My husband and I watched the entire Mad Men series together – all seven seasons. I put together a list of things that were in Season Two of Mad Men that are very different from today.
You may want to start with the list I made for Season One of Mad Men before reading this one.
Warning: There are spoilers.
* The office gets its very first copy machine. The secretaries were very excited about it. The copy machine was a new technology at the time.
* Betty goes on a Valentine’s date with Don. Betty has a fancy cigarette case with her that appears to hold an entire pack of cigarettes.
* The people at the office gathered around a transistor radio to hear news about a plane crash.
* Betty and Don have Francine and her husband over to play cards. Don has been teaching his daughter, Sally, how to make mixed drinks. Don explains to Sally the difference between “muddled” and “crushed” and reminds her which type of alcohol goes into the drink. Sally, who is probably around seven years old – if that – makes the drinks and serves them to her dad and to Francine’s husband.
* Peggy goes to church with her mother and sister. They are Catholic. The mass is said in Latin. All of the women in the church have their heads covered (some with hats, others with white lace cloths). People who take communion kneel at the communion railing and wait for the priest to put the communion wafer directly into their mouths.
* Harry (one of the guys at the office) gets the idea to have the lipstick company they have as a client sponsor a controversial episode of a popular TV show that features two lawyers. The episode is controversial because it is about a young woman who has an abortion – which was illegal at the time. The lipstick company turns the sponsorship down because they are “a family company.”
* Peggy has dinner at her mother’s apartment. The new, young, priest came for dinner. Before he left, Peggy was asked to “Go get the brownie”. Someone else at dinner took a photo of Peggy, her mother, her sister, and the new priest, with a Kodak Brownie Camera.
* Don gets into a car accident because he was driving drunk. The policeman who arrested him said Don was “over the legal limit” – which was 0.15%. Today, the legal limit in New York is 0.08%.
I didn’t see anything in this episode that you don’t see today. (Other than stuff that I’ve already mentioned in this Season or in Season One.)
* The advertising team at the office has been asked to come up with an ad for Pampers disposable diapers. The team thinks they are strange because people were using cloth, washable, diapers before Pampers. The team also thinks that the price is too high – 10 cents for a diaper that can only be used once.
* Don and Betty take their kids to the park for a picnic. When they are done, Betty lifts up the picnic blanket and shakes it out, leaving the trash on the ground.
* The fancy club that Don was invited to has a cigarette girl – a woman who has been hired to wear a large box that contains cigarettes for guests.
* I didn’t see anything in this episode that you don’t see today (that had not already been mentioned in this list or the list from Season One.)
* Betty was at home making cookies with her kids. She was supposed to be at lunch with her friend, but sent another friend instead. Betty didn’t want her friend to call her, so she walked over the the rotary dial phone on the wall, took the phone handset “of the hook” and put it on the table – thus making it impossible for anyone to call her. The headset had a cord on it that easily stretched to the table.
* Don takes a flight to Los Angeles (with Peter) for a work conference. The instant the “No Smoking” light went off, Don – and several other men on the plane, immediately lit cigarettes and started smoking.
* Kurt (one of the new young guys hired for the Creative team) and Peggy made plans to see Bob Dylan. The next day at work, the creative team is eating donuts together, and Kurt reminds Peggy what time they will meet.
The older guys on the creative team assume Kurt and Peggy are dating. Kurt makes it clear: “No. I am homosexual”.
Kurt has a strong accent, and it is clear English is his second language. One of the guys assumes Kurt doesn’t know what that word means. Kurt clarifies: “I make love to men. Not woman.” (Or something close to that.)
This shocks the entire group, who have never heard someone be so open about being homosexual. And then they get over it and its not really a big deal anymore.
This scene is in strong contrast to the one in Season One where it is revealed that Sal is gay – and that he is trying very hard to keep that a secret. Sal has a wife.
* I didn’t see anything in this episode that you don’t see today (that hasn’t already been mentioned in this list of the list from Season One.)
* Sally and Bobby are watching TV and sharing a batch of what looks like Jiffy Pop popcorn. Jiffy Pop hit the market in 1959, which means it was a new and special treat for Sally and Bobby. Either Betty or Don had to pop the Jiffy Pop popcorn on the stove.
Things from Mad Men that are Different from Today – Season Two is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.