Pretty much every single TV show in existence has been plagued by one common thing: diminishing returns. Inevitable, really. Natural. Some of the most dedicated and short-sighted of us might not even notice that nobody gives a damn anymore. Face it. The screenwriter has developed a drinking problem, the director said ‘fuck it’ and actors fail to turn up.
Curtains. Curtains! Will anyone draw the fucking curtains?
Mad Men, however, is something else. Come to think of it, this might be the only TV drama of note that is not reliant on murders and drugs. Don Draper’s infidelity aside, there’s no shock factor to overshadow the writing and the characters. It is just this beautifully crafted world that is by turns cynical, nostalgic, stylish, moving. And still going strong, even if it’s just for seven final episodes.
I will watch them with breathless dread. And then, when all is said and done, I won’t stop thinking about Pete (who could well be the most fascinating character created for modern television), about Betty smoking on the school bus (Eat your candy!) and that unforgettable episode where Don spends a day with his daughter and she says she loves him and the car door slams shut and you hear “This Will Be Our Year” from that most unforgettable of 60’s albums.