TV Kitchens: Mad Men
One of our favorite shows, “Mad Men” on AMC, returned for its second season last week and we’re once again loving the early ’60s style and drama.
The fast-paced action of the Manhattan advertising world happens in the offices of Sterling Cooper, but the Drapers’ suburban kitchen is where the family dynamics play out.
The Drapers’ kitchen features classic ’60s style – pine cabinets, plaid wallpaper, avocado appliances and graphic prints. Betty Draper prepares her family meals looking like she stepped off a page from Better Homes & Gardens, always perfectly groomed and dressed to the nines in full-skirted dresses, skirts and pearls. The dishes she prepares, too, are typically fit for a photo spread – hams covered in pineapple rings and studded with cloves, juicy pot roasts and giant pork chops.
Like the rest of the “Mad Men” sets, the Drapers’ kitchen provides plenty of eye candy, but it’s also a window into a much darker reality. Perfection on the outside, Betty is bored, lonely and restless on the inside, prone to childish and sometimes bizarre outbursts. Sitting alone in the kitchen at night, she chain smokes and wonders what her husband is up to at the office so late. (Hint: It’s usually no good.)
The kitchen is where Betty often catches up on the latest gossip with her friend and neighbor, Francine. In the season two opener, over coffee and cigarettes, they excitedly discuss Betty and Don’s encounter with her old roommate, now a “party girl.” They also agree that when it comes to men, “I’ll take dull and know where I stand.”
We see Betty leaving some of the kitchen duties to the family’s housekeeper to pursue interests outside the home – some healthy and others potentially troublesome. But we have no doubt the kitchen will continue to be a key set piece in this irresistible drama.