Warning: Everything ahead is a spoiler.
We've had a few days to process Mad Men's finale, specifically that Coke advertisement to close out the entire series. We don't need to go about speculating on our own any longer, as creator Matthew Weiner discussed the finale for the first time at the LIVE From the New York Public Library series. Here's what he had to say about ending with the famous Coca-Cola ad—which, yes, Don Draper created:
I have never been clear, and I have always been able to live with ambiguities. In the abstract, I did think, why not end this show with the greatest commercial ever made? In terms of what it means to people and everything, I am not ambiguity for ambiguity's sake. But it was nice to have your cake and eat it too, in terms of what is advertising, who is Don and what is that thing?
But despite the show's rampant cynicism, Weiner says we shouldn't view that particular scene cynically.
I did hear rumblings of people talking about the ad being corny. It's a little bit disturbing to me, that cynicism. I'm not saying advertising's not corny, but I'm saying that the people who find that ad corny, they're probably experiencing a lot of life that way, and they're missing out on something. Five years before that, black people and white people couldn't even be in an ad together! And the idea that someone in an enlightened state might have created something that's very pure — yeah, there's soda in there with a good feeling, but that ad to me is the best ad ever made, and it comes from a very good place. ... That ad in particular is so much of its time, so beautiful and, I don't think, as — I don't know what the word is — villainous as the snark of today.
Head over to The Hollywood Reporter for a full recap of Weiner's discussion.