything you said in the second paragraph. Way too much Sylvia (and her family) and whorehouse flashbacks and not near enough Joan’s growth in the firm or Peggy’s relationship disintegration. Joan and Peggy have taken a big backseat to Megan the last two seasons as far as I’m concerned and I’m hoping the upcoming season has more of them and Sally and less of Megan and the whorehouse. We get it already.

    • decormaven

      I’m praying for more focus on the ad agency’s business- and not just for how it moves relationships forwards or backwards. One of my favorite episodes is “The Suitcase” – you get a sense of the team’s work, the interplay between Don and Peggy, the rhythm of how things click at an agency. I totally agree about S6. Mad Men is my “night night story” – I go to sleep listening to an episode of just about anything from the first four seasons. There are a few episodes from S5 I may watch/listen to, but nothing from S6. Don’s descent through the fifth ring of Hell was too painful, and like others, I didn’t see any real need for the drawn-out affair with Sylvia or the 5,000 whorehouse flashbacks.

  • DaveUWSNYC

    Waiting for the Draper to strap on his Hamm.

  • NMMagpie

    I agree 100% with you about the most recent season of MadMen. You get to used to habitually praising it, it seems kind of naughty to say it was not so good. But it wasn’t.

  • MartyBellerMask

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Inspector_Gidget

    I pretty much agree, but for me the low point began with Joan sleeping her way to partnership ala Indecent Proposal, and Lane taking 4 episodes to commit suicide. (The train wreck is comin’! Wait for it!)

    They’ve had some pacing issues, as far as I’m concerned. Sometimes interesting developments get wrapped up immediately, and sometimes boring sidelines go on and on and on. (How did Don’s affair with Linda Cardellini go on for a whole season?)

    Here’s hoping for a return to form.

  • MartyBellerMask

    Oh, and I can’t imagine you’ll get a lot of yelling. Last season was problematic. The soap opera gears were turning HARD. The Bob-Pete storyline was puzzling and not satisfying, pay-off wise.. And Sylvia. Sweet Jesus, too much Sylvia.
    Hopefully some of the stories introduced last season will pay off, and hopefully others will be forgotten. And damn it, Joan better get some screen time.

  • Melissa Brogan

    I really did not like the last season of Mad Men for all the reasons you listed. Way, way too much focus on Sylvia and way too little on the characters that were central to the show for the previous 5 seasons (aside from Don). There were some highlights to the season, but overall it wasn’t up to par.

  • Kate Andrews

    I’d need to see the season again to get perspective, but I agree, things were off. I hope that maybe it was that dull spell of the series as they’re building up to a wham-bang ending (just as the seasons tend to go).

  • acevedob

    Agree. Now that you mention it, it’s time to re-watch the season ;)

  • Tracy Alexander

    Totally agree. At first I was a little surprised it wasn’t nominated for Best Drama series for the Golden Globes. The more I thought about it it was like, yeah, last season probably didn’t deserve it….

  • Jacqueline Wessel

    Don’s pants look too short to me.

    Agree with your comments about last season…too much Sylvia and not enough Peggy and Joan. And Pete’s story line was bizarre.

  • megohd

    Harry Hamlin is in that taxi shot, right? Aaaah! I can’t wait to see what happens to Don!

  • BayTampaBay

    Agree! The Sylvia story line did not work.

  • beebee10

    I agree, the season was incredibly weak!!

  • Danielle

    HNNNNNNNG

  • mommyca

    Well, it was the season of the Dante Inferno… so I guess it sort of went to Hell… I do agree it was too much Sylvia, but I don’t agree it was the worst season… Anyways, I do agree that it’s time for watching it again…

  • Denise Rambo

    Don’s shoes look a teensy bit scruffy in the these photos.

  • bxbourgie

    COMPLETELY agree with you. Although I’ll continue to watch the show because I’ve invested so much time and energy into it already and I need to see how it all ends, last season was not a stellar one, especially when compared to seasons past. They really either need to make Don more interesting or turn him out or something, because the constant rehashing of his “troubled upbringing” is stale, old and tired. There are many MANY other characters that could have interesting story lines that are never fully developed because for some reason the writers seem to think we care SO MUCH about Don and his issues… and WE DON’T. My wish for this last season is that in addition to Don we get to see the other characters lives play out and come to conclusions as well.

