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'Mad Men': Will it really end in 1969?

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Since the very beginning of Mad Men, Don Draper has seemed doomed. From the show’s opening-credit sequence, with a silhouetted suit falling helplessly from the Madison Avenue skyline, to this year’s season premiere, which featured Don delving into a copy of Dante’s Inferno, the future always seemed bleak for our dapper anti-hero.

Oblivious to the fact that he’s always on the wrong side of history, Don began to wither. What seemed cool about him in the beginning — his afternoon drinks and serial womanizing — has devolved to pathetic.

So where will it end? And more importantly, when? Will the year be 1969 when Mad Men returns for its seventh and final season? Or 1970? 1973…? Or might Matthew Weiner throw a curve and leap into the future — say 1980 — before flashing-back to the beginning of the previous decade.

Let’s discuss… READ FULL STORY

'Entertainment Geekly': 'Under the Dome' begins, 'Mad Men' ends (for now)

On Sunday, Matthew Weiner concluded the doom-obsessed penultimate season of Mad Men. On Monday, CBS debuted its new series Under the Dome, an adaptation of Stephen King’s epic novel about a lovable small town cut off from the outside world by a mysterious invisible dome. What do these two shows have in common, besides portraying a running allegory of contemporary American corrosion? They’re the subject of the latest episode of Entertainment Geekly, where we read the tea leaves on Dome‘s future and ponder the symbolic implications of Mad Men‘s past. And also argue about Man of Steel. Just kidding. READ FULL STORY

What do Don Draper's 'Mad Men' brothel and Michael Jackson have in common?

Get your mind out of the gutter! The answer is Carroll Avenue, a street in Los Angeles’ historic Angelino Heights neighborhood.

As a local blog called Franklin Avenue points out today, that’s where Don Draper’s childhood home — a Pennsylvania brothel, in the show’s universe — is actually located. The real estate database Zillow says that the six-bedroom, 126-year-old building is worth just under $600,000, which sounds like a steal — especially considering how all the grime covering it in Sunday’s finale was added in post-production (and, evidently, after AMC took the photo above).

The fake whorehouse is located at 1355 Carroll Ave. You know what’s located right next door? 1345 Carroll Ave. — a.k.a. the “Thriller” houseREAD FULL STORY

'Mad Men' season finale: What did you think? [SPOILERS]

So despite all those death omens and portentous elevators, everyone’s still with us. (Well, except maybe poor Mrs. Campbell and Don’s career.) This isn’t Game of Thrones after all, and those tuning in hoping to catch the Red Partners Meeting were likely to be disappointed, while others might have been pleased with the final hour of Mad Men‘s sixth season, in which Don reaches rock bottom and finally has nowhere else to go but up.

Meanwhile, Peggy’s spirit dies a slow death even as her career flourishes, “his mother” and “the Chevy account” join “his hair” and “his family” on the list of things Pete has lost this season, and Ted begs Don to let him move to California so he can save his marriage. But the real centerpiece of the episode was Don’s psychological breakdown—or breakthrough?—in the Hershey’s meeting, a slip in the facade that eventually led the other senior partners to sign his death warrant.

So that’s it. Don’s out of the company. This could be the best thing that ever happened to him. The final shot of Sally’s curious, somewhat impressed glance implies that maybe their relationship is still salvageable, which means maybe Don is still salvageable. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here, with only one season left before the show pours its final afternoon drink and stubs out its last cigarette. If you watched tonight’s episode, what did you think? Were you expecting the death of a major player? Do you think Don still has a shot at redemption, or is his soul down for the count? My final recap won’t be up until the morning, but in the meantime, feel free to leave your thoughts and first impressions below!

The Likability Index: Ranking characters from 'Mad Men,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'Breaking Bad,' and more

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As Mad Men‘s season 6 comes to a close, Don Draper’s descent into his own inferno cements his anti-hero status. You either love to hate him, or hate to love him. His ambiguous ethics create an interesting dynamic for the viewer — but he’s not the only one on TV like that.

Mad Men and its contemporaries — Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Scandal, The Walking Dead, Homeland, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, The Americans, and Boardwalk Empire — are shows that revolve around questions of morality. Whether it be an ad executive who will do anything to sleep with their married neighbors, a former high school teacher turned meth kingpin trying to provide for his family, kings and queens vying for the Iron Throne, or crisis managers who just happen to fix presidential races for the man they love, these series make us question who we’re rooting for and why.

There are incredibly likeable characters who do horrible things (Boardwalk Empire‘s Al Capone) or characters who are, at their core, good people whom we don’t like very much (Game of Thrones‘ Sansa). Then there’s everyone else — who falls somewhere in the middle on the scale.

Check out or “Likability Index” below, where we rank our favorites on two axes — from likable to hateable, and from good to evil. READ FULL STORY

Bob Benson's big 'Mad Men' reveal: A very 'Degrassi' moment

(Just hear me out, guys.)

