My husband and I watched the entire Mad Men series together, one season after the other. I decided to make a list of the things that were in Mad Men that are different today. This post is about Mad Men Season Five.

Before you read this, you might want to read what I wrote about previous Seasons:

Mad Men Season One
Mad Men Season Two
Mad Men Season Three
Mad Men Season Four

Warning: There are spoilers.

Episode 1:

* The Campbells have a fancy stove/oven in the kitchen of their new home. It has a range that can be pushed into a drawer when not in use, a cabinet under the range for pots and pans, and on oven at the top (behind the range).

It was called the Frigidaire Flare and was a luxury item in the 1960s. The oven was at eye level of the woman who was using the range and oven to cook dinner. Glass doors on the oven made it easy for her to check on the food.

Episode 2:

* The telephones now have push buttons instead of rotary dials. They still have a handset that is attached to the base by a long, curly, cord.

* Don and Megan have a color television.

* Betty has gained weight. Her mother-in-law suggests that Betty start taking diet pills. Betty asks her doctor for diet pills, and he refuses to prescribe them without doing a checkup to rule out other causes for weight gain.

* Betty and Henry have two separate phone lines – with two separate telephone numbers – in their home.

Episode 3:

* Craig comes home from Vietnam and wants a bologna sandwich instead of a steak dinner. He had steak in Vietnam – but missed bologna sandwiches.

* Joan’s mom goes out to get the afternoon paper.

* Sally watches television and sees an ad for the Mystery Date board game. The game was first released in 1965.

* The Francis’s have a remote control for their television.

Episode 4:

* Lane and Pete get into a fist fight (called for by Lane). It’s clear that Lane has had some training – and he “knocked the crap out of Pete.” (To borrow a phrase from Peggy). No one calls for security.  No one calls the police. No one is fired and escorted from the office. No one sues.

Episode 5:

Don asks for change so he can use the payphone. There is a telephone booth outside of the restaurant he got the change from. Each call costs a dime. He needed to make several calls, and used the payphone for all of them.

Episode 6:

* Sally pulls the phone into her room and stretches the phone cord across the hallway. Her grandmother trips over the phone cord and breaks her ankle.

Episode 7:

* Pete rides the train with a man who sells life insurance. Later in the episode, we see that this man has a car with power windows. It’s the first example of that in the show. Previous to power windows, people had to use a crank to manually make their window go up or down.

Episode 8:

* I didn’t notice anything in this episode that you don’t see today that wasn’t already mentioned in this list (or in the lists for previous Seasons).

Episode 9:

* Don buys a brand new, top of the line, fancy Jaguar car. He hands the salesman a check for $6,000. The salesman accepts it – without even bothering to ask for any identification. Don tells the salesman that if he doesn’t bring it back – consider the car sold. He later brings the car back (and presumably picks up his check.)

Episode 10:

* I didn’t notice anything in this episode that you don’t see today that wasn’t already mentioned in this list (or in the lists for previous Seasons).

Episode 11:

* Sally goes with Megan, and Megan’s friend from her acting class, to a restaurant. Megan orders coffee. Sally, who is about 12 years old, tells the waiter that she will have coffee, too. Megan informs Sally that the waiter won’t bring her a coffee. The waiter brings Sally a coffee, and Sally immediately dumps a ton of sugar into it.

Today, a 12 year old can go into Starbucks and order a drink that contains coffee and society sees that as normal.

* Sally is staying with her father, Don, and Megan, for the weekend. It was a surprise visit. Sally has school on Monday, and neither Megan nor Don can drive her to school because both have work (meetings/auditions).

Don decides to let Sally stay in the apartment by herself, and says he will drive her home (to Betty and Henry’s home) later that day. Sally is watching television when Megan is about to leave Sally there by herself.

Megan says “The first thing I’m going to do when I get home is feel that TV.”  She was letting Sally know that she isn’t allowed to watch TV all day long.

The TV is a color TV, something only 3.1 percent of households had in 1964. Televisions at that time had used three picture tubes – red, green, and blue – and filters and mirrors to project one color image. The TV was inside a cabinet housing and had a glass, tube-like, screen.

Televisions that were on for several hours in a row would heat up. So, Megan would be able to tell if Sally had been watching TV all day just by feeling the TV and determining how hot it was.

Episode 12:

* Peggy’s new boss asks her: “Do you smoke?” She says she doesn’t really smoke. New boss throws a carton of cigarettes at her that are in a blank, white, box, and basically tells her it is her job to smoke them and think of a name for them. Their client is the company that made the cigarettes, which they want to market to women.

Episode 13:

* I didn’t notice anything in this episode that you don’t see today that wasn’t already mentioned in this list (or in the lists for previous Seasons).

Things from Mad Men that are Different from Today – Season Five is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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