  • Mars Tokyo

    I totally agree with you about last season. And BTW that hat is just wrong. It’s somebody’s idea of a 1960′s hat– but the brim would never be pulled down that flat against his forehead.

  • Judy_J

    That man can rock a fedora like no one else. Creepy or not, I still think Don is dreamy.

  • PowerfulBusiness

    And especially having Elisabeth Moss be the second cast member to win a big award, the Golden Globe, for work OUTSIDE of Mad Men shows how much they underutilized Peggy – and an incredible actress. I hope Matthew Weiner smartens up and lets Peggy/E.Moss get have as much screentime and meaty, emotional storylines as they gave to Don…. and Bob Benson.

    I have to say when I rewatch S6, I’ve tended to just watch “The Quality of Mercy” and “In Care Of.”

  • KayeBlue

    Where’s the Hammaconda? I guess they finally made him put on underpants. Oh well…

    • Shawn EH

      The LIttle General has been contained.

  • Tara

    These photos made my day. My expectations for season 7 aren’t high, but they aren’t low either. My love for this show helps me overlook it’s deficiencies and I am holding out hope that the finale will help to explain certain shortcomings in seasons 5 and 6. Like The Sopranos, this show hit me in the kisser, and left a mark. I love it, and its world.

    • PowerfulBusiness

      Agreed. When I complain about the show, it’s like complaining about your sibling. I can do it, but if anyone were to say, “I hate Mad Men, that show sucks” I’d defend it to its death.

      • Tara

        I can’t even bring myself to complain about it! When I hear others complaining I’m always like, “Welllllll, I see what you’re saying, and you have a point there, but MADMEN.”

  • BendinIntheWind

    Oh, what I would give to trade places with Headphones Guy in pic #3…

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    BRB, gotta marathon last season. I suspect I agree with you. Also, Draper’s suit is pure Pop-pop, and wow is that distressing. Fashion: Let brown die.

  • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

    I’m from NY, and I must say, The front of the Algonquin Hotel in those photos looks very clean. And I see Alan Havey in the background. Nice!

  • crash1212

    Random thoughts: Mr. Hamm…please raise your jacket again and/or anytime you want to. It’s a travesty that he never won any award he was nominated for (irrespective of supposed “lacking” last season) as I think he’s done amazing work on this show. The look on his face as he shoots his cuffs in slide #3 is priceless.

    • filmcricket

      He won a Golden Globe after the first season. It was during the writers’ strike so the ceremony was not broadcast.

  • Redlanta

    You are absolutely correct about Season 6. Except for Sally’s storyline, nothing really showed any depth or “payoff”. They better bring it for Season 7, especially if they continue to insist on dragging it out for almost 2 years!!!

  • lillyvonschtupp

    I kind of enjoyed last season from the Bob Benson angle. And didn’t you guys say that a bad Mad Men is still better than 90% of anything else on tv?

  • Missy

    Ugh. I can no longer look at a picture of John Hamm without playing “spot John-junior” in the pants. THANKS MEDIA.

  • czarina

    Ok, I will respectfully disagree with the beloved Uncles and the rest of the BKs. Season 6 was more painful to watch than Season 4 because 1968 was one of the worst years in US history, and I think the story lines tried to mirror that feeling of hypocrisy and decay. This past season wasn’t just about the decline of Don Draper, but it was about the decline of just about every main character on the show and each one was made to suffer the consequences of their poor decisions.

    But, by the end of season, each one had a glimmer of hope. Joan was out to prove everyone wrong that she slept her way to a partnership by going after the Avon account. Peggy is last seen sitting in Don’s office (wearing pants even!) ready to take over and perhaps recognizing that she is no longer someone’s protege, but her own woman, and she will succeed because of her talents and not because of any man. Pete, after throwing away his marriage, is leaving for California for a fresh start. Ted, is also leaving for California, but to save his marriage. It wasn’t clear whether the Draper marriage would survive. Don, after impulsively choosing the wrong time and place, stops living his lie of a life by beginning to reveal to his co-workers and his children, his real identity.

    Nothing is ever tied up in neat little bows in the Mad Men world, so sure plot lines were left hanging. Yes, there were episodes and writing that were at times uneven. However, I’ll take a “bad” season of Mad Men over any other show that is broadcast today, and I will miss these characters ,and their dialogue, and their clothes when this series ends in 2015.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Well put, thank you!

