'Mad Men' creator muses on series and that Coca-Cola commercial

Wed May 20, 2015 11:54pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner offered insights in the creation of his acclaimed television drama about the dark side of advertising in the 1960s and explained the significance of the Coca-Cola ad that ended the series on Sunday.

In a talk with novelist A.M. Homes at the New York Public Library on Wednesday night, the writer and director of the Emmy award winning AMC drama said the final season was about an inward journey for the characters, particularly its star, Don Draper, played by actor Jon Hamm.

"The whole last season was the idea that the revolution failed and it is time to deal with what you can control, which is yourself, this turning inward," Weiner said.

"He (Draper) stripped it all away, that was the idea."

The final episode ends fittingly with a 1971 commercial, the multi-ethnic Coca-Cola ad "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke," after Draper, the troubled, hard-drinking, womanizing advertising executive, finds inner peace at a retreat in California.

"I like the idea that he would come to this place and it would be about other people and a moment of recognition," said Weiner.

But did Draper return to advertising as his colleague, Peggy Olson, played by Elisabeth Moss, pleaded for him to do and create the commercial?

Weiner thought the ad was an appropriate way to end the series and said he enjoyed the idea that some enlightened state, and not just co-option, might have created something that was very pure.   Continued...

Cast member Jon Hamm (L) and show creator Matthew Weiner attend the "Mad Men: Live Read & Series Finale" held in Los Angeles May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Phil McCarten