Comments On Part 1 Of The Last Season Of “Mad Men”

Matthew Weiner, the creator of the series Mad Men, is probably more politically liberal than conservative, and yet a final-season episode of his show acknowledges that Nixon, in 1969, was trying to end the Vietnam War, something leftists all over the country strongly doubted.  It is the Republican politician Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley), not Nixon, who receives a jab for mendaciously saying he supports the President’s objective instead of the war effort, but such dishonesty emanates from pols on both the Right and the Left.  And it emanates from the basically liberal but oversensitive and scurvy Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), involved with a new girlfriend in the final season after his nice wife spurned him for his adultery.

The Mad Ave master, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), makes no political pronouncements but merely adheres to his religion of Coming Out On Top.  What he quietly realizes, however, is that without family he is too often on the bottom.  His physical separation from wife Megan (Jessica Pare), whom he can love (but does he?), parallels his separation from his children and, to be sure, his first wife.  Don cannot afford to let HIS religion trump family love, and an episode persuading us to believe this ends with daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka) flatly but sincerely telling Don, “Happy Valentine’s Day.  I love you.”  It is one of the many scenes that demonstrate how much Mad Men concentrates on the human heart.

Mad Men
Mad Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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