Tears as 'Mad Men' says goodbye
NEW YORK, United States – Mad Men diehards gathered in bars, restaurants and comedy clubs across New York on Sunday, May 17 to discover the fate of Don Draper et al. as the curtain came down on the award-winning retro-cool television series.
After 7 seasons, 8 years and nearly 100 episodes, it all came down to this – and few were left disappointed. (READ: 'Mad Men' creator knew how series would end from start)
Twitter threatened to go into meltdown, with #MadMenFinale trending, while there were tears and cheers at City Winery in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, where more than 100 people settled down with wine and pizza in front of giant television screens.
"We wanted to watch it somewhere. My boyfriend saw this place and we said why not," said Dawn Carrington, a London designer decked out in a close-fitting dress and styled red hair in the form of Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), one of the stars of the wildly popular Mad Men."
"It's my favorite TV show, it's very addictive," Carrington told Agence France-Presse, while keeping her eyes glued to the screen.
"I think it's special because two things: in terms of style they are very accurate. The writing is very good. The characters are very real."
Mad Men – which was a breath of fresh air when it debuted in 2007 in a television landscape of crime procedurals – follows the bed-hopping lives of a group of 1960s advertising men in New York.
Last weekend's penultimate episode ended with Draper – the dashing but conflicted anti-hero played by Jon Hamm – sitting on a bench in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma, having given away his car while driving west in apparent flight from his flashy Madison Avenue life.
In the lead-up to the feverishly anticipated finale, US mainstream and social media had been awash with speculation about the denouement of the stylish series, which has won 15 Emmy awards and four Golden Globes over the years.
Was the serially seductive Draper going to throw himself or be pushed from a skyscraper, echoing the title credit sequence featuring a cut-out version of a man falling between huge adverts featuring beautiful women? Could he die in a plane crash?
Greg Caulfield, a 42-year-old engineer, told Agence France-Presse the ending had not been a letdown.
"One of the best series finales ever. Very clever," he concluded, with a smile of satisfaction.
"Mad Men is not about advertisement. That is just the background. It's about the people and the time they are living," he added.
"Because there's chaos. The 60s were very dramatic times - assassinations, Vietnam, civil disorder."
Twitter users flooded the social media network to express their feelings about the ending – with many describing it as "beautiful," "earnest" and even "perfect."
One user, @sanriel, wrote: "A great hour of television. The last 5 minutes not only defined these characters, but also the next 40 years of media content." – Mariano Andrade, AFP/Rappler.com