As you’ve probably learned from AMC’s aggressive, multi-media "End of an Era" campaign (Hey, it is a show about advertising, after all.) the final episodes of Mad Men will begin airing on Sunday, April 5.
The TV spots and banner ads may be a tad dramatic (as advertisements generally are), but the conclusion of the show that made AMC an original programming juggernaut does mark the end of an era in more ways than one.
For one thing, Don Draper is following Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Dexter Morgan out the door, and who will replace him as TV’s most effed-up anti-hero?
(As much as we love him, Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill doesn’t seem quite up to the task. He’s just to…lovable.)
But when Don stubs out his final cigarette, it’s not just the Age of the Brooding White Guy that will come to a close.
The final seven episodes of Mad Men will likely explore the end of the 1960s, the end of a corporate world that’s dominated entirely by men like Don, and the end of what many consider to be the golden age of media and advertising.
It’s a lot to take on, and based on comments he made almost four years ago, creator Matthew Weiner intends to wrap things up not with a bang, but with a massive jump forward in time:
"What I’m looking for, and how I hope to end the show, is like … It’s 2011," Weiner said. "Don Draper would be 84 right now. I want to leave the show in a place where you have an idea of what it meant and how it’s related to you."
Needless to say, it sounds as though Weiner is planning the exact opposite of a Sopranos-style non-ending. (Perhaps he learned his lesson from his time as a staff writer on the HBO mob series.)
If he carries through on his plan, it’ll certainly be a shock to see Don Draper – the consummate man of his times – living in the 21st Century.
Can you imagine Don/Dick receiving an-Emoji-laden text message from his grandkids? We can’t. But then, maybe that’s the point…
If you still need to catch up in time for tonight’s finale, watch Mad Men online at TV Fanatic. And if – like the show’s central characters – you’ve blacked out on any of the major events, check out some of Mad Men’s most memorable moments in the gallery below: