by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

Fans are understandably upset by AMC's decision to split the seventh and final season of Mad Men into two truncated halves. It's a strategy that paid dividends for the Breaking Bad finale, but is unlikely to provide a similar ratings boost in this case.

In fact, it may well drive casual viewers away from the acclaimed series.

By contrast, in July of 1969, TV audiences the world over were glued to their sets by the prospect of men on the moon.

The characters of Mad Men have been foreshadowing Neil Armstrong's giant leap all season, but as is so often the case with events we anticipate, when it finally happens, it's pushed to the margins by things we never saw coming.

After all, SC&P (as usual) has plenty of drama to keep its troubled partners focused on the terrestrial day-to-day.

The Burger Chef pitch is drawing night, Ted Chough is having some sort of existential crisis, Peggy is receiving welcome attention from a strapping young dude, and most significantly, Don is being forced out of the agency due to breach of contract.

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

Talk about a demotion! What's Peggy doing chasing down customers in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant?

Oh, just demonstrating the pluck and ambition necessary for a woman to climb the corporate ladder in 1969 (or today, for that matter). As usual, of course, her male colleagues (even the ones who work beneath her) aren't struggling quite so mightily.

While Peggy burns the midnight oil, Pete joins the Mile High Club, then swoops into the NYC office to inform Peggy that despite the fact that Burger Chef has been her baby from day one, she won't be allowed to pitch her campaign idea to the client.

That honor, of course, will go to her disgraced but still imposing former boss, Don Draper.

Clinging desperately to her dignity, Peggy presents the idea to Don as her own and demotes herself to the "voice of moms."

Don is naturally thrilled to be back in the driver's seat and immediately begins suggesting changes to Peggy's campaign. Peggy leaves his office cast down and defeated, only to be confronted by yet another reminder that for all of her accomplishments, she'll never be Don... 

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

In the fourth season of Mad Men, Don Draper - adrift, drunk and newly divorced - broke down into tears after learning of the death of his sole confidant, Anna Draper.

It was a moment that astounded fans and inspired countless memes based on the sight of the usually aloof ad man's outpouring of raw emotion.

Flash forward to season seven: Don is yet again rudderless, living alone, and drinking more than ever (or at least more than usual)...and his late friend Anna is once more a presence in his life, this time in the form of her pregnant and desperate niece Stephanie.

One of the techniques that makes Mad Men so consistently engrossing is the writers' ability to make the show unpredictable in the manner of real life:

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

It's always strange to see the offices of Sterling-Cooper (or whatever they're calling it these days) devoid of click-clacking typewriters and comely secretaries.

After all, the last time Don Draper walked into a silent lobby he discovered his co-workers huddled around a television watching coverage of the JFK assassination. 

When Don made his long-awaited return to the office on last night's Mad Men, he happened upon an equally game-changing moment in history: the dawn of the computer age.

Yes, SC&P is being re-designed for the age of information and when Don stumbles into the confusing renovation scene, it's a perfect visual reminder of his place in the world: confused, isolated, possibly obsolete. 

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

Well, we all figured Don would make his way back to SC & P eventually, but who knew he'd get there on his hands and knees?

Don agrees to previously unimaginable terms in order to get his old job back (Lane's old office! Playing second fiddle to Lou! No drinking on the job!!!) but before he can start making his way back up the ladder, Don - as always - has to find a new way to hit rock bottom.

Don takes two phone calls at the start of last night's Mad Men and both serve to remind us how far he's fallen from the top of the totem pole.

First, he grovels for help from his ex-secretary, seconds later he learns his wife's career is in jeopardy.

This being the former Dick Whitman we're talking about, he attempts to take charge of both situations with predictably catastrophic results:

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

Getting fired can take a tremendous toll on anyone's health and well-being, but for a man like Don Draper (who got drunk every night and took frequent midday naps even while he was gainfully employed), an extended period of rudderless inactivity could amount to a slow death sentence.

As we learned on last night's episode of Mad Men, Don seems well aware of how much trouble he's in without the stabilizing influences of wife and work.

So while he may have taken to pounding the snooze alarm until noon, he's also begun carefully monitoring his whiskey consumption and he continues smuggling pitches to his former colleagues at SC & P.

We also learned last night that Don's been lying about his unwelcome sabbatical to Megan and the rest of his family. As he usually does with personal matters, Don has once again chosen deceit over confrontation, and the result is predictably messy.

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

When we last saw Mad Men's Don and Megan Draper, it looked like the May-December power couple were headed for Splitsville.

So it was a bit of a shock when we finally got reintroduced to Don (several minutes into last night's episode) to find that the ad man and the actress are living a happy and hectic bi-coastal existence.

Well, happy for now. Her career is taking off while he's struggling as a freelancer - a state off affairs that Don certainly won't tolerate for long. 

After dumping his stash last season, Don is also apparently drinking again. Good sign if you like drama, bad sign if you're rooting for a happy ending for Don and Megan.

On Mad Men every detail is significant and it's no accident that the show kicked off its seventh and final season with an extended close-up of Freddy Rumsen - a recovering alcoholic who was fired from Sterling-Cooper for his boozy ways and is still struggling to rebuild his life several years after giving up the bottle.

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by Tyler Johnson at . Comments

With the seventh and final season of Mad Men premiering this Sunday, we thought it would be a good time to relive some of the most jaw-dropping moments from the acclaimed series' first six seasons.

Lane Price and Pete Campbell Fight
Lane and Pete go at it. Lane won the fight but this season, um...didn't end well for him.

Some scenes will never leave out mind (You don't see lawnmowers in office buildings for a reason, people!), while others we had all but forgotten about (Remember when Betty was a gun-toting badass! Neither did we!) and with 78 episodes already in the books, it was no easy task choose just a few favorite clips.

Some fans might consider the show's finest moment to be the unforgettable declaration, "My name is Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana," while we're certain at least a few others would cast their vote for the time meek Lane Price "kicked the crap" out weaselly Pete Campbell.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Jon Hamm, whose perpetually-smoking Mad Men character Don Draper has brought him many an Emmy nod, has not been putting on his raspy voice.

The 42-year-old actor is set to undergo throat surgery next week after allegedly coughing up blood recently, according to multiple celebrity news reports.

Mad Men Don Draper

His rep says that the "routine outpatient procedure to remove a single polyp from his throat." Earlier reports suggested multiple polyps in the region.

Once that abnormal tissue is removed, he should recover fully.

Meanwhile, a report in Life & Style claims the surgery news is not new for Hamm's Mad Men castmates, who have been discussing it in recent weeks.

In any case, we wish Jon a speedy and full recovery.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Mad Men Season 7 is making like another AMC hit, Breaking Bad.

The iconic show's final season will kick off in the spring, air seven episodes, then take a long break before returning with seven more to end its run for good.

Mad Men Cast Photo

Breaking Bad Season 5 "attracted nearly double the viewers to its second half premiere than had watched any previous episode,” said Charlie Collier, AMC President.

“We are determined to bring Mad Men a similar showcase."

"In an era where high-end content is savored and analyzed, and catch-up time is used well to drive back to live events, we believe this is the best way."

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