The show Mad Men is many things.

It’s intense, morbidly funny, sad, and intelligent.

What it’s never been is happy.

Which is why the ending to season three, which was so joyous I felt like dancing around the room, came as such as pleasant shock.

I’ve never thought Don Draper would end well. He’s a man literally pretending to be someone else. His career in advertising is built on telling other people untruths about products.

In short, his entire life is built on lies.

The fascination for me comes in watching him try to balance those lies with what he knows is the inner truth about himself. It’s not a balancing act I’ve ever thought he would win. But seeing him struggle is worth the price of admission.

Warning, spoilers behind the break.

(more…)