Mad Men jumped the shark a couple of seasons ago, and the writing of the final season was overly didactic and, in some episodes, embarrassingly sophomoric, oftentimes slipping into nightime soap opera dynamics.
Of last night’s series finale, Chris Harvey notes:
[A]s Don Draper faced his demons at the hippie retreat, it seemed its clifftop location could yet fulfill the promise of the tumbling fall in the title sequence. Weiner, though, had saved up a slightly inscrutable gag for his sign-off. Draper had experienced an unexpected moment of empathy with a man who told a group therapy session “I’ve never been interesting to anybody” – funny in itself, because he spoke up just when we thought we were going to get the real Don Draper from his own lips, and had to listen to this boring schmuck instead, who wanted to be loved, but “didn’t even know what it is”.
Don understood what he meant though, and seemed restored as he greeted the dawn with a group yoga session. A smile played across his face as the scene cut to the famous “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” Coca-Cola advert. Don’s next creation? Or a memory of an existing ad (it was made in 1970), reminding us that to an adman even spiritual enlightenment can be used to sell.