Sunday, May 17, 2015

I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke Commercial - 1971

The best ending in the history of a television series. I couldn't stop alternately crying and laughing for 20 minutes afterward. Two hours later, I'm still both smiling and teary (as I watch the episode for the third time in a row).
 
I was so nervous about Don Draper the whole episode. I wept during his early phone-call to Betty, then calmed down until his later phone-call to Peggy ("Please, Peggy, don't let him hang up without telling you exactly where he is! Go and get him!"), which is when I started crying again (especially when Don was enlightened by and then hugging Leonard, his fellow seminar-goer) until the ending and after.
 
Wow. Way to rise (yet again) from the ashes, and be true to yourself, Don Draper! :) 
  

 
 
Addendum: Wednesday, May 19. From the NYTimes artsbeat.com blog re the finale:
RDB, Piedmont, CA
 
I don't view Don's return to NY to make the historic Hilltop ad as a cynical ending, but as a sign of self-acceptance. I've always believed the story of Don Draper is the story of talent, and what an artist must do to feed it. Don's personal story is so full of pain and heartbreak. It is his talent that sustains him, and gives purpose to his marginalized, peripatetic existence. By living at a distance from others (even those he loves), he is able to extract an essential truth and transform it into an idea and an advertisement that moves people (and product!) Without his talent, he would be another sad guy in a cubicle. His epiphany at Esalen is that he is NOT the sad guy across the circle, that people DO notice him and look for him (as Peggy says, "come home, Don!"). I think he finally learned and accepted that he should love only from a distance, so that he is free to embrace his gift without causing such pain to others. I imagine this is a struggle for many creative people and those who love them. Jon Hamm's gift is bringing empathy to Don's struggle, in spite of all the pain it caused everyone around him. Bravo, Jon. I can't wait to see what you do next!

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