Few shows get the opportunity to do a deep dive and examine a character over a decade of his life. Then again, few shows take the risk to explore a character deeply.
Thanks to creator Matthew Weiner and his team of writers on Mad Men, we have watched Don Draper struggle mightily with his secrets and lies, which naturally make him the best ad man in the business. For a show that has mastered the art of the slow burn, 92 episodes feels like just the right amount of time to tell Don's story, along with the stories with Peggy, Joan, Betty, Sally, Pete, Roger and a rotating cast of surprisingly dynamic supporting characters.
Now that Mad Men has come to an end (no series finale spoilers, don't worry), we have an opportunity to look back at the series and the character of Don Draper through the eyes of series creator Weiner, courtesy of Austin Film Festival's On Story TV show. If the video below doesn't load in your browser, you can watch it at onstory.tv or the website of PBS station KLRU.
One of the things I have always enjoyed about Mad Men is the show's expectation that the audience is smart enough to catch up. Starting with the great ending of the pilot episode to the shifts in time between seasons to reintroducing characters practically forgotten from years ago, Weiner and his writers expect the audience to play their part and pay attention. In return, Weiner and his team have delivered a fascinating character study (several, in fact) to encourage us to sit up and take notice.
If you have watched the final episode of the series, you can check out AMC's video extra Inside Episode 714: Mad Men: Person to Person with Matthew Weiner for more of the creator's specific insights on the final show.
What are your thoughts about Mad Men as the series comes to an end?