Mad Men always maintained a distinctly cinematic quality in its nuanced, painstakingly detailed world. Its characters developed slowly, but meaningfully across seven seasons on the air, each one of them more talked about than the last. If The Sopranos ushered in the golden age of television, Mad Men arguably carved out the standard.
Which is exactly why it has been frustrating for fans to see Mad Men so poorly awarded at the Emmys year after year. Although this year, the Emmy for best actor in a drama series was finally handed over to Jon Hamm, the show failed to win the best drama category for the seventh time. The show it lost to, Game of Thrones, is also undeniably an important player, and perhaps it’s only really possible to say it doesn’t deserve the slot through objective matters of taste.
Still, it just feels wrong to see a show like Mad Men walk away uncrowned from the ceremony where it seemed like it was finally going to happen. Jon’s humble acceptance speech for best actor seems like a passable consolation prize for seeing the whole cast of Mad Men take the stage together at the end of the night — especially since he heavily named the people associated with the show.
“There’s been a terrible mistake clearly. Thank you for that. This is impossible to be named with all of those extraordinary gentlemen. It’s impossible to be standing up here. It’s impossible to have done this show with this incredible cast, these incredible people, these incredible writer, our incredible crew, the network and the studio who put this on, AMC and Lion’s Gate. Am I saying that right?… I want to thank the people to whom I owe an incredible debt… Thank you to everyone who watched the show. Thank you for this.”
Sure, Mad Men wasn’t vindicated in its last chance to secure an Emmy. Yet even with a cast full of rich characters, Don Draper stood not only as the lead, but as the unwavering symbol of where the show was headed thematically. Watching Hamm take the statue, especially after such a troublesome personal year, it’s hard not to imagine him as the character he’s destined to be forever associated with.
Mad Men might have lost out for the best drama Emmy, but at least Don, and Jon Hamm, seem to be in a good place.
[Image Kevin Winter/Getty Images]