Just like real moms, TV matriarchs like Cersei, Betty, Marge, and Leslie make us laugh, cry, and tweet in frustration. On May 11, they all deserve pampering. Let's go shopping for the small screen’s significant mothers.
Betty Draper Francis, ‘Mad Men’
What she needs: Beauty rest
Even as ‘Mad Men’ hurtles through the hippie years, this mother of three shows no sign of letting her hair down. (You'll recall how she trash-talked Bobby’s bohemian teacher on the class field trip to the farm.) Well, now Bets can look just as polished while she sleeps. We’re gifting her a set of silk pillowcases from Barska ($122.80, at wayfair.com). Unlike cotton shams, which have grabby fibers that leave hair tangled, silk allows locks to slide coolly as one slumbers. Come morning, Betty can spend less time taming her bouffant, and more time doing what she does best: puffing cigarettes and throwing serious shade.
Loreen Horvath, ‘Girls’
What she needs: Serenity
Who knew an empty nest could be so noisy? Despite living hundreds of miles from her Brooklyn-dwelling daughter, this beleaguered mom (played by Becky Ann Baker) can’t escape her kid’s narcissistic whining. Hannah (Lena Dunham) pesters Loreen while high on opium, after puncturing her own eardrum with a Q-tip, and whenever lofty literary ambitions strike. Some say the only suitable gift is to kill Hannah off. Failing that, let’s do Loreen a solid and take Hannah’s “voice of a generation” down a notch. Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones ($300, bose.com) are rigged with special cushioning and sound processors that seal out 90 decibels of racket. That’s enough to mute Miss Horvath. Almost.
Marge Simpson, 'The Simpsons'
What she needs: A fashion nudge
Marge got a rare makeover opportunity a few months ago, when the designers on “Project Runway: All Stars” created a collection of gorgeous date-night dresses just for her. Fast forward to today, however, and Bart, Lisa and Maggie’s mom is still wearing the same green frock she’s been sporting for decades. We get it: Change is hard, and parting with sentimental items is even tougher. To give Marge the push she needs to up her style game, we’re getting her a gift certificate to The T-Shirt Quilt Cafe (tshirtquiltcafe.com). For $35, the Florida-based company will turn an old item of clothing into a cute keepsake pillow. Marge’s signature look can live on — without having to live on her.
Leslie Knope, ‘Parks and Recreation’
What she needs: Breakfast for a bunch
Pawnee’s overachieving parks pro made some major leaps in the show’s April 23 season finale. The series jumped ahead three years, and we learned that Leslie (Amy Poehler) has a big new job — and a big new family of toddler triplets with husband Ben Wyatt. What didn’t change? Her love of waffles and need to nurture others. With the Chef’s Choice WafflePro Five of Hearts waffle maker ($70, at macys.com), Leslie can indulge both passions. The sturdy nonstick appliance stamps out five perfectly browned treats in under two minutes. Everyone can toast to that.
Mary Crawley, ‘Downton Abbey’
What she needs: A serious notebook
Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) spent months mired in grief over the death of husband Matthew Crawley. But once she took an active role in shoring up Downton’s financials for the couple’s baby son, George, she got some of her old spark back. To celebrate this mom’s resilience and new responsibilities, we’re gifting her an Iris Leather Journal from Oberon Design ($81, at oberondesign.com). The notebook’s handsome cover is embossed with a botanical motif that evokes new life, and it comes in a rich purple hue just right for aristocratic scribbles. Now Mary can keep tabs on the tenant farmers — and when she’s up to it, tot up the pros and cons of her dashing new suitors.
Cersei Lannister, ‘Game of Thrones’
What she needs: A new man
Cersei has had a lot on her plate lately: the public murder of her son. An engagement to a gay knight. A not-quite-consensual coupling with her twin brother, Jaime. We say it’s high time this mom (now of two) got her head out of Westeros and got back in the dating game. While Cersei has plenty of selling points — radiant beauty, heat-seeking ambition, highborn blood—she needs some help with her baggage. Our gift to her? An assist from Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger (millionaire123.com). In addition to Stanger’s personal attention in finding an affluent mate, the Gold-level matchmaking package includes a session with an image consultant, one-on-one coaching from a dating specialist, and even hypnotherapy. The cost? $85,000 per year. Avoiding incest? Priceless.