Mad Men Lite

One of my guilty pleasures is watching the AMC hit show Mad Men.  I love the sets/costumes, the actors, and the writing. I watched the first four seasons in a span of a month. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I was hooked. Some of you may not have seen it yet (or might not care to) and I realize we live in a bite-sized entertainment culture where we have super short attention spans.

So here is my quick take on things, a zippy little recap of the entire show in 500 words or less:

[warning! Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen all the seasons yet, you don’t want to read further…]

Ooh! Jazzy cool theme song and opening credits!

Yes, we all work in an ultra-hip Manhattan advertising agency. And we drink.

A lot.

Don Draper: Ad Man. Creative genius. Shady past. Likes to smoke, drink, and have sex with the nearest woman at any given time or place. His three go-to facial expressions: wince, stunned and stunned wince.

Betty Draper: Housewife. Sometimes mean mother.  Keeps it all together with a steady diet of cigarettes and cold hard stares.

Yeah, she’s got issues.

Don wincing again. Here he is trying to deal with the inner turmoil about his dark past. Or his inner turmoil about the young, brilliant upstart threatening to take over his job. Or his inner turmoil about being married to Betty. Or his inner turmoil about wanting to sleep with every single woman in the known universe.

Heh. I’ll drink to that.

Make mine a double, Don.

Witty banter…witty banter…witty banter…

…and smoking and drinking and witty banter.

[Joan] God. You guys are such freaking idiots.

Wait a sec–did I sleep with every single one of my secretaries? (wince-smoke, wince-smoke)

Not this one.

Yeah, well. I’m a smart woman and a pretty kick-ass copywriter and I’ll be damned if I stoop so low as to sleep around to get what I want and–oh crap, too late.

[Roger] Is it getting hot in here? Y’know…being so close together like this, is so very… sexy. Have I slept with all of you yet? No? Well…how ’bout it?

[Don] Ha, ha! Ok, here’s a funny joke, stop me if you’ve heard this one…How many woman that I have currently slept with does it take to make this elevator plunge violently to our deaths?  No? No guesses? ….anyone?

Why is it that nobody ever wants to take a crack at me?

It’s the suspenders, isn’t it?

So because you’re my secretary, I hereby decree that we will have sex. And, ah, what the hell! Let’s get married! Just promise me no freaky-deaky zoo be zoo be zoo French songs or mad-raving-lunatic housekeeping.

[Don screaming] God!..ix nay on the oo be zay…please stop! Do our vows not mean anything to you? For the love of God, my ears are bleeding! You promised!

[Betty] Why, certainly! I would love to have another cup of tea! Perhaps it will help me swallow this gnawing bitter resentment I feel now that Don has moved on with a sexy, young, bright, extremely toothy French girl while I sit here in a loveless marriage with three kids and a bad double chin prosthetic with nothing to comfort me but a can of Reddi-Wip that I inhale late at night over the kitchen sink by the light of the moon. (ahem)

Can you please pass me the sugar?

The End.

It’s the bow tie, isn’t it?


(Photo credits:,,,,

121 thoughts on “Mad Men Lite

  1. Curly Carly

    Great synopsis. I kind of feel like I’ve wasted hours upon hours watching this show, when all along I could’ve gotten caught up by reading this.

  2. I feel a little more current now, less out of touch with popular culture. Even a little younger now that I can, if cornered, talk about Mad Men as if I am as familiar with it as everyone else. I tend to watch documentaries, so this will help create a better cool factor for me. Thanks.

    1. Aw, thanks, Kathy. I hope you show this to Sara and she approves! Do you watch it at all? If not, you don’t know what you’re missing. Well, I guess after reading my post, you do.

  3. Thanks for the recap. Loved it! And now I feel better, knowing a bit more of what it’s all about. Never watched it, and realistically, probably won’t. Too hooked on NCIS, Burn Notice, and American Idol.

    1. I understand. I don’t watch any of the shows you mentioned (I did catch Burn Notice once and it did look good) The only dramas I watch are House and Mad Men. House is almost over so Mad Men are all I got.

  4. The zoo be zoo be zoo song kind of freaked me out too. For a moment I thought it was those pesky penguins from that old commercial but then I remembered that was do be do be do. And the penguins were a little more in tune.