    • Marie Paro

      I tend to agree — I was frustrated at times during the last season, but it is a very unique and delightful hour of tv every week in terms of writing, acting, directing, and overall style, and I don’t mind that it’s not perfect. And even just one scene like Don Draper telling the Hershey executives he hoped they wouldn’t start advertising, and integrating his presentation with a revelation of his real history — that packs a satisfying punch that most other shows don’t.

      • AnotherJulie

        I found the season esp Sylvia plotlilne less satisfying than previous seasons, but in my opinion MM is still more intriguing than anything else on TV.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_aphasia/ Constant Cat

    Agreed on the previous season. Joan and Peggy are such important characters. They might be treated as focal points over the latest dame that Draper is bringing to bed. I too wanted to see more of Peggy’s reactions over either dude in her life, and Joan get something exciting under her belt: either the big account or a new love in her life. I think the last two seasons were even more pessimistic than any before and…urgh. There were times when I wondered, ‘Why am I slogging through this?’ But, it’s still a watchable and often compelling hour of television. More focus on the preexisting characters would turn it around. Endings are important, so I guess we’ll see how it all wraps up.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_aphasia/ Constant Cat

      Although, it must be said: Bob Benson and his lovely thighs are a GLORIOUS addition to the cast. So…fine. Not all new characters are bad, I just didn’t feel like we’ve been getting the proper expansion of our beloved originals.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Gentlemen I agree with you but I believe this season has laid the groundwork for future seasons. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Sylvia was a horrible character and I hope she’s off the show. And I too was disappointed that we didn’t know for sure if Joan got the Avon account! For once she doesn’t have to use her sexiness to get what she wants! Get out of your head Matt Weiner! We don’t always know what you are thinking.

  • Qitkat

    Time for the Hamm to strap on his Draper again.

    This is too perfect, needs to become a song lyric or something.

  • ALW

    On my first pass, I didn’t even notice anyone other than Jon Hamm in these photos. However, on my second pass, I immediately recognized the third man with Don and Cutler is the man the SCDP partners brought into the office right after they placed Don on leave. I am so intrigued.

    April 13th cannot come soon enough.

    • Lisa_Co

      Good call!

  • KT

    I’m not going to yell at you for that — I’m going to applaud you. Last season was far and away the weakest, and I still worry that the show may have jumped the shark entirely. The writing frequently felt redundant, lazy and/or heavy-handed. Don became unlikeable to the point where I had some sort of visceral reaction (yelling, cursing, throwing things, all the above) every time he came on screen. They spent too much time on uninteresting, unlikeable characters and not enough on characters who were actually evolving — causing the entire season to feel stifling. You could argue that that was the point of it all — forcing the audience to feel as trapped and frustrated as its own characters — but that’s a more interesting idea in theory than in practice. In practice, it felt like tuning in was more of a chore than a pleasure, and let’s be honest, no audience member/network executive/show creator wants that.

    • CatherineRhodes

      Good analysis, KT. I agreed as well that the focus was placed on uninteresting characters like Sylvia and that stupid plot line with Pete Campbell’s mother. On a Sunday, I never felt excited the show would be on that night as I had in years past. In fact, often I would DVR it and leave it until Wednesday or Thursday. A chore, not quite for me. But the thrill is gone.

  • snarkykitten

    Yeah, the last season was weird. A lot of things seemed to happen off camera that should have been more fleshed out (Pete’s mother’s death which was lolWAT & Joan landing the Avon account)

  • Laura Renee

    I want to be one of those extras who’s paid to dress in stylish late-60s clothes and wait around until the appropriate moment to saunter past Draper on the sidewalk.

  • French_Swede

    My latest wish is for men to dress more like Dapper Don, including the hat.

  • MarinaCat

    I understand that the affair with Sylvia seemed redundant, but I think it had to happen to show that Don is Don regardless of the very different relationships, settings and lifestyles he lives; that Don’s choices in seasons 1-4 weren’t just a reaction to his unhappy suburban life with Betty.

    • AnotherJulie

      Every time Sylvia appeared on screen I groaned – but I agree that the Sylvia affair was necessary, if only to show how far Don had fallen and what he had become (desperate, insanely risk taking,etc.).

  • bawoman

    Personally I thought S 5 was much worse.Too much of bland Megan, and Don running around like a neutered love puppy.Plus, I always thought Joan sleeping with Herb to get the Jaguar account was soap opera ish and melodramatic.It didnt fit the show.