Last night on Mad Men, viewers learned conclusively that endlessly eager-to-please Bob Benson really is too good to be true. For starters, there’s no such person as “Bob Benson”; the name is a total fake, as is his résumé. “Bob” doesn’t have any true experience in account management — as the intrepid Duck Phillips discovered, before bluffing his way into a job at SCDP (and subsequently SC&P), the imposter worked as a “manservant” to a Senior Vice President at another firm. He’s a conniving liar, a charming con artist, a handsome but hollow self-made man … and a clear analogue of Don Draper himself, Mad Men‘s original corrupt embodiment of the American Dream.
READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': See Peggy Olson's press release with new agency name

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At least one of Mad Men‘s mysteries is finally solved — officially: A press release, touting the new agency name of Sterling, Cooper and Partners, has been released on the Internet, via Facebook. What would Don Draper say?

Dated Oct. 27, 1968 and written by Peggy Olson, the release contains quotes from several of the partners (although none from Pete Campbell! Short end of the stick once again!) “A name can mean a new beginning, a chance to see yourself as you would dream to be, and leave the baggage you’ve accumulated over the years behind,” Don Draper declares, presumably with words Bob Benson will take directly to heart. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' theories: Who is going to die?

Mad Men is not a violent show. Or at least, it’s not physically violent. Most of the great modern TV dramas favor protagonists engaged in violent behavior, with major characters frequently killed off: Think of Breaking Bad or Sons of Anarchy or Homeland, or incredibly popular bloodfests Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Mad Men is different. Nobody holds a gun. Nobody breaks the law. The show’s transgressions are mostly mental or emotional: Cuckoldry, thwarted ambition, the encroaching sensation that one is all alone in the universe.

Nevertheless, the show has a history of killing off characters. In fact, every season so far has featured at least one noteworthy death. And, more to the point, each season has raised the stakes a little bit. We barely knew Adam Whitman (half-brother of Don Draper) when he hanged himself back in season 1. Likewise, we’d only met Andrew Campbell (father of Pete) once before he died in an offscreen plane crash in season 2. But Gene Hofstadt (father of Betty) was an eerie presence at the start of the show’s third season; his death was a pivotal turning point for Betty, and his legacy continues lingering in his namesake, little Gene Draper. The season 4 death of Anna Draper (Don’s only friend) in season 4 was the engine that powered one of the best Mad Men episodes ever. And Lane Pryce’s suicide in season 5 was one of the more flat-out shocking plot points in the show’s run, mainly because Mad Men seemed like a show where that kind of thing didn’t happen to main characters.
READ FULL STORY

Jessica Pare talks Megan Draper rumors and her 'Mad Men' future

Mad Men fans have been going crazy thinking up conspiracy theories around the potential fate of Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) since she was shown wearing a shirt almost identical to one worn by Sharon Tate in a 1967 Esquire photo. Is Megan Draper going to be murdered? Is Bob Benson going to murder her? Is Megan Draper already dead?

As it happens, the same magazine that published the Tate photo more than 40 years ago tried to find out if the costume was more than a coincidence. Esquire got a chance to talk to Paré about the theories surrounding her character, but like any good Mad Men actress she did not spill. When they asked her about the murder theories she said, “I think that one of the greatest things about being on this show is that people love to talk about the characters. For me as an actor, it’s absolutely so thrilling to hear anybody talk about the character that I play. [Laughs.] In terms of whether that’s going to happen or not, I’m pretty sure that Matt spoke to it, but I just want to say, I don’t know.”
READ FULL STORY

Is Betty the secret hero of 'Mad Men'?

Betty Hofstadt Draper Francis. That’s a lot of names — as many as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, as many as Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. And this season, Betty has felt like several different people at once. In the season premiere, she somehow achieved the moral high ground in an interaction with a gaggle of dirty hippies, and then immediately ceded the moral high ground, dying her hair brown for vague-but-definitely-weird reasons. When Martin Luther King was shot, she was a nagging ex-wife on the phone to Don (drunk as usual) and a chastising mom for Bobby (unusually sentient). When husband Henry announced his intention to seek higher office, she was proud of him…and when he mentioned that, as a result, she would become a public figure, her face became unreadable again, maybe scared, maybe excited.

A couple of episodes later, Betty reappeared, suddenly slim and blonde again — the old Betty, the Phoenix arisen, reborn through Weight Watchers and perhaps a TBD cocktail of diet pills. In the speed-freak episode, she was the justifiably angry mother, chastising her shifty ex-husband and his actress second wife for leaving her children at home. But this past weekend, Betty hadn’t just forgiven Don; she shared a steamy night with him at sleepaway camp. “Ah,” you may have been thinking, “Now that they’re no longer married, Betty has fallen for the impossible Don Draper charm.” But no: In bed together, Betty revealed a fascinatingly in-depth understanding of Don’s problematic nature. She was using Don, really, which might not be so bad; but she also felt sorry for him, which constitutes a complete up-ending of the Betty-Don power dynamic from the beginning of the series. Mad Men typically feels impeccable created and curated and planned down to the tiniest micro-detail, which makes the shifting zig-zag of Betty’s recent arc — brunette! blonde! fatsuit! Daisy Dukes! — an intriguing conundrum. What’s the deal with Betty? READ FULL STORY

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