Quotes from Mad Men (Season Seven – Final Season)

S7/E01 (37:33): “Why are you making this so hard? Open the door and walk in. You do not need to parachute in through the ceiling.” (Lou Avery)

S7/E02 (37:33): “Well the snow’s melted but not the hearts of New Yorkers. I just had some old lady call me a ‘kike’. […] She was letting her dog relieve himself and I said ‘pardon me, but you want to curb that thing?’ She says ‘mind your own business, kike.’ Maybe it’s the hat.” (Roger Sterling)

S7/E02 (34:10): “That’s the thrill. Our fortunes are in other people’s hands. And we have to take them.” (Bonnie Whiteside)

S7/E03 (06:49): “That’s comforting. You weren’t rejected. You weren’t even considered.” (Michael Ginsberg)

S7/E04 (21:58): “It’s my fault. I always let her out of everything. She only had one job and that was to find a husband – and she mocked it up.” (Mona Sterling)

S7/E04 (40:51): “You’re hung-over. It’s the best time to hear it. I mean are you just gonna kill yourself? Give them what they want? Or go in your bedroom, get a uniform, fix your bayonet, and hit the parade? Do the work, Don.” (Freddy Rumsen)

S7/E05 (29:51): “There’s this pressure in my head, like there’s a hydrogen bomb that’s gonna go off. And then I realized, it’s that hum in the office, it’s getting to me. I caught myself looking at Stan’s shoulders and getting, you know, excited. That’s the computer’s plan, turn us all homo. Peggy, we gotta reproduce.” (Michael Ginsberg)

S7/E05 (39:20): “I’m tired of everyone telling me to shut up. I’m not stupid. I speak Italian.” (Betty Draper)

S7/E06 (26:38): “I see a day that starts with pancakes and ends with an ice cream sundae.” (Bob Benson)

S7/E06 (31:06): “You can’t tell people what they want, it has to be what you want. […] Well, whenever I’m really unsure about an idea, first I abuse the people who’s help I need, and then I take a nap. And I start at the beginning again, see if I end up in the same place.” (Don Draper)

S7/E07 (17:50): “No man has ever come back from leave. Even Napoleon. He staged a coup, but he ended up back on that island.” (Bertram Cooper)

S7/E07 (39:20): “We’ve finally turned this place into a legitimate threat and they’d like to neutralize it with cold, hard cash.” (Roger Sterling)

S7/E08 (08:25): “I’d never recommend imitation as a strategy. You’ll be second, which is very far from first.” (Peggy Olson)

S7/E09 (15:32): “I got two secretaries and three telephones. Feel like Marlon Perkins is chasing me on the savanna. Hiding is pointless.” (Roger Sterling)

S7/E10 (15:08): “Maybe I’m a bad manager. Maybe I’m too – what do they call it – ‘hands-on’.” (Ted Chaough)

S7/E10 (23:48): “I once interrupted a client during a presentation for Lucky Strike, our biggest account. […] I wasn’t supposed to talk at all. I knew if I apologized they’d never want to work with me again. […] So the next meeting, I walked in, shook Lee Garner’s hand and said ‘I can’t believe you have the balls to come back after you embarassed yourself like that.'” (Don Draper)

S7/E12 (30:45): “This business doesn’t have feelings. You get bought, you get sold, you get fired. If the account moves, you move. Even if your name is on the damn door, you should know better than to get attached to some walls.” (Roger Sterling)

S7/E12 (37:17): “Do you have any idea how much ad space McCann buys in the New York Times every year? We could get them to print ‘Mein Kampf’ on the front page.” (Jim Hobart)

S7/E12 (41:58): “Well, you might have sold me a rotten apple, but it’s not too late to let the axe fly.” (Jim Hobart)

S7/E13 (20:03): “You know, I’m jealous of your ability to be sentimental about the past. I’m not able to do that. I remember things as they were.” (Trudy Campbell)

S7/E13 (38:56): “Sally, I’ve leart to believe people when they tell you it’s over. I don’t want to say it. So it’s usually the truth. […] And I don’t want you to think I’m a quitter. I fought for plenty in my life. That’s how I know when it’s over. It’s not a weakness, it’s been a gift to me. To know when to move on.” (Betty Draper)

S7/E14 (42:18): “Because everytime I’m face to face with you I wanna strangle you. And then I miss you when I go away. And I miss you, and I call you on the phone and I get the person I wanna talk to.” (Stan Rizzo)