    And I actually thought we got to see plenty of Peggy.We got to see her deal with her feelings (and subsequent short term affair with Ted) dealing with having to work with Don again, dealing with her stagnant relationship with Abe (and her growing relationship with Stan).Much more than in S5, were all we really got was her h-jobing the stranger in the movies. moving in with Abe, and one good episode of her deciding to leave SCDP.
    I do wish we could have seen Joan more (and see her land Avon),and I agree Petes storylines sometimes verged on the ridiculous.
    But all in all, S6 was much more entertaining and compelling (allthough still definetly not on the same levels of the first 4 seasons.

  • MzzPants

    ‘Strap on’ and ‘Hamm’ in the same sentence. I read nothing else.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Just what I wanted on Hump Day-a lovely side of Hamm!

  • quiltrx

    I don’t watch the show, so I can only comment on the pics. Those first two are serving a smidge of Le Samourai realness.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Ooh, Le Samourai-Alain Delon was so good in that film!

  • boldprint

    bless you, Uncles. bless you.

  • ThaliaMenninger

    I agree on the season. I think they were trying to give it a nightmarish, psychedelic feel because we’re in the late 60s, but it kind of didn’t work. Although I will be forever grateful for the Bob Benson arc. It was mysterious and fun and kept me hooked for the major part of the season.My memory will always hold Bob and his shorts and his coffee cups.

  • Orange Girl

    Ah….how I’ve missed mad men discussions among the BK’S. Can’t wait for April 13. And thanks for Hamm pics.

  • Bootsy

    Forgive me if this has been mentioned; I don’t think all of the comments are loading properly for me. But:

    Does Don look a tad schlumpy here? Like he’s dressed as a man on the downside slope of the ruling class– firmly middle-aged, a bit out-of-touch? His pants don’t fit like they used to*, his shoes look more worn than with past outfits, his jacket looks Macy’s. He looks like his next purchase will be a leisure suit. I’m around Baby Gene’s age, so maybe I’m just remembering tragic ’70s fashion through a modern prism, and maybe even wealthyish urban males sported those belts for a time.

    Anyway, it would make sense that this season would deal with that particular arc in Don’s life. He’s not a world-beater any longer.

    *(possibly the character is now dressed this way because tighter pants on this actor were becoming too distracting for the story focus…)

    • 3hares

      I’m not expert, but to me Don looks the opposite of leisure suit–he looks 50s, but his suit is brown (and now I know from T&Lo that his lapels and tie are wider!). He’s still got plenty of money and there’s no reason he’d be buying his clothes in a different way than he’s done all this time, so I don’t think he’s supposed to look ill-kempt or down at heel. Maybe it’s just the coming-70s influences that make him look bad to you?

    • msdamselfly

      I agree that it looks like Don is not at the top of his game

    • Katesymae

      Could it also be that brown suits are just innately schlumpy looking?

    • Gatto Nero

      He does look a little down at heel — and remember that the agency put him on indefinite leave, and he may be paying alimony, so there’s no telling what his financial state is at this point.

  • 3hares

    I’m so glad you wrote about this because I was wondering about Don’s clothes and if they were showing signs of the times and if, how Those three guys in their hats are so old guard-looking there.

    I have to agree on Season 6. It’s easily my least favorite. I thought Season 5 was actually pretty brilliant, despite my being often impatient with the whole arc of Megan being so incredibly awesome yet still not right for SCDP or Don. Even there I could see the point of it at the end. It had a lot of eps that really seemed to say something as separate entities. Season 6 just felt filled with a lot of long-form ideas that didn’t work for me, like Sylvia. Joan and Peggy seemed like they were set up for good dramatic arcs but then they just got truncated or faded away. Pete’s story felt like watching somebody get teased for a whole season with a similar let-down for a payoff (while Roger never actually lost that invisible parachute). Don got so self-absorbed he could barely interact with people and finally had to practically demand any consequences for his behavior and then I felt like i was maybe supposed to be applauding him too much for his gesture at the end.

  • somebody blonde

    I didn’t particularly enjoy the last season either, but (to make a pretty bizarre comparison) I’m hoping it’ll turn out to be like the 6th Harry Potter book: awful in comparison to the others in the series, but necessary to set up the finale. I hated that 6th book right after I’d read it, but the way it set up the 7th book justified its relative quality.

