Khoi Vinh:

I think the larger point may be that the series is not really a daydream that all of its fans share, but rather it’s a daydream of old media. In this age when the old brands that once ruled American commerce are now diminished, and with so much of the coming century feeling unsettled and uncentered, “Mad Men” is a kind of bedtime story that media tells itself about how powerful it used to be. It’s something like the inflated tales of lost motherlands that immigrants tell their children; we’re in an age now when the landscape of “Mad Men” seems like a grand old folktale of kings and queens. This is what happens when old ways die; we start telling nostalgic fairy tales about what they used to be.