S7/E14 (48:11): “You spend your whole life thinking you’re not getting it, people aren’t giving it to you. Then you realize: they’re trying, and you don’t even know what ‘it’ is. I had a dream I was on a shelf in the refridgerator. Someone closes the door and the light goes off, and I know everybody’s out there eating. And then they open the door and you see them smiling, and they’re happy to see you, but maybe they don’t look right at you. And maybe they don’t pick you. Then the door closes again. The light goes off.” (Leonard)


Quotes from Mad Men (Season Six)

S6/E01 (24:49): “What are the events in life? It’s like you see a door. The first time you come through, you say: ‘Oh, what’s on the other side of the door?’ Then you open a few doors, and then you say: ‘I think I wanna go over a bridge this time, I’m tired of doors.’ Finally you go through one of these things and you come out on the other side and you realize that’s all there are: doors and windows and bridges and gates and they all open the same way. And they all close behind you. Look, life is supposed to be a path and you go along and these things happen to you and they’re suppose to change you, change your direction. But turns out that’s not true. Turns out the experiences are nothing. They’re just some pennies you pick up off the floor, stick in your pocket and you’re just going in a straight line to you know where.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E01 (36:52): “This couple doesn’t exist. Anything matrimonial feels Paleolithic. […] Let’s leave it where we want it. We want that electric jolt to the body. We want Eros. It’s like a drug. It’s not domestic. What’s the difference between a husband knocking on the door and a sailor getting off a ship? About 10,000 volts.” (Don Draper)

S6/E02 (22:26): “Those were three different versions of the same idea. If you can’t tell the different between which part’s the idea and which part’s the execution of the idea, you’re of no use to me. I know what you’re doing, I’ve been you, you’re hoping this sparks my imagination and then you can say ‘wow she’s a genius’ or say anything, because you wanna go home.” (Peggy Olson)

S6/E02 (25:46): “Damn it, how many times do I have to say this? I don’t feel anything. I’m just acknowledging that life, unlike this analysis, will eventually end. And somebody else will get the bill.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E02 (37:48): “It always takes a crisis to sell work just good.” (Ted Chaough)

S6/E02 (41:18): “You get paid to think about things they don’t wanna think about. And I get paid to not think about them. People will do anything to alleviate their anxiety.” (Dr. Arnold Rosen)

S6/E03 (13:00): “Sometimes you got to dance with the one who that brought you.” (Don Draper)

S6/E03 (37:41): “Maybe you need a friend more than you need a job. I didn’t know that. I’m in advertising.” (Ted Chaough)

S6/E03 (41:56): “As my mother used to say: ‘Your options were dishonor or war. You chose dishonor. You might still get war’.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E04 (20:22): “You know what? I’m sorry my accomplishments happened in broad daylight and I can’t be given the same rewards.” (Harry Crane)

S6/E04 (25:01): “Darling, you shouldn’t smoke so much. The weight you lose isn’t worth the wrinkles.” (Arlene)

S6/E04 (34:40): “The greatest thing you have working for you is not the photo you take or the picture you paint. It’s the imagination of the consumer. They have no budget, they have no time limit. And if you can get into that space, your ad can run all day.” (Don Draper)

S6/E06 (25:30): “Just once, I would like to hear you use the word “we”. Because we’re all rooting for you from the sidelines, hoping that you’ll decide whatever you think is right for our lives.” (Joan Harris)

S6/E06 (30:29): “I wanna do whatever I can to make sure you do not fail. Then you can jump from the balcony and fly to work. Like superman.” (Megan Draper)

S6/E06 (33:40): “You can walk out like a man, or I can have you thrown out like the lowlife you are.” (Tom Vogel)

S6/E06 (38:00): “This is a car for the young and the young-at-hearts. Because today, nobody knows where they’re headed, but they’re not afraid what’s around the bend. Power plus design equals adventure. Throw the map out the window and hit the road, Jack. And then I sing this song.” (Ted Chaough)

S6/E06 (38:25): “Just music, people’s faces, all kinds: teenagers, dads, moms, different expressions of wonder. What could this possibly be? It’s so new, this combination of power, technology, comfort and price that it’s impossible to imagine. But not at Chevy. The future is something you haven’t even thought of yet. You run that for a week, then you finally show the car.” (Don Draper)

