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I almost did it. Almost went my first Christmas period for five years without having to think about the end-of-year list. But then I thought of you, who is reading this now, and even though statistically you most likely are either my mother or the Googlebot spider, I decided I couldn't let you down. Also I'm on hold to TalkTalk and have nothing else to fill the time.
As I've said more than once before, and will repeat endlessly until someone tells me how clever I am, Mad Men has chronicled the decade in which ideas first became commodities. Its ending demonstrates how the sixties were an age in which everyone had ideas all the time – Let's open a gallery in this old shed! Let's move to San Francisco and paint wooden eggs! – and how people gradually filtered out all this noise and made sense of it all.
Betty Francis took a lot of shit down the years, from her husbands, from her daughter and from Mad Men viewers insistent on judging her by contemporary standards of parenting and womanhood. Maybe she's due a reappraisal.
Sometimes Mad Men makes me doubt my own intellect, something that usually happens only when I wake up and survey the remnants of a wholly unnecessary Dallas Chicken meal bought drunkenly the night before. But there lives an intellectual joust within the self on watching high-quality, subtext-laden TV. Am I getting it "right"? If I type my interpretations into Google, will I find others think the same, thereby validating me? Or if I announce them in public will I be scorned by my peers for missing the allegory? Well, this time I'm going for broke. "Lost Horizon" is all about God.
Having confidently predicted last week
that we were heading for a non-committal ending, inevitably I've mugged myself. Here, three episodes out, is the planet-killer. Don tells us this is the beginning of something, not the end, but the last time he told the truth was in about 1967 and it was only to tell Roger he couldn't pull off a kaftan.
"This place reeks of failure," says the realtor trying to sell Don's empty penthouse apartment. Finally, a way in which Don Draper and I share a similarity: I'd live happily enough in a flat with only garden furniture and a TV too. I'd use only paper plates and just throw them over the balcony when I'd finished eating.
Megan's diary entry: "Got a million dollars off Don. Didn't have to have sex with Harry Crane. Best day of life so far by some stretch. Megan pour la victoire
The sixties are over, man. It's April 1970 and the Beatles are officially splitting up. Nixon is directing US troops to invade Cambodia. At the Kennedy Space Center the ground crew of the Apollo 13 are attempting to bring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton safely back from space. Oh, and Don Draper's banging a diner waitress in an alley.
This picture was shared by the official Mad Men Facebook page earlier today. Some of Don Draper's achievements as a father include:
- marrying his children's mother and parenting them through their formative years under a false identity
- sleeping with his daughter's teacher
- getting caught by his daughter in bed with his neighbour
- growing so bored at his daughter's birthday party that he gets drunk, goes out to pick up her cake and drives around with it for hours rather than going home.
Still, he did buy Sally some Beatles tickets. Happy Draper Day!
"I grew up in a knocking shop and I poison everything I love, but you're the only one who understands me, Natalie Napkin," says Don in the first episode's cold opening. Twenty minutes in, he starts cheating on it with a balloon whisk.