Why the Mad Men Finale 'Sucked'

No Don and Sally?! Come on
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2015 12:13 PM CDT
Why the Mad Men Finale 'Sucked'
In this image released by AMC, Elisabeth Moss, from left, Jon Hamm, and Rich Sommer appear in a scene from "Mad Men."   (AP Photo/AMC, Jaimie Trueblood)

The series finale of Mad Men aired last night, wrapping up the show's seven seasons on AMC. The overwhelming reaction on social media: division. Some loved it, some hated it, but many critics appear to be siding more with the naysayers. What they're saying:

  • Mad Men may be Rob Sheffield's "favorite show ever," but "the finale sucked," he admits. Sure, it was "clever" and "heart-tugging," but there wasn't a single scene showing Sally and Don together. What gives? "The second-to-last episode would have made an even stronger ending—it was one of the show's most passionate and perfect hours," he writes at Rolling Stone. Instead, the makers tacked on "bonus" footage "full of sodden shtick" that "looked far more like a 2020 Mad Men Reunion Special than an actual episode." In fact, it "was one of the show's least Mad Men-like episodes ever."
  • Maureen Ryan at the Huffington Post loved the series, too, but not the finale. "There were three main character threads to it: Joan, Peggy, and Don. One of them was satisfying, but two of them, for various reasons, ended up being frustrating," she writes. "Some past season finales were more satisfying and resonant than the series finale was." She adds certain plot points, particularly Don not heading home to see Betty, "felt decidedly off." So did the way the show wrapped up Don and Sally's relationship. Sadly, the finale "was messy in some ways that caused me to grit my teeth."

  • As a critic, Eric Deggans "was a bit underwhelmed" by the final seven episodes of the series, which featured "whole characters and storylines [that] seemed unnecessary," he writes at NPR. But "as a fan, I was a little heartened by the show's finale. [Creator Matthew] Weiner resolved nearly every character's story in a mostly positive fashion that close watchers of the show will likely love."
  • At least Weiner won't lose any sleep over the reviews. "I hate to say it: I don't really feel like I owe anybody anything," he told the New York Times before the episode aired. "I've been lucky to have them invite us into their home, but we have held up our end of the bargain so far. We really have, and we've made such a painstaking effort to surprise and delight and move machinery that tells the story."
Click for another review that notes sadly, "We didn't get a new Don. We got a new Coke ad." (More Mad Men stories.)

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