S6/E07 (10:30): “A lot of times in life you get to do something and you don’t realize until it’s over how much you enjoyed it. And you swear that that next time it comes around you’re gonna remember that.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E07 (31:19): “If I wait patiently by the river, the body of my enemy will float by.” (Frank Gleason)

S6/E07 (40:45): “It’s easy to give up something when you’re satisfied.” (Don Draper)

S6/E07 (40:49): “It’s easy to give up something when you’re ashamed.” (Sylvia Rosen)

S6/E08 (37:06): “I keep thinking about the basic principle of advertising: there’s entertainment and you stick the ad in the middle of the entertainment, like a little respite. It’s a bargain. They’re getting the entertainment for free, all they need to do is listen to the message. But what if they don’t take the bargain at all? What if they’re suddenly bored of the entertainment? What if they turn off the TV?” (Don Draper)

S6/E08 (44:20): “Every time we get a car, this place turns into a whorehouse.” (Don Draper)

S6/E09 (31:14): “The poor girl. She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.” (Betty Draper)

S6/E10 (05:02): “We’re conquistadors. I’m Vasco da Gama and you’re some other Mexican. We’re gonna land there, buy whatever they’ve got for the beats in our pockets. Our biggest challenge is to not get syphilis.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E10 (37:01): “You gotta stop talking in the past. You know what I learnt? New York is the center of the universe. We could send a landing craft out there, but they don’t understand what we do. […] My shrink says the job of your life is to know yourself. Sooner or later you’ll start to love who you are. And apparently, I am a curious child, with a full head of hair and a thriving business.” (Roger Sterling)

S6/E12 (16:12): “Any continuity preserves the belief that service has not changed.” (Jim Cutler)

S6/E13 (01:12): “Los Angeles is not what you see in the movies. It’s like Detroit with palm trees.” (Don Draper)

Quotes from Mad Men (Season Five)

S5/E01 (26:49): “‘Stable’ is that step backwards between successful and failing.” (Pete Campbell)

S5/E01 (40:38): “As a wise man once said: the only thing worse than not getting what you want is someone else getting it.” (Roger Sterling)

S5/E03 (16:48): “Listen, my stuff is good. You can see advertising ain’t my day job. Look, you’re a fair woman. I insulted you because I’m honest, and I apologized because I’m brave. I didn’t pick this profession; it picked me. I didn’t have any control over it. Turns out it’s the only thing I can do.” (Michael Ginsberg)

S5/E03 (21:01): “I had drinks with Mohawk. I sat down with two of them and I swear, by the end there were three.” (Roger Sterling)

S5/E05 (21:55): “No one grows up wanting to be in advertising.” (Don Draper)

S5/E05 (24:14): “I’m gonna close my eyes, and when I open them I wanna see skyscrapers.” (Don Draper)

S5/E05 (26:21): “You wouldn’t wanna hit a golf ball off the tee when you can hit it from the green.” (Roger Sterling)

S5/E05 (43:51): “There were phrases of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that still made Coe cry. He always thought it had to do with the circumstances of the composition itself. He imagined Beethoven, deaf and soul sick, his heart broken, scribbling furiously while death stood in the doorway, clipping his nails. Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country that was making him cry. It was killing him with his silence and loneliness, making everything ordinary too beautiful to bear.” (Ken Cosgrove)

S5/E06 (05:21): “[…] your words are always ‘I don’t like it’. And I think you’re right: we don’t understand you. Because you do like it. I think you just like fighting. […] Do you know how often people come in here and look at work and feel something? Almost never. You have to run with this. It’s young, and it’s beautiful. And no one else is gonna figure out how to say that about beans.”

