Here they are: the first images of Mad Men’s seventh and final season. Debonair flailing!
Although I think I can speak for the entire Internet when I say Season 6 was a pile of expensive doodie, I’m so genuinely excited for 7. My instinct says the season will be depressing and murky, but if Weiner veers back onto the main highway of workplace intrigue, fast-clip philosophy, and period-piece candy for the eyes and ears, we’ll be cooking with gas before the finale. Jesus. I don’t want it to go. Even with the betrayal of shitty-shit-shit Season 6, I’m rooting for a WOW. How will Mad Men end? How will this utterly ambitious series leave its mark? Things are so…UP IN THE AIR! I made an airplane joke because Don is probably D.B. Cooper. Have you read this theory yet? It’s so crazy. So crazy it just…might…work.
Let’s do what Mad Men fans do best and tear these screenshots a new analytical asshole.
Don’s wearing a brown suit and a hat. There’s a curb and a building involved. Probably a leitmotif of death, life, time…thinking…also transportation. Looking for a cab. A cab to the afterworld. Or rebirth? Did the Buddha ever reference a Big Yellow Taxi?
It’s a real red-herring pair of images, because in one he’s looking right, and in the other he’s looking left. Kind of like the Season 6 poster. Is that deliberate? Probably. Even when Mad Men is arbitrary, it’s deliberate, you know what I mean? And like, the fact that his hands are in the same position both times really indicates the growing generational gulf Don’s struggling to straddle, as well as a preoccupation with FINGERS, with POINTING, with, you know, FINDING ONE’S DIRECTION.
He’s adjusting his cufflinks but there’s no one there. Isolation. The search for God? The search for companionship? Sexual addiction. Definitely. The Madonna versus the whore. Cufflinks are signifiers, you know.
Of course, there are the earth tones of Don’s suit juxtaposed with the austere New York architecture. Is this a nature and nurture question? I mean, WHO IS MAN, really, situated amongst the byproducts of his artifice? These beautiful columns could support dreams or nightmares. And the temperature is unclear. Because that’s a jacket but not a coat. Cloudy? Sunny? Are we in the winter? Maybe the world is the winter and advertising is the sun. Perhaps the final season aims to settle questions of whence humanity’s creativity springs forth, or maybe it’s about weather and stuff like that.
Also he’s wearing black shoes and you’re not supposed to pair brown and black. Unless you’re a maverick. I suppose this could be a reference to Ayn Rand. I might be reaching, but I MIGHT NOT BE.
The diagonal tie is throwing me off, though, because that’s a clear allusion to…Kafka. A parody of straight lines, signifying a thematic shift to moral relativism. Diagonals are very crucial to masculinist ideology, clearly. I don’t have to tell YOU that. When you pair these gendered geometrics with the concept of a necktie-as-noose, you get into some very shaky nihilist quicksand.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the shrubs. Those things are SO loaded. Who even knows, with shrubs and Don Draper.
But, you know. Phallus.