Creator Matthew Weiner Discusses the ‘Mad Men’ Series Finale

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 8:47 pm,

Mad Men Finale AMC Creator Matthew Weiner Discusses the Mad Men Series Finale

After already leaving an indelible mark on the television world with his award-winning and oft-copied series Mad Men, the show’s creator Matthew Weiner admits he has been thinking about the future of Donald Draper and how the show will end its storied run.

While chatting with Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) in front of a live audience for Jeff Garlin in Conversation With… the writer and producer spoke frankly about a multitude of topics, but, as is likely always the case, Weiner was mostly asked about his AMC program Mad Men. Perhaps most surprisingly is the way he addressed his approach to the inevitable finale of everyone’s favorite period drama.

Following the lengthy and tumultuous contract negotiations with AMC – that led to the series taking an extended hiatus before starting up season 5 – Weiner essentially let it be known that Mad Men would call it quits after seven seasons. So, naturally, knowing that the end is drawing ever nearer, Weiner has begun to focus his attention on the destination that will certainly be scrutinized long after Mad Men has left the airwaves.

After being asked by Garlin if he had an end point in mind for the series, Weiner has this to say:

“I do know how the whole show ends. It came to me in the middle of last season. I always felt like it would be the experience of human life. And human life has a destination. It doesn’t mean Don’s gonna die. What I’m looking for, and how I hope to end the show, is like … It’s 2011. 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. It’s a very tall order, but I always talk about Abbey Road. What’s the song at the end of Abbey Road? It’s called ‘The End.’ There is a culmination of an experience of people working at their highest level. And all I want to do is not wear out the welcome. I was 35 when I wrote the Mad Men pilot, 42 when I got to make it, and I’ll be 50 when it goes off the air. So that’s what you’re gonna get. Do I know everything that’s gonna happen? No, I don’t. But I just want it to be entertaining, and I want people to remember it fondly and not think it ended in a fart.”

Now, before you go worrying the last episode of Mad Men is going to feature Jon Hamm’s dapper duds replaced with a pair of high-waisted Dockers and some orthopedic shoes, it’s highly likely Weiner is being purposefully indirect in his description of the show’s end. For one, Weiner has always been notoriously tight-lipped about the direction his series was headed; so to think he’d spill the beans on the finale (in front of a live audience, no less) is nearly preposterous.

Additionally, more than any other program, Mad Men has long been about looking toward the future – not in the sense of how the show’s central characters will look and act, some forty-years from when it takes place, but in how the themes each episode explores have, directly or indirectly, dictated our world today. Perhaps Weiner is merely summarizing thematic intangibles intended to demonstrate the long road that brought us to where we are.

Whatever the case, it’s good to hear that Weiner is being proactive in the plotting of what will be the final three seasons of Mad Men. The narrative running through the show these last four seasons certainly deserves to go out in style – and for Weiner to commit to a ‘destination’ means the episodes leading up to that will have the proper chance to build something that is emotionally resonant and rewarding.

Mad Men season 5 will premiere on AMC sometime early 2012.

Source: Grantland

TAGS: Mad men
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  1. The rate Don smokes and drinks, he’d be lucky to reach 50, let alone mid 80s. I always pictured a somewhat tragic end for Don, killed by the jealous husband of a lover maybe?

    • Same here…or like in the opener jumping outta the window commiting suicide…having his last drink and smoke. Or kill the Don Draper persona and end it with him being Dick Whitman started with nothing ended with nothing.

      • I always wondered about the opening sequence, but I just can’t see Don committing suicide. It’s not his style.

    • he could make it to 80 something. It just won’t be pretty. I kind of hope they do it in the 80’s or early 90’s that way we can check on roger joan and all those guys. Because bert and roger will be dead in 2011 and a show without roger would suck.

  2. Who cares? The show is crap.

  3. I always imagined Don being legally convicted of identity fraud, forcing him to live the rest of his life out as Dick Whitman. Then, in a GoodFellas-style ending, we flash forward to modern times, where an elderly Don Draper opens his door to get the paper. “I got to live the rest of my life like a schnook”.

  4. One of the best shows out there – I’m sure the ending will be fitting for Don & co.

    And/or Betty gets hit by a train. That would also be swell. haha

  5. The author of this article says in the opening paragraph that Mad Men is “oft-copied.” Maybe I don’t watch enough TV but I’m curious– what shows have tried to copy Mad Men? I can’t think of any that are even similar.

  6. In the Finale we should learn that the firm is now owned by Salvatore Romano (Bryan Batt)!