S5/E06 (16:33): “Even if the truth is what you would call ‘relative’, good and bad are not relative. Your mistake is that you’re assuming that because something is true that it’s good.” (Professor)

S5/E06 (23:46): “How can a few numbers contain all of time?” (Jane Sterling)

S5/E07 (04:10): “I’ve been wondering lately if she was just an excuse to blow up my life.” (Roger Sterling)

S5/E07 (15:45): “Men don’t take the time to end things. They ignore you. Until you insist on a declaration of hate.” (Joan Harris)

S5/E08 (28:58): “Come on, reality got her! You work your ass off for months, bite your nails, for what? Heinz Baked Beans.” (Stan Rizzo)

S5/E08 (30:10): “Why do they give you a glimmer of hope in the midst of rejection? A little thread to hang on to, a misplaced word, a suggestion of the future…- Under a court of law, it would look like an accident, but it’s not.” (Pete Campbell)

S5/E09 (17:01): “Well Michael, when a man hates another man very very much, sometimes he wants to know that something is his. Even if in the end, he has to give it up.” (Roger Sterling)

S5/E10 (30:17): “You know what this woman said to me once? ‘I like being bad, and going home being good.'” (Don Draper)

S5/E10 (43:51): “Prepare to take a great leap forward. Prepare to swim the English Channel and then drown in champagne.” (Don Draper)

S5/E11 (29:08): “You must get tired of hearing what a beautiful thing this car is. But I’ve met a lot of beautiful women in my life and, despite their protestations, they never tire of hearing it. But when deep beauty is encountered, it arouses deep emotions. Because it creates a desire. Because it is, by nature, unattainable. […] We’re taught to think that function is all that matters. But we have a natural longing for this other thing. […] When I was driving the E-Type, I passed a ten year old boy in the back window of a station wagon and I watched his eyes follow. He’d just seen something he would want for the rest of his life. […] He’d just seen that unattainable object speed by, just out of reach. Because they do that, don’t they? Beautiful things? […] Then I thought about a men with sun beams reading Playboy or Esquire, and flipping passed the flesh, to the shiny painted curves of this car. There’s no effort to stop his eye. The difference is: he can have a Jaguar. […] Oh, this car. This thing, gentlemen. What price would we pay? What behavior would we forgive? If they weren’t pretty? If they weren’t temperamental? If they weren’t beyond our reach and a little out of our control? Would we love them like we do? Jaguar. At last. Something beautiful you can truly own.” (Don Draper)

S5/E12 (33:23): “Are you? You’re happy with 50%? You’re on top and you don’t have enough. You’re happy, because you’re successful – for now. But what is happiness? It’s a moment before you need more happiness. I won’t settle for 50% of anything, I want a hundred percent. You’re happy with your agency? You’re not happy with anything. You don’t want most of it, you want all of it. And I won’t stop until you get all of it.” (Don Draper)

S5/E13 (34:55): “When it went away, he was heart-broken. And then he realized everything he already had was not right either. And that was why it had happened at all. And that his life with his family was some temporary bandage on a permanent wound.” (Pete Campbell)

Music from Mad Men’s Closing Credits

Undoubtedly, the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the Mad Men series. Some of the period classics became absolutely essential ingredients of the show. Everybody who has a heart for the fifties’ and sixties’ Jazz, Swing, Soul and Country genres is certainly going to enjoy these songs, which are – unfortunately – too rarely heard nowadays:

S1/E01: Vic Damone – On The Street Where You Live
S1/E02: The Cardigans – Great Divide
S1/E03: Bobby Vinton – P.S. I Love You
S1/E04: Ella Fitzgerald & The Buddy Bregman Orchestra – Manhattan
S1/E06: Rosemary Clooney – Botch-A-Me (2004 Digital Remaster)
S1/E08: (Unknown) – (Give Me That) Old-Time Religion
S1/E09: Bobby Helms – My Special Angel
S1/E11: Julie London – Fly Me To The Moon
S1/E13: Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
S2/E02: George McGregor & The Bronzettes – Temptation Is Hard to Fight
S2/E03: Jack Jones – Lollipops and Roses
S2/E07: Brenda Lee – Break it to Me Gently
S2/E08: Peter, Paul & Mary – Early in the Morning
S2/E09: Marilyn Monroe – I’m Through with Love
S2/E10: The Tornadoes – Telstar
S2/E11: Johnny Mathis – What’ll I Do?
S2/E12: George Jones – Cup Of Loneliness
S3/E03: Ben Webster – Memories Of You
S3/E06: Bob Dylan – Song To Woody
S3/E07: Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons
S3/E08: Bobby Van & Kay Coulter – There’s A Small Hotel
S3/E09: Nnenna Freelon – Prelude To A Kiss
S3/E11: Oliver! – Where Is Love?
S3/E12: Skeeter Davis – The End Of The World
S3/E13: Roy Orbison – Shahdaroba
S4/E01: The Nashville Teens – Tobacco Road
S4/E02: Teresa Brewer – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
S4/E05: Doris Day – I Enjoy Being a Girl
S4/E06: Skeeter Davis – The Ladder of Success
S4/E07: Simon & Garfunkel – Bleecker Street
S4/E10: Santo & Johnny – Do You Want To Know A Secret
S4/E11: Jim Reeves – Welcome to My World
S4/E12: Etta James – Trust In Me
S4/E13: Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe
S5/E02: Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
S5/E03: (Sound of Music) – Sixteen Going on Seventeen
S5/E04: The Crystals – He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)
S5/E05: Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
S5/E08: The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
S5/E09: Maurice Chevalier – “Sweepin’ The Clouds Away”
S5/E10: Nellie McKay – Christmas Waltz
S5/E11: The Kinks – You Really Got Me
S5/E12: The Lovin’ Spoonful – Butchie’s Tune
S5/E13: Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice
S6/E01: Frederic Chopin – Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2
S6/E02: Elvis Presley – Hawaiian Wedding Song
S6/E03: Bing Crosby – Just a Gigolo
S6/E05: Paul Mauriat – Love Is Blue
S6/E06: Les Baxter & 101 Strings Orchestra – Tropicando
S6/E07: Friend & Lover – Reach Out Of The Darkness
S6/E08: The Mamas & The Papas – Words of Love
S6/E09: Lou Johnson – (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me
S6/E10: Janis Joplin – Piece of My Heart
S6/E12: The Monkees – Porpoise Song
S6/E13: Judy Collins – Both Sides Now
S7/E01: Vanilla Fudge – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
S7/E02: The Zombies – This Will Be Our Year
S7/E03: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – If 6 Was 9
S7/E04: The Hollies – On a Carousel
S7/E05: Waylon Jennings – Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line
S7/E08: Peggy Lee – Is That All There Is?
S7/E09: Yves Montand – C’est si bon
S7/E10: Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
S7/E11: Dean Martin – Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket
S7/E12: David Bowie – Space Oddity
S7/E13: Buddy Holly – Everyday

Quotes from Mad Men (Season Four)

And finally, Season 4. There has been a long break since its final episode, but Mad Men is back on AMC with Season 5 now. It starts with the fortieth birthday of Don Draper and continues to reflect the mores and conventions of the 1960ies in an exceptional way.

S4/E01 (09:47): “‘I don’t want it like this, I want it like that. Not too much of that, just a little like this’, and then: they look at it and they don’t like it.” (Peggy Olson)

S4/E01 (27:52): “Turning creative success into business is your work, and you’ve failed.” (Bertram Cooper)

S4/E02 (42:22): “My father used to say this is the greatest job in the world except for one thing: the clients.” (Roger Sterling)

S4/E04 (43:35): “How do you know that’s the truth? A new idea is something they don’t know yet, so of course it’s not gonna come up as an option. Put my campaign on TV for a year, then hold your group again, maybe they’ll show up. […] You can’t tell how people are going to behave based on how they have behaved.” (Don Draper)

S4/E05 (27:17): “Because no one’s ever won an account by breaking the rules? […] Are you sure to tell me that if we put our backs into this thing we couldn’t turn their heads?” (Don Draper)

S4/E05 (43:44): “Since when is forgiveness a better quality than loyalty?” (Roger Sterling)

S4/E06 (03:23): “You finish something and find out everyone loves it right around the time that feels like someone else did it.” (Don Draper)

S4/E06 (32:35): “My mother always said ‘be careful what you wish for, because you’ll get it’. And that’d people get jealous and try to take it away from you.” (Roger Sterling)

S4/E06 (27:10): “Well, as Danny would say, there’s no use crying over fish in the sea.” (Don Draper)

S4/E08 (21:27): “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it. Because we want them to be who we want them to be.” (Don Draper)

S4/S08 (37:14): “When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him. He has a million reasons for being anywhere, just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there, how he forgot where he was going, and then he woke up. If you listen, he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel, and dreamt of being perfect. And then he’ll smile with wisdom. Contented he realized the world isn’t perfect. We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things, and wish for what we had.” (Don Draper)

S4/S08 (41:51): “Aesop has a fable about the wind and the sun: the wind and the sun had this competition to see if they can get a travelers coat off. So the wind blows fiercely on him, but the traveler just pulls his coat tighter. But the sun shines down on him warmer and warmer, and the traveler just takes it off. […] Kindness, gentleness and persuasion win where force fails.” (Faye Miller)

