TV

If Don Draper died in the 'Mad Men' finale, would anyone care? 

June 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM ET

Falling man from opening of AMC's "Mad Men."
AMC
Falling man from opening of AMC's "Mad Men."

We have a perfect ending for "Mad Men's" season finale: Don Draper jumping out the window.

Obviously there's no chance of that happening. He's the star of the show, and besides, two season-ending suicides in a row (RIP, Lane Pryce) would be awfully repetitive. (Like juggling two juice accounts. RIP, Ocean Spray.)

But nothing is more redundant than Don Draper himself. Other than his brief interlude as a faithful newlywed, you just can't teach this dog new tricks.

Even a year ago, the thought of losing Don would have been inconceivable -- even though the businessman's freefall in the opening title sequence seems to imply that is his ultimate fate. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a metaphor, we get it. But the wretched ad exec has become so dull, predictable and dislikable that we really wouldn't miss him if he took a shortcut down to Madison Ave.

Everyone with sense agrees that Jon Hamm is a nearly perfect human creature, but we'd much rather see him in another role -- like his hilarious bubble boy Drew on "30 Rock." And you know what? "Mad Men's" ensemble cast would be just fine without him -- especially Roger Sterling and Sally Draper, who could easily front their own spin-off series.

Here are all the reasons we're over Don Draper:

Serial cheating: He's not unique among his colleagues at Sterling Cooper & Partners, but at least infidelity isn't a full-time hobby for Roger, Pete, Ted (maybe) and the gang. And yes, we know it's a manifestation of Dick Whitman's childhood in a whorehouse, but the backstory doesn't make his adultery any less boring.

Alcoholism: Another snoozer story line. But would Don be more interesting if he were sober? Doubtful. Another Roger acid trip, on the other hand ...

The sads: He wept on Peggy's shoulder and curled up in a fetal position on his disgusted daughter's bed, but we have lost all sympathy for depressed Don. In fact, our reaction is the same as his: Wah, wah, wah.

Tyranny: Don really is a monster, as Peggy called him after he humiliated her and Ted in the season's penultimate episode. He's spiteful, insensitive and downright cruel. So is Pete Campbell -- but at least we love to hate the snarky stair-tumbler. Don we just hate.

Impostor: Once upon a time, Don's identify theft was a thrilling narrative. Now nearly everyone knows the truth, and no one seems to care. Sterling Cooper's creative director works about five minutes a day, is trashed or asleep the rest of the time, insults his clients and colleagues and betrays his family. So why haven't they publicly outed him? Not that we'd really care. Bob Benson's fraud is so much more fascinating now.

Grim Reaper: Don isn't directly to blame for all the show's deaths, but they sure do seem to follow him like Pig Pen's cloud of dirt. And speculation is rampant that Megan might be the next to go, thanks to a number of clues connecting her to Charles Manson victim Sharon Tate. (Megan's obsession with "Rosemary's Baby" -- directed by Tate's husband, Roman Polanski -- only added fuel to the fire.) Her murder would paradoxically breathe new life into "Mad Men" -- but not if it means we'll be subjected to a final season devoted to her widower's grief.

Are you ready for Don to take a flying leap (literally or figuratively)? What do you hope to see in the season finale? Click on "Talk about it" below and share your thoughts!


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