From its very first episode, Mad Men established itself not just as a great television show, but as an in-depth character study and ultimately, a work of art. Since the finale in 2015, the show has left a gaping hole in our screens and our hearts — luckily, some devoted fans have taken to YouTube to craft Mad Men tributes which could be considered works of art themselves.
Here are four of the best of these compilations.
4. "The Carousel" By Dean Tsalickis
Set only to David Bowie's "Space Oddity," this video takes a fairly literal approach to the lyrics but is emotionally effective nonetheless. In under four minutes, it takes you on "The Carousel" of memories, which is truly a journey through space and time narrated by Bowie. Turning Don, Peggy, Betty, and the team into the well-known "Major Tom," this tribute examines the futility of these characters efforts and then the love and joy that can still come from their lives.
3. "The Woman Behind The Man" By Max Zusman
Max Zusman's YouTube channel is full of gorgeous Mad Men tributes, all of which display an excellent handle on the overall meaning of the show. This one shifts seamlessly from the happy consumerism of the '60s to the suspicious side of Sterling Cooper: "Don't fool yourself. This is a very dirty business." Zusman reveals the brain of the show, but even more so the heart of it: the sight of Betty holding her baby to the tune of "Moon River" or Sally making Don a valentine.
2. "End Of An Era" By JonobeckyLL2
An all-encompassing dedication to the show, "End of an Era" remembers some of it's best moments — the dancing, the laughs — and also the times when the characters were at their lowest. "Doesn't this all mean anything?" Betty asks, and the characters find that yes, it all does mean something, as this tribute highlights some of the best relationships on the show. The final musical selection, like on the show itself, is "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke," and this is a beautiful remembrance of what this show offered during its run.
1. "There Is No Big Lie" By Max Zusman
If you only ever watch one Mad Men tribute, it should be this one, which effortlessly balances the enticing world of Madison Avenue with the dark, gut-wrenching side of the show. The musical selections are excellent, including "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone and "There's Too Much Love" by Belle and Sebastian, but the best by far is the inclusion of Robert Morse's posthumous Bert Cooper singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free." The 6-minute video is worth the watch, if only for the shot of a dancing Peggy Olson with the voice over, "She's the soul of the world. She says, you are apart of the world. Every living thing is connected to you."
Do you have a favorite Mad Men tribute video? Share it in the comment section below!