S4/S09 (12:42): “I forgot for a second that you’re incapable of doing something nice without expecting something nicer in return.” (Joan Harris)

S4/S10 (39:45): “You judge people on their work. I’m the same way. Everything else is sentimental.” (Megan Calvet)

S4/E12 (26:20): “You always say, if you don’t like what they’re saying about you, change the conversation.” (Peggy Olson)

S4/E13 (01:21): “Maybe it’s not all about work. Maybe that sick feeling might go away if you take your head out of the sand about the past.” (Faye Miller)

Quotes from Mad Men (Season Three)

Season 3, the best one in my opinion.

S3/E01 (33:10): “Well, ‘our worst fears lie in anticipation’. That’s not me, that’s Balzac.” (Salvatore Romano)

S3/E02 (19:53): “I was in California. Everything is new, and it’s clean. The people are filled with hope. New York City is in decay. But Madison Square Garden, it’s the beginning of a new city on a hill.” (Don Draper)

S3/E03 (34:50): “This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.” (Paul Kinsey)

S3/E04 (20:00): “Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. That’s how I was raised.” (Bertram Cooper)

S3/E05 (07:54): “Pennies make pounds. And pounds make profits.” (Lane Pryce)

S3/E05 (29:55): “I wanna take you both with me to the promise land. At Grey, an account man is expected to have ideas. And creatives are expected to be geniuses. You’ll be sitting on velvet pillows showered with riches, awards.” (Herman Philips)

S3/E06 (37:01): “Well, Conny, there are snakes that go months without eating. And then they finally catch something, but they’re so hungry that they suffocate while they’re eating. One opportunity at a time.” (Don Draper)

S3/E06 (45:56): “This is your little brother. And he is only a baby. And we don’t know who he is yet, or who he is going to be. And that’s a wonderful thing.” (Don Draper)

S3/E08 (41:12): “You’re going to have a lot of first kisses. You’re going to want it to be special so you remember. It’s where you go from being a stranger to knowing someone. And every kiss with him after that is a shadow of that kiss.” (Betty Draper)

S3/E09 (20:15): “I think you know I’m in a bit of a crisis tonight […]. I think about my business day and night. And I’m harsh critic, especially at myself. And sometimes it collects and I feel bad, and then I realize maybe that’s the reason I am so lonesome.” (Conny Hilton)

S3/E09 (21:39): “After all the things we threw at Khrushchev, you know what made him fall apart? He couldn’t get into Disneyland.” (Conny Hilton)

S3/E09 (32:46): “How to lure the American traveler abroad. What more do we need than a picture of Athens to get our hearts racing? And yet, the average American experiences a level of luxury that belongs only to kings in most of the world. We’re not chauvinists, we just have expectations. Well, now there’s one world that promises the thrill of international travel with the comfort of home: Hilton.” (Don Draper)

S3/E10 (03:58): “I would’ve told Charlie that my job is about boiling down communication to its essentials, and that I know that there is a blue that at least 45% of the population sees as the same […]. The truth is people may see things differently, but they don’t really want to.” (Don Draper)

S3/E10 (40:27): “You know what the Chinese say: ‘The faintest ink is better than the best memory’.” (Paul Kinsey)

S3/E11 (08:11): “The most important thing about an interview is to express enthusiasm in a believable way. No self-deprecating humor. You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re great to be around, but you haven’t decided if they’re the right one.” (Joan Harris)

S3/E11 (11:08): “I like that you thought of me […]. You wanna be on some people’s minds. Some people’s you don’t.” (Roger Sterling)

S3/S12 (02:10): “It’s become apparent that you are excellent at making the clients feel their needs are being met. But Mr. Cosgrove has the rare gift of making them feel as if they haven’t any needs.” (Lane Pryce)

S3/E13 (02:46): “You know, I got everything I have on my own. It’s made me immune to those who complain and cry because they can’t.” (Conny Hilton)

Quotes from Mad Men (Season Two)

This is a follow-up on last week’s post Overcoming Triviality of Television Series, which included quotes from the first season of Mad Men. I pointed out why this TV drama constitutes an exception on a market characterized by predominantly trivial media content (which I in fact do not want to criticize). People who are interested in television series in general should check out this recent, nicely made post by re:design, and test their knowledge: 15 Iconic TV Shows to Guess. Personally, I wasn’t really able to shine here.

