I\'ve been saying lately that we\'re in the third golden age of television, epitomized by
House of Cards streaming all at once on Netflix. Mad Men was one of the stalwarts of the second golden age - the revolution of cable over network and the first golden age of television in the 1950s. Mad Men debuted just a month after the conclusion of The Sopranos, which initiated the second golden age. And tonight Mad Men concluded in its turn, as well. It was advertised as the end of an era, and it was - the end of cable television as the undisputed creative edge of television drama.
As for the stories themselves in this final episode, there was a lot that was good in them, even satisfying in some cases. The best of this was Peggy finding happiness and true love at last with Stan. Pete\'s ending is happy, too, and so is Roger\'s.
Joan\'s is bitter sweet, In order to pursue her creative, professional self, she has to give up the man she loves. The lesson there is that in the society of the early 1970s, at least, it was difficult for a woman, in contrast to a man, to have both. Mad Men has been brilliant in showing the struggles of professional women in that era. Presumably our world has improved at least a little in that regard since then.
And Don? His ending is the most frustrating - for the audience as well as him. He perhaps has finally shed the illusion that he built around himself, but what\'s left? I always thought that Don Draper was the most real part of Dick Whitman, and now Don has neither.
Or maybe not. Who did the Coke commercial we see at the very end? Peggy and Stan would be the logical people, since we saw Peggy talking to Don on the phone about his doing it, which means it was certainly on her mind. But could Don have gone back to New York and done it himself? Or, was Peggy, Don\'s greatest student, finally putting into best practice what she learned from the master? Or, in perhaps the happiest ending that went unseen, maybe the three worked on it together. (My wife correctly points out that Don has a motive to go back to New York - to be with his kids - and the coke commercial could easily have been inspired by that Esalen or whatever hippy therapy group that was. On the other hand, Don sitting there with that beatific smile on his face is a very long distance from Manhattan.)
Matthew Weiner, like David Chase before him, is a master of ambiguity. Instead of the sudden cut to black in The Sopranos, we get the Coke commercial - which, in terms of the most important things in life, is itself a blackness or a celebration of nothingness, just a stupid soft drink with caffein. It\'s ultimate McLuhanesque medium cool, a canvass that invites us to fill in the story.
But isn\'t that what Mad Men has always been most about, a celebration of illusions writ large, perpetrated by professionals and self-generated by consumers, in advertising and true life stories alike? I don\'t know for sure, but I enjoyed the ride.
-> 20-minute interview with Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) in 2007 at Light On Light Through
See also Mad Men 7.1: Vignettes and Playboy ... Mad Men 7.2: Flowers and the Hung-Up Phone ... Mad Men 7.3: "Lunch with Rod Serling" ... Mad Men 7.4: Computer! ... Mad Men 7.5: Retrofit Paranoia ... Mad Men 7.6: The Dance ... Mad Men Mid-Season 7 Finale: Telescope vs. Television ... Mad Men 7.8: Don, Rachel, and the Waitress ... Mad Men 7.9: Fast Ride ... Mad Men 7.10: "Fast Girl" ... Mad Men 7.11: The End of Sterling, Cooper, Draper. ... Mad Men 7.12: Poor Betty
And see also Mad Men 6.1-2: The Lighter and the Twist ... Mad Men 6.3: Good Company ... Mad Men 6.4: McLuhan, Heinz, and Don\'s Imagination ... Mad Men 6.5: MLK ... Mad Men 6.6: Good News Comes in a Chevy ... Mad Men 6.7: Merger and Margarine ... Mad Men 6.8: Dr. Feelgood and Grandma Ida ... Mad Men 6.9: Don and Betty ... Mad Men 6.10: Medium Cool ... Mad Men 6.11: Hand in the Cookie Jar and Guy de Maupassant ... Mad Men 6.12: Rosemary\'s Baby, Dick Cheney, and Sunkist ... Mad Men Season 6 Finale: Beyond California
And see also Why "You Only Live Twice" for Mad Men Season 5 Finale ... Mad Men Season Five Finale
And see also Mad Men Season 5 Debut: It\'s Don\'s Party ... Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side ... Mad Men 5.4: Volunteer, Dream, Trust ... Mad Men 5.5: Ben Hargrove ... Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange ... Mad Men 5.7: People of High Degree ... Mad Men 5.8: Mad Man and Gilmore Girl ...Mad Men 5.9: Don\'s Creativity ... Mad Men 5.10: "The Negron Complex" ... Mad Men 5.11: Prostitution and Power ... Mad Men 5.12: Exit Lane
And from Season 4: Mad Men 4.1: Chicken Kiev, Lethal Interview, Ham Fight ... 4.2: "Good Time, Bad Time?" "Yes." ... 4.3: Both Coasts ... 4.4: "The following program contains brief nudity ..." 4.5: Fake Out and Neurosis ... 4.6: Emmys, Clio, Blackout, Flashback ... 4.7: \'No Credits on Commercials\' ... 4.8: A Tale of Two Women ... 4.9: "Business of Sadists and Masochists" ...4.10: Grim Tidings ... 4.11: "Look at that Punim" ... 4.12: No Smoking! ... Mad Men Season 4 Finale: Don and -
And from Season 3: Mad Men Back for 3 and 3.2: Carvel, Penn Station, and Diet Soda and 3.3: Gibbon, Blackface, and Eliot and 3.4: Caned Seats and a Multiple Choice about Sal\'s Patio Furniture and 3.5: Admiral TV, MLK, and a Baby Boy and 3.6: A Saving John Deere and 3.7: Brutal Edges ... August Flights in 3.8 ... Unlucky Strikes and To the Moon Don in 3.9 ... 3.10: The Faintest Ink, The Strongest Television ... Don\'s Day of Reckoning in Mad Men 3.11 ... Mad Men 3.12: The End of the World in Mad Men ... Mad Men Season 3 Finale: The End of the World
