AMC's two groundbreaking, critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad and Mad Men have upped the anti in terms of how great small screen programming can be. Going head-to-head for the last 6 years, Breaking Bad's final season set the bar very high for Mad Men to achieve or surpass in its own 2 installment final season.
The main characters of each show, Walter White and Don Draper of Breaking Bad and Mad Men respectively, are both flawed antiheros who are on a collision course with their demons and the results of their bad decisions.
The final season of Breaking Bad was one of the most lauded in the history of television. Not everyone was happy about how Walt/ Heisenberg met his fate, but most had to admit the episodes were gripping, imaginative and well acted.
The first installment of Mad Men's final season has also risen to the occasion with plot twists and intrigues that brought out the best in some of our favorite characters. Elizabeth Moss as Peggy Olsen just gets better and better, as does John Slattery's Roger Sterling.
The send off for the Bert Cooper character which employed 83 year old Robert Morse's singing and dancing chops impressively retained from his early career on Broadway and films, was an inspired touch.
It remains to be seen if Mad Men's finale will strike a chord with viewers and critics to the extent that Breaking Bad's did, but based on this first half of season 7, Draper and company are off to a good start to the end.