'Mad Men,' Season 7

March 23, 2015 3:34 PM

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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - With the advance restrictions imposed by series creator Matthew Weiner, up to and including the passage of time, reviewing a "Mad Men" premiere is a Nik Wallenda-worthy balancing act, which might explain why many prefer detailed recaps. Still, what AMC is billing as "The End of an Era" deserves a proper sendoff, starting with a general sense of whether this signature drama -- the one that made "Breaking Bad" possible -- looks headed in the right direction. Certainly, the first of the four-time Emmy winner's seven final hours contains intriguing developments, without offering many clues about where this last campaign will lead.

Granted, despite hype that AMC is understandably eager to stoke, "Mad Men" isn't the sort of series that lends itself to an overly dramatic conclusion. A guy like its protagonist, ad-man supreme Don Draper (Jon Hamm), doesn't go out in a hail of bullets, but rather alone in a smoke-filled room, sugg...

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