  • dickylarue

    I know it’s a TV show, but seeing a film crew member touch Don Draper in that one shot was extremely unsettling. I think I’ve successfully convinced myself Mad Men is real.

  • msdamselfly

    Did you notice the scruffy shoes and the baggy pants? It looks like Draper may have fallen on harder times.

  • katiessh

    i agree in that it wasn’t good, but so much of pete was so good. i think my favourite line was his ‘NOT GOOD, BOB!’ which i can listen to again and again. But yes, it definitely needed more peggy and joan, and less don and sylvia

  • Bradio311

    Definitely not the best season, but Bob Benson’s shorty-shorts made it kind of all worth it! ;-)

  • KinoEye

    Agreed on the last season completely. It did feel very uneven and disjointed. I think that it did do a great job of illustrating the decay of New York in the late 60s, and the mounting paranoia and unease of the times. It worked in that sense. But overall, definitely the weakest season of the show. Sylvia drove me crazy. There was absolutely no originality to the whole, “Oh, Don Draper was a tortured child and never had a mother figure, so that’s what he searching for in his lovers.” Been there, done that. Let’s move on, indeed, to the far more interesting characters of Peggy and Joan. Season 5 was the absolute best for Joan’s arc, and they took that momentum and pissed it into the wind with this season. Here’s to hoping Season 7 & 1/2 does something different.

  • Chevalle

    Since season 1, I’ve always wished Joan was a bigger part of the story. Don’s flaws are interesting to watch TO A POINT, but I’ve just never rooted for him. I’ve always rooted for Joan, and I wish she got more screentime.

    Also because I firmly believe Christina Hendricks is the most beautiful person ever.

  • JmD

    Absolutely agree with you about season 6. It was a bad season overall. I don’t look forward for the final season because I didn’t like where the show was taking us last season. The leading and supporting characters were sidelined most of the times and their story arcs were felt mostly disjointed. Way too much screen times on the neighbor’s boring storylines especially when they could had just simply minimized it. We got it why Don sucked last season and why he cheated again. Enough, done and let just move on.

    Honestly, it’s a good show but I’m already getting tired of Don’s womanizing and his mommy issues and also I think Don has mental problems and one of it is that he’s not capable to change. So sad. It really seemed like Don was going to give up his womanizing when he married Megan but alas it was not meant to be. He is still stucked in his world. He will never ever learn from his past mistakes and has no character growth. It will just be the repetitions of his character we’re going to watch all over again and again. If they still continue to drive him into that directions, they should not made him remarried to the good Megan at the first place.

  • CatherineRhodes

    The writers spent too much time on characters we don’t care about (Pete’s mother and Sylvia) and too little time on Joan and Peggy.

  • rosie1843

    I liked Season 6 more than I did Season 5. However . . . Hamm looks old fashioned, instead of appealing.

    • Gatto Nero

      He may be on a downward arc from handsome and powerful to old and irrelevant (in the storyline, that is).

  • Gatto Nero

    Uncles, will you be offering your unparalleled take on MM story and style in the final season?
    I am fervently hoping so.

  • stiffbickies

    I’m gong to move to California! No, I’M going to move to California! We’er moving to California; we’ll be bicoastal. Please let me move to California so I don’t see Peggy every day. I’m leaving my wife. I’m taking my wife. I’m going to stay in New York!

  • ideated_eyot

    I gotta disagree sharply with you (and many others, it must be said) about the 6th season. I didn’t like it much, either; but it went over much better with me than the 5th, which I thought was abysmal.
    If you want my opinion (of course you do, right?), the show peaked in middle of the 3rd season. I never bought the creation of SCDP as anything other than a device to retain the cast in a more mod context. I would prefer to have seen Don Draper respond to life as a glorified cog (and divorcee) at McCann-Erickson. THAT would have been truly fascinating.
    That 3rd season finale was the start to Mad Men’s audience pandering, and it went soft in the 4th season. I hated the 5th. 6th rebounded upward for me, but nowhere near to level of Sterling Cooper Classic.
    Highlight episodes from 4-6: ‘Christmas Comes But Once A Year’, ‘The Crash’ and Roger’s acid trip.

  • malarkey

    I’ll agree that last year’s season had some weaknesses, but I think in retrospect, the show will be seen as a whole, and it is still way better than anything else on TV.