    LOVE Mad Men. Love this post!

    1. That song was stuck in my head for weeks afterward. Still is now that I wrote about it. Die, song, DIE! Between that and her weirdo scene cleaning up after the party, Megan is bordering on psycho territory.

  5. Pretty funny recap! I have only gotten through season one but you brought me right up to date! Maybe I’ll reciprocate one of these days and do a recap of FX’s show Sons of Anarchy? But that’s probably reaching a different audience… 😉

    1. I think I`m liking the whole re-cap idea. I don`t watch alot of tv but my husband and I watch re-runs of the Waltons daily. We don`t know why, we just feel compelled to tune in and let John Boy teach us a new life lesson each and every day. He`s a great kid, isn`t he? After the Walton`s I generally just read. This re-cap thing could help me build a facade of current tv knowledge, without the time consuming option of watching tv. Like tv Sparks Notes.

  6. This is perfection. I watch a ton of TV, but have never seen this show. Have heard lots about it, but I feel that this was the perfect way to really experience this oh so popular show. Maybe this can be your new calling? Take super popular shows and condense them into a bite sized blogging recap. How do you feel about True Blood, Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones? (Also popular shows I have never ever seen). Could you get on that? Thanks.

    1. I have never seen any of those shows either. I really need to find more time in the day. I would love to make a living doing this zippy recap thing but I have this sneaking feeling it’s been done to death before.

  7. I think I could’ve condensed it further to “drink, smoke, sex, drink, smoke, sex, ad pitches, smoke” but it wouldn’t be as pretty as you just made it. I would promote you to copywriter for this post, but you’re a woman and you’re biologically geared more toward assisting (ahem) the men in the office.

    “Keeps it all together with a steady diet of cigarettes and cold hard stares.” Love this line!

    1. I think your super-condensed Mad Men version is much more accurate. Which is why I love this show, gives me a chance to live vicariously through them. Not that I don’t get all the drinking, smoking and sex in my own life…oh no…I get PLENTY of that stuff…hoo hoo…wooooweee. Yeah.

  8. Hey, thanks. I wondered what this was about. It gets such rave reviews. One of the characters, Betty I think, used to have a blog for her character and she’d answer questions and make comments just the way viewers expected her too. Great marketing…just what you’d expect from “Ad men.”

    1. Get out. A Betty blog? Must have lost popularity once everyone realized her blog was just as cold and unfeeling as the Betty character on the show. I don’t know if I’d visit her. It really is a good show, if you ever happen to catch it.

  9. I am stunned, I had a woman working for me who was addicted to this show; to the point her dress style was an imitation of Joan (yes she was even a redhead). I haven’t ever seen the show, now you have piqued my curiosity.

    Great job!

  10. You saved me from watching the first 4 seasons on DVD – I feel like I could just jump right in. I also feel like having a cigarette and a drink. Although I rarely drink except for the occasional Guinness, once in a while a margarita, a pitcher of sangria every weekend, cold beer on a hot day, strawberry daquiri, or – oh, hell. At least I don’t smoke.

    I do not understand why you don’t show up in my reader, or why, when I visited your blog yesterday (I did, really) this post did not show up. I am an old woman, I can’t be expected to locate all my favorite bloggers all by myself!!! Or maybe I really am losing it…

    1. Oooh…a pitcher of sangria! I have never tried one, can ya believe it? It does sound good though. When we all get together, I hope you’ll whip up some and share with the rest of us old ladies. I’ll bring the cigars.

      1. Technically, sangria should be made in a punchbowl…I will definitely make it when we get together, provided I can get a punchbowl past the TSA screeners…

          1. I hope we can pull it off…Ever since I have started my blog I have wanted to meet up with other bloggers. Plus, I don’t get out much any more.

          2. I don’t get out ever any more. It would be cool to pull this off. Don’t know how it’s going to work with my kids to think about. I’d like to drag my husband along (I too skeered to go to the Big Apple all by myself!)