These are the quotes I took down while watching Mad Men Season 2. The sequel will follow by next week.

S2/E01 (13:40): “It’s not about the majestic beauty of the Mohawk Nation. It’s about adventure. To be a pirate. It could be a knight in shining armor. It could be a conquistador getting off the boat. It’s about a fantastical people who are taking you to some place you have never been.” (Don Draper)

S2/E01 (16:24): “Tell Duck: clients don’t understand. Their success is related to standing out, not fitting in. It’s a fad. Paint you a picture, something like: one wants to be the needle in the haystack. Not the haystack.” (Don Draper)

S2/E01 (36:47): “[‘Sex sells’] says who? Just so you know: the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. And they take all this monkey crap, and just stick it to briefcase, completely unaware that their success depends on something more than their shoeshine. You are the product. You, feeling something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.” (Don Draper)

S2/E01 (45:08): “Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern. The country is grey and brown and white in trees, snows and skies of laughter always diminishing, less funny not just darker, not just grey. It may be the coldest day of the year, what does he think of that? I mean, what do I? And if I do, perhaps I am myself again.” (Don Draper; Frank O’Hara: “Meditations in an Emergency (1957)”)

S2/E03 (32:05): “Controversy means viewers. Women will find a way to watch this, maybe just because they don’t wanna be left out. […] It’s catharsis. That’s hard to come by. What is better than tears to make a girl ready to hear she can be beautiful?” (Don Draper)

S2/E04 (30:18): “American Airlines is not about the past any more than America is. Ask not about Cuba, ask not about the bomb. We’re going to the moon. Throw everything out. […] There is no such thing as American history, only a frontier. A crash happened to somebody else. It’s not about apologies for what happened. It’s about those seven men in the room on Friday and what airline they’re going to be running. […] Let’s pretend we know what 1963 looks like.” (Don Draper)

S2/E04 (39:01): “Don’t you love the chase? Sometimes it doesn’t work out. It’s at the stakes. But if it does work out: it’s like having that first cigarette. Head gets all dizzy, your heart pounds, knees go week. Remember that? Old business is just old business.” (Roger Sterling)

S2/E05 (09:31): “This is America. Pick a job and then become the person that does it.” (Bobbie Barrett)

S2/E05 (29:46): “I’ll tell you the same thing I told my daughter: if you put a penny in a jar every time you make love in the first year of marriage, and then you take a penny out of the jar every time you make love in the second year, you know what you have? A jar full of pennies.” (Roger Sterling)

S2/E10 (41:21): “Advertising, if anything, helps bring on change. The market, and I’m talking in a pure Marxist sense, dictates that we must include everyone. Consumer has no color.” (Paul Kinsey)

S2/E12 (17:12): “I don’t know. I have been watching my life. It’s right there. I keep scratching and I’m trying to get into it. I can’t.” (Don Draper)

S2/E13 (34:56): “Well, Bert, when the economy is good, people buy things, and when it’s bad, they don’t. There’s no reason for us to be tied to creatives’ fantasies of persuasion.” (Herman Philips)

Overcoming Triviality of Television Series / Quotes from Mad Men (Season One)

Despite my strong preference for television as a personal source of entertainment with regards to media consumption, I watch significantly less TV series than the average viewer. In fact, I can hardly get motivated to start following current series, mainly because of the unbearable tediousness they bring along together with all the witless and entirely shallow characters and storylines. People watch them to kill time and to keep themselves entertained. Both very legitimate reasons of course. It is why I cannot pass judgment on women for being obsessed with Glee, New Girls and GCB, or dudes for watching Lost, Fringe and CSI. Everybody gets entertainment as one pleases, but I have not been able to figure out how certain content can be perceived as entertaining in the long run if the characters playing in it do not share the slightest commonalities with people from the real world. This can work just fine within a movie, if well executed, but why would somebody check it out week after week, episode after episode? Personally, I find it very tiring being exposed to fictional material that was only produced with the aim of being hip and original, but instead ends up in an awkwardly distorted reflection of the actual reality that does not produce any uniqueness at all. Today’s content is being sold by adding unnecessary exaggeration to it. “Human” characters do not seem to be sexy anymore. This factor remained absolutely crucial for me though when it comes to the question whether I am about to watch multiple episodes or seasons of a specific TV series or not, whether I will immerse myself in it completely or not, and whether I will account it a good entertainment product or not.

