Friday, May 29, 2015

Confession: I Never Watched Mad Men

It's very possible that I'm the only person on the planet who didn't tune into the phenomenon on Sunday nights known as Mad Men.

A few weeks ago, when the series ended and the finale was the social media story of the day, someone asked me: "So, do you think Don did or didn't write it?"

My response: "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Then, I admitted, my voice taking on more of apologetic tone than I would have liked: "I've never watched Mad Men." 

Cue audible gasp.

"But you WORK at an agency!"


When the show started all those years ago, a friend said to me, "I started watching Mad Men. It's SO good! It's like I have a sneak peek into your job and what you do all day!"


If that's the case, I hope they captured some of these poignant agency moments:

• The one where the characters were booked in back-to-back meetings all day without any sort of break, resulting in them actually starting their day at 6pm. Also? They didn't even have time to pour a scotch (or 3).

• The special holiday 2-hour episode when HR handed out drink tickets – only 2 each, people! – to Don, Peggy and the gang for the office Christmas party. (The first half of this episode explained why the holiday party was in mid-January, after a 5-hour Powerpoint meeting.)

• How about the one when Don Draper ate a can of soup from his desk drawer with a questionable expiration date out of desperation. I imagine the episode started with the email: "I scheduled our meeting from 12-1pm…it was the only time you were free today. Hope you don't mind."

• Or, the one when it took them seven meetings - yes, SEVEN; not one magical "carousel meeting" – to get it right with the client. 

• Remember when the AC was broken, oh, EVERY SUMMER? That episode when Don or Pete or Roger were perspiring through their suits? And the ladies were doing a little more than glistening? Because it was 90 degrees inside? And people were passing out? Talk about a cliff hanger!

• And – perhaps what would have been my favorite episode – the one where the creative team makes it out of the Sterling Cooper building on time to company outings, is able to take advantage of time off at the holidays, and doesn't find themselves presenting to the client while huddled in the corner of a casino on vacation (what? a little too much detail on that one?). I think the name of that episode was "Utopia".

So, if Mad Men showcased agency life similarly to the scenarios above, then, NO. I never watched the show.

Because I live it.

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