          3. All I have to worry about it is the dog – well, maybe my husband. I can drop Shelby off at the doggie hotel – gotta find one for the hubz…

    2. You are hilarious, Katy. After all that drinking, we shall call you k8edone! hehehe

      And at least I don’t drink either. Except for the occasional Bailey’s, or white zin, or …

      And at least my memory isn’t going … as far as I can remember.

  11. Wow, D, (see how I did a play-on-words with ‘D-Woww’, there?) Don’s life is JUST like mine.

    Oh yeah, except that I drink Bailey’s and ONE woman is more than enough trouble, um, I mean ‘joy’ than I can possibly handle. And MLB doesn’t have a gun – well, as far as I know. haha

    I’ve been meaning to watch this in a big marathon, and will once MLB moves down here, after I find a job, yada yada yada.

      1. Most likely just like Maine. Maybe that’s why she’s cold as ice. Wait a sec–are you saying that I am cold, too? Because you’re right, I am always freezing. God! Crank up the heat, would ya? I’m wearing a sweater and it’s almost June, gotta problem with that? What kind of name is January anyway?

    1. Has MLB seen the show? You have to see it, I’m sure you’d like it.

      Didn’t know you were looking for a job. Me too. Of course, I’ve been out of the work force for so long, it’s slim pickens. I’m getting very good at sending resumes out though. Too bad that wasn’t my job.

  12. Why did this not show up in my feed? Thank goodness you post on FB, Darla.
    This was hilarious! I am behind at least one season – I rely on Netflix streaming, which is behind. Like you, I didn’t think I liked it – but then I got hooked. (I think it was the catchy intro to the show – the music, etc.)
    This part: wince, stunned and stunned wince. Hahahahahaha!! Love it!
    And the captions under the oldest ad man. (Forget his name.) Brilliant! Woo’, this was good.

  13. I’ve never seen this show, so thanks for saving me the trouble of getting hooked on yet another show, and in such a hysterical way. Because life is TOO DAMNED short to get hooked on another show.

    And why didn’t it show up on my Reader??? ANd how come you and Lenore are Facebook friends, but we aren’t? Hmm? ANswer me that, missy miss?

    1. Facebook friends? What is this ‘facebook’ you speak of?

      (look me up on there, Peg! Send me a friend request! Trust me, there are no other Darla ____’s in the entire universe, just me)

  14. HA! I was worried I’d be lost based on the post title, but nay! Now I never have to watch the show and I know EVERYTHING! “His three go-to facial expressions: wince, stunned and stunned wince” and “Keeps it all together with a steady diet of cigarettes and cold hard stares” KILLED me! This was awesome. You appeased my guilty pleasure soul AND my short attention span all at once 🙂

    Also, Betty has a Band-Aid on her neck (I think that’s Betty?)? It’s really distracting me. Please tell me she wasn’t try to hide a hickey. And a double chin prosthetic? Oh crud. Listen to me. I’m going to start watching this show now, aren’t I?

  15. I had to stop reading halfway through because I’ve only finished Season 2 and didn’t want any spoilers!! (I assume there were spoilers in there. I didn’t recognize some of the people when I scrolled through the rest of the post on alert for spoilers.)

    I didn’t think I would like the show either but am totally hooked. I love your stunned, wince, and stunned wince synopsis. Totally true.

    1. Hey there, muddledmom! I’ve been meaning to check out your blog, Angie mentioned you were on the ‘recommended family page’ as well.
      I have to wonder when Betty will return? Or if she will? I have to say I do miss her meanness.

  16. I love Mad Men. They waited too long for the fifth season and don’t seem to be able to live up to the hype. But by the standards of TV today, it’s still pretty good.

    1. I had the benefit of watching the first 4 seasons on netflix and finished just as they were starting season five so I didn’t have to wait as long as most of you. I suppose it was kind of a let-down overall then? Still, you’re right, there isn’t much else on TV that I am watching now anyway and Mad Men is good. It’s the one show I look forward to watching on my DVR.

  17. Love the show, wish I could drink at work without having to hide a bottle in the toilet cistern. I kinda miss the Peggy of the first two series , she’s still great, I saw the actress in a play last year in the West End, she completely out-acted Keira Knightley so much it was almost embarrassing.

