News & views: 'Mad Men' begins its ending

April 2, 2015 9:22 PM

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Take that as a warning to ignore the hyperbolic "end of an era" ad campaign AMC is using to launch the final seven-episode run of Mad Men (Sunday, 10 ET/PT). For the network, the epic claim may ring true: Mad Men proved that AMC could produce a quality drama that could match — and even top — the best anyone else had to offer. But for viewers, well, not so much, considering most of them never watched, and their options today for quality viewing are expanding, not contracting.

That's not to degrade the accomplishments of creator Matthew Weiner and the cast of this meticulously wrought, multiple Emmy winner, which has tapped into so many aspects of the modern American dream, from its encouragement of reinvention to its collusion with consumerism. But inflated expectations ...

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