Thoughts on Mad Men Season 6

Yeah, I know, kinda late, especially considering that season 7.1 will start airing in April. And I’m pretty sure there are already thousands (millions?) of reviews out there, but that won’t stop me from writing my own. Which really isn’t a review, just a bunch of thoughts I had while watching it. SPOILERS AHEAD

Before you continue reading and shaking your head, I should add that I’m a huge fan of Mad Men (okay, Don Draper. Okay, Jon Hamm) and that hasn’t changed much with season 6 – which is probably pretty astonishing. I also liked season 5. Okay, I don’t like Megan, but that’s another story.

The plus side:

  • “The Flood”: I have no idea why I love this episode, but I do. I’m not sure how close to reality the portrayal of the riots is, but it felt real, and that’s what counts.
  • “Favors”: LOVE LOVE LOVE. LOVE. Especially that awkward conversation at the dinner table. Talk about “hidden layers of meaning”.
  • Don. He’ll probably always be on the plus side, but I really liked his story this season: he’s cheating again (I like that?! Huh…), we learn more about his youth (how did he get so handsome?), we finally see the repercussions of his lifestyle… Just great.
  • The style. Especially Megan and Betty. Never thought I’d say THAT. I’m not a fan of either one, BUT their dresses were just gorgeous. And I actually liked Betty’s short-lived new hair color.
  • Bob Benson. I had more or less given up my hopes on getting another gay character. I really thought Bob was just an early example of a metrosexual. And I was wrong. And that’s awesome. Although I don’t quite get what he likes about Peter (assuming that he really likes him), I think he’s really charming (compared to, e.g., Ginsberg) and sweet. And I hope we get to see more of him in the final season.
  • Pete’s sideburns. Not particularly attractive, but just hilarious to look at.
  • Kenny’s tap dance. Wow.
  • The SC&P logo

The minus side:

  • Drugs. Yes, it’s the late 60s and people expect you to do that, but all in all it was just a little bit too much. I have no idea about the reality of 60s ad agencies, but somehow I don’t think it was like that with pretty much EVERYONE taking some kind of drug. The whole time (or at least that’s how it felt). I liked the idea of Roger experimenting in season 5, because it felt like there was a real story behind that. But in season 6 it’s just everyhwere without any kind of meaning (maybe excluding Don’s trip in California).
  • Peggy. I hate to say this, but: What on earth happened to my beautiful, confident, strong woman? Yes, it was kind of obvious in season 5 that she would end up in some kind of affair with Ted, but the rest of it? Makes me so sad. Although her dresses are still awesome.
  • That whole agency merger story. Somehow I find it hard to believe that you can merge two (admittedly small) ad agencies just like that, even winning a pitch BEFORE you reveal the merger to the rest of the partners. It was probably meant to be chaotic, but at times I also found it pretty confusing.
  • Special minus for the DVD: no audio commentaries. I will assume that this is Matthew Weiner’s vengeance for the Internet being overly interested in Jon Hamm’s d***, but I still find it lame. And I hope they’re not going to fix this by issuing a “Mad Men Complete Box Set” in 2016 that will contain all seasons and thousands of commentaries and bonus material and… Oh, who am I kidding, of course they’re gonna do just that.

Prediction for the series finale: Don will either die from alcohol (including DUI), or he will jump off the balcony of his apartment. Okay, I’ve said that since season 1. And I’m sort of hoping for option two, because it would make just so much sense…

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