    1. Haha! But you must have more than a few bars near your workplace? Take long lunches maybe?

      You saw ‘Peggy’ in a play, that is so cool! yeah, she’s one of my favorite characters on the show–good actress. Course the main reason I watch is Jon Hamm, love that guy.

      Keira Knightley…hmm… I haven’t really seen much of her acting. I think she was in Pirates of the Caribbean? Or something? Wait, wasn’t she in Love, Actually? I finally saw that movie recently. So what you’re saying is, her looks are what carries her acting career?

  18. Curly Carly

    Thank you for the reminder about the season premiere! I’m so excited! I had no idea it was starting up again so soon. Yes!!

  19. I won’t miss it! Roger is really the guy to watch. The entire show is really about him, Don Draper is just an elaborate distraction from Roger and his issues. Also, there’s the suspense as to when Joan will finally get so busty that she actually topples over.

  20. I’ll back up Speaker7’s request, even though I started to actually write the first thing on my blog for weeks along the same lines, I’d begun Game of Thrones in a Nutshell using MS Paint. Just some boobies and beheadings. Mad Men was my current fave show until I just caught up on Game of Thrones over Easter, I was hooked and never went to bed and watched 20 hours of it. (And there’s me wondering why I’ve not written anything for weeks… )

    1. OH my. I cannot WAIT to see this MS Paint/Game of Thrones Mash-Up Post! Boobies and beheadings. I heard about this over at Greatsby’s blog this week. Dammit, another show I have to watch now, just great.

      1. I was behind the times too, I actually snubbed it for two seasons thinking it would be one for the geeks, but is truly awesome and quite possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I tend to pick up traits from shows, when I did a Seinfeld marathon I ended up speaking like a New York Jew, Mad men made me crave alcohol and cigarettes at work, I worry what a Game of Thrones addiction could result in. I did like watching it all over one weekend as now I am up to date waiting a week for the next episode is torturous – I would rather be locked in a cell at Kings Landing or torn apart by the White Watchers than go through the agonising wait for the next episode!

        1. I have no idea what you’re talking about but I’m hooked just by reading about Kings Landing and White Watchers. I have GOT to see this GoT now. But it’s on HBO, which we don’t have so I have no idea how I’m supposed to ever see it. Boo.

          1. Oh no! I am watching it on subscription now but they often eventually end up on normal telly, or I just buy the box sets, watch them and re-sell them on Amazon. I promise I won’t reveal any spoilers in my MS Paint adaption

  21. Because we don’t have cable, I am a season (or two) behind. I will start season 5 this week. I believe season 6 starts soon? Or – is it season 7?
    In any case, I did not read your post, due to you mentioning spoiler alerts. Thank you for that head’s up.

  22. I read this in spite of the spoiler alert. I haven’t seen the show, but now I think I want to just to see if the guy with the bow tie gets any.

    I used to make fun of the idea of lots of sex in an office. I worked in one office where the men were so unattractive that there was no way anybody was getting any on the job sex. I was wrong, as I found out 15 years after I left. I was simply the only one who wasn’t sleeping with everybody else. And you know, that’s just fine by me.

      1. It was FINE with me. They were the most unattractive men you can imagine. Seriously. And they were all married. It was really weird when I found out, though.

  23. Pingback: Powers Of Observation – Sort Of | HonieBriggs

  24. I have watched every single sumptuous moment of Mad Men – even so, it’s good to have a recap before the new season. I think you’ve covered it all except the lawn mower accident…

    1. Ooh, sumptuous is the PERFECT word for it! The lawn mower accident was so horrific and seemed so out of place when I watched it, I really don’t think I’ve recovered from the trauma even after all this time. I remember thinking, “when did Stephen King get hired as a writer?”

      1. LOL – the idea of them even transporting a mower like that to a Manhattan office was a bit over the top – it played like a scene from The Walking Dead. Not their finest moment.

  25. Mad Men! The last season started the day before C was born so we pretty much missed it on account of Baby. But now we’re getting caught up on Netflix! I am obsessed.

  26. This is such a great overview!
    I love this show. I will have to buy the series at some point. I have seen several episodes.
    Great idea to reblog your post. It was great and many didn’t see it the first time around!

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