There are two series I consider PERFECT and probably unbeatable in every sense, each from one genre. On the comedy side, King of Queens has more heart than any other sitcom I have ever seen and it works with a few, but very unique yet tangible characters that interact with each other in a perfectly elaborate social setting. Unfortunately, it is not being produced anymore. On the drama side, I see Mad Men as a masterpiece that stands out from the whole bunch of past and current television productions. It is the only TV drama I am aware of that succeeds in overcoming the general triviality of television series in such an impressive way. Not only does Matthew Weiner portray the mores of the sixties and the social and economic advancements of the United States in a ridiculously meticulous and authentic way, but he also created an incredible complexity to every single character. Tastes differ and I know that many of my friends will find it boring, especially those who rate South Park, Family Guy and American Dad among their favorite series. I recommend everybody else to start watching it, and do that from the very beginning in order to comprehend how the storyline and the characters unfold. I have been following the first four seasons very keenly on DVD. The fifth season is currently airing on AMC. In order to offer a glimpse into the excellently depicted moods of the sixties and the advertising business of that era, I am going to share some quotes that stroke me instantly. These are the extracts from the first season. The others will follow within the next few weeks.

S1/E01 (30:37): “Advertising is based on one thing: Happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams, with reassurance, that whatever you’re doing: it’s ok. ‘You are ok’.” (Don Draper)

S1/E01 (39:03): “You mean love? You mean a big lightning ball to the heart, when you can’t eat and you can’t work and you just run off and get married and make babies. The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me – to sell nylons. […] You were born alone and you die alone, and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts, but I never forget. I’m living like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one.” (Don Draper)

S1/E02 (41:08): “What do women want? Any excuse to get closer.” (Don Draper)

S1/E04 (35:19): “New York is a marvelous machine, filled with a mash of levers and gears and springs, like a fine watch, wound tight, always ticking.” (Bertram Cooper)

S1/E04 (38:54): “I bet daily friendship with that bottle attracts more people to advertising than any salary you could dream of.” (Roger Sterling)

S1/E05 (40:57): “People wanna be told what to do, so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.” (Don Draper)

S1/E06 (02:29): “Stop smoking so much. It’s a sign of weakness. You know how Hitler got Neville Chamberlain to give him everything in Munich? He held a conference at an old palace that forbids smoking. And after an hour and a half of not smoking, Neville Chamberlain would have given Hitler his mother as a dance partner.” (Bertram Cooper)

S1/E06 (19:05): “When a man gets to the point when his name’s on the building, he can get an unnatural sense of entitlement.” (Roger Sterling)

S1/E08 (27:40): “I’m not one of those boys who look forward to escape the wife and kids. I’m really a home buddy. But New York: When you arrive and that train starts slowing down and it gets all dark, my heart pounds and I think: I’m gonna climb that staircase and be in New York.” (Elliot Lawrence)

S1/E08 (39:36): “Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.” (Don Draper)

S1/E10 (09:18): “Well, honestly, the unpleasant truth is you don’t have anything. Your customers cannot be depended on anymore. Their lives have changed. They’re prosperous. Over the years they have developed new tastes. They’re like your daughter: educated, sophisticated. They know full-well what they deserve, and they’re willing to pay for it.” (Don Draper)

S1/E10 (15:35): “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing him.” (Roger Sterling)

S1/E10 (15:39): “You know what my father used to say? Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get in with for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face.” (Roger Sterling)

S1/E10 (16:33): “Remember, Don, when God closes a door, He opens a dress.” (Roger Sterling)

S1/E11 (10:44): “Peggy, just think about it – deeply – then forget it. And an idea will jump up in your face.” (Don Draper)

S1/E12 (37:50): “The Japanese have a saying: a man is whatever room he is in. And right now, Donald Draper is in this room.” (Bertram Cooper)

S1/E13 (33:50): “Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash. If they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old pro copywriter, Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is ‘new’, create an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. What he also talked about: a deeper bond with the product, nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek ‘nostalgia’ literally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards, takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called ‘the wheel’, it’s called ‘the carousel’, let us travel the way a child travels, round and around, and back home again. It’s your place, where you know when you’re loved.” (Don Draper)