'Mad Men' Shouldn't Win The Emmy For Drama Series Just Because Of Its Legacy, But The Actors Better Clean Up This Year
Mad Men's seventh and final season wrapped up on May 17, 2015. On the last episode, fans got to see Peggy and Stan end up together, watch Pete Campbell move to Kansas, and got to, shockingly, find that not only did Don Draper not die, but that he may have found inner peace and channeled that nirvana into a famous Coke ad. Now, almost exactly three months after our fave characters left our lives and continued on into the hideous 1970s, Mad Men has been nominated for 11 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series. But just because it was the show's final season, it doesn't mean it should win the award.
I know. I know. It's my favorite drama series ever, too. I get it. But with it being my favorite, I wouldn't want it to get something unless it truly deserved it, and I don't think the seventh season was the series' strongest. Mad Men won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for its first four seasons, and in the past three years was beaten by Homeland once and Breaking Bad twice. (If this math seems off, it's because Mad Men will have been nominated for it's seventh season twice as it was split into two parts that aired over two years.)
Of course, the Emmys, like any awards, are based on comparisons. If Season 7 of Mad Men was truly better than the most recent seasons of fellow nominees Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, and Orange Is the New Black, then yes, it should win. I just don't want Mad Men to win based entirely on it's legacy and the fact that this was its final season. Mad Men has four Emmys wins for Outstanding Drama Series and 15 wins total, which include a variety of other awards such as ones for cinematography and writing.
There are some Emmys that I think Mad Men should definitely win this year, though. First and foremost, Jon Hamm needs that Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor, no question about it. Hamm as Don Draper has made me, and so many others, feel so many different emotions over the past eight years and sometimes all within a span of seconds. I mean... you've seen the GIFs:
Seriously, though, the guy has been nominated, including this year, EIGHT TIMES. He doesn't have to face Bryan Cranston this year, so hopefully, it's finally his time to shine.
Speaking of giant snubs, none of the actors from Mad Men have ever won an Emmy. Elisabeth Moss is nominated this year for Outstanding Lead Actress and she more than deserves a win, too. If Don Draper has made me feel more emotions than any other TV character, Peggy Olson is definitely second. Or is she first and he's second?! I don't know! Can we just take a moment:
In addition to Hamm and Moss, Christina Hendricks is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role as Joan Harris, and I'm really not just being a crazy fangirl, but, hell, she deserves an award, too. So much of what's great about Mad Men is due to the acting. Pretty much all of the actors consistently kill it (Hi, Glen...), which is why I find that these actors deserve Emmys for Season 7 while the series as a whole may not.
Honestly, after watching this show for so many years, I probably wouldn't watched the last season no matter what happened, I had come too far, but if anything would have made me leave it would've been that godawful Diana the waitress plot line. But you know what kept things great even with that? The acting! (And most of the other plot lines, but you get what I'm saying.) Give Hamm the Emmy, give Moss the Emmy, give Hendricks the Emmy (Maybe. I'm less passionate about that one), but don't give the series the Emmy just because it's the end. Us Mad Men fans are strong and have high standards — we can handle it.