Mad Men concludes its seven-season run tonight. AMC’s been running promo after promo with the tagline “The end of an era.”

I couldn’t help but wonder how Mad Men compares to MASH. Did it get this much fanfare in its day? Both shows impacted TV and public consciousness and enjoyed storied runs. Yet when I think about MASH, something else comes to mind: DVR and Netflix, not to mention DVD and Blu-Ray, weren’t around when MASH went off the air. Compared to now, MASH ended in a much more concrete sense than Mad Men will end today.

Someone smarter than I once wrote about how the past has become contemporary thanks to syndication and Netflix, among other things.¹ Mad Men won’t really end tonight.

1 Probably Chuck Klosterman in one of his essays.

A confession: I caught on to Mad Men late in 2010, but I caught up quickly. Netflix makes that kind of thing possible. I then watched every episode again for further study. I’ll probably watch the entire series again after tonight to see what else I may have missed.