And from Season Two: Mad Men Returns with a Xerox and a Call Girl ... 2.2: The Advertising Devil and the Deep Blue Sea ... 2.3 Double-Barreled Power ... 2.4: Betty and Don\'s Son ... 2.5: Best Montage Since Hitchcock ... 2.6: Jackie, Marilyn, and Liberty Valance ... 2.7: Double Dons... 2.8: Did Don Get What He Deserved? ... 2.9: Don and Roger ... 2.10: Between Ray Bradbury and Telstar ... 2.11: Welcome to the Hotel California ... 2.12 The Day the Earth Stood Still on Mad Men ... 2.13 Saving the Best for Last on Mad Men
And from Season One: Mad Men Debuts on AMC: Cigarette Companies and Nixon ... Mad Men 2: Smoke and Television ... Mad Men 3: Hot 1960 Kiss ... Mad Men 4 and 5: Double Mad Men ...Mad Men 6: The Medium is the Message! ... Mad Men 7: Revenge of the Mollusk ... Mad Men 8: Weed, Twist, Hobo ... Mad Man 9: Betty Grace Kelly ... Mad men 10: Life, Death, and Politics ...Mad Men 11: Heat! ... Mad Men 12: Admirable Don ... Mad 13: Double-Endings, Lascaux, and Holes
If you\'d like a little more surreal, step into "The Other Car"
Labels: David Chase, Mad Men, Marshall McLuhan, Matthew Weiner, television, The Sopranos
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The Plot to Save Socrates on 10 Perfect Summer Reads Authored by NYU Alums
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TWICE UPON A RHYME on iTunes and Amazon ... SPUN DREAMS on iTunes and Amazon ...
ICYMI: recent interviews with Paul Levinson in Barren Island Books ... The Morton Report ... SpecMuse ... The Cult of Me ... Patrick Satters blog ... Hungry Writer ... Kathleen Valentine\'s blog ... Take the Plunge ... Writer\'s Bloc ... Noahkmullette-gillman blog ... Book Goodies
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Cellphone: The Story of the World\'s Most Mobile Medium and How... by Paul Levinson
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Sopranos Conference at Fordham Universty, May 22-25, 2008
Enjoy Levinson\'s Field Guide to Republican Tics
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Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. His 8 nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), and New New Media (2009, 2nd edition 2012), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into 12 languages. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (1999, ebook 2012), Borrowed Tides (2001), TheConsciousness Plague (2002, 2013), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To SaveSocrates (2006, ebook 2012), and Unburning Alexandria (2013). His short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. Paul Levinson appears on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), NPR, and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2009 (CD) and 2010 (remastered vinyl). He reviews the best of television in his InfiniteRegress.tv blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Top 10 Academic Twitterers” in 2009.
Chronicle of Higher Education puts Paul Levinson in Top 10 (#7) of Academic "High Flyers" on Twitter ... Online University Data puts PL in "Top 50 Online University Professors on Twitter Worth Following"...
Dear Paul, I just dreamed of airships flying between raindrops. I just returned from 2042 CE, where I sold my hardcover copy of The Plot to Save Socrates for seventy million Neo-Euros, because it had your response to this e-mail from way back in 2007 scotch-taped onto the inside of the cover. A Paul Levinson collector paid top Neo-Euro, because of the authentic archaic e-mail printout from you. It turns out that not many of your e-mails from before your tenure as CEO of HBO/Cinemax and terms as United Nations Secretary General will survive that far into the future. So, please respond to this e-mail, to help found my great-grandchildren\'s fortune. My Will will stipulate that they must share with your great grandchidren. Thanks! Tom
President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, 1998-2001
I’m proud to be on the May 8 page of this calendar, with the following quote:
"What begins as a seemingly innocent campaign against indecency … always segues in short order into political censorship."
YouTube one-on-one with Bill O\'Reilly, Patrick Buchanan, Jesse Ventura, James Cameron, more
Educated Tastes food, drink, restaurants, recipes, groceries
Reverbnation Twice Upon a Rhyme and Spun Dreams albums
American Crime Season 1 Finale: The Banality of S...
American Crime 1.10: The Exquisite Hazards of Timi...
science fiction magazines for sale: Analog, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Locus
"the only people who have proof of their sanity are those who have been discharged from mental institutions"— Marshall McLuhan
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winner Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction Novel, 2000
"Forensic detective Phil D’Amato is one of my favorite characters" --Connie Willis
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100 rare + unreleased tracks were on sale April 18-21, 2011. All proceeds went to help Japan! Thanks for your generosity! Tracks included Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles, Josh Ritter ... and Paul Levinson singing "Sunshine\'s Mine"!
Twice Upon a Rhyme reviewed in Jan-Feb 2011 Shindig Magazine
Paul Levinson appears on "The O\'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," "Nightline" (ABC), the "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS), "The Dylan Ratigan Show" (MSNBC) and frequently on NPR and all-news radio...