It's been a month since "Mad Men" ran over our hearts with a lawn mower after airing its series finale. And while we may never know how Watergate affects Bobby Draper's young psyche or whether Peggy Olsen ever gets into aerobics, there are plenty of other great period pieces to carry "Mad Men" obsessives into the future. Below, a list of TV shows guaranteed to cure your particular brand of post-"Mad Men" sadness.
Here's what to watch if ...
You want another AMC historical drama about sweeping cultural change and workplace shenanigans:
"Halt and Catch Fire"
Set in Texas' Silicon Prairie of the mid-1980s, "Halt and Catch Fire" follows its tech-savvy characters through the development of the personal computer. The show is atmospheric and intense, and concerns itself with issues of invention and progress similar to those that gave "Mad Men" its thematic spine. "Halt and Catch Fire" has garnered critical buzz throughout its retooled sophomore season, currently airing Sunday nights on AMC.
You miss the show's frank depictions of sex, and Peter Pan collars:
"Masters of Sex"
One thing "Mad Men" explored often (and explored smartly) was sex. "Masters of Sex," as you might expect from the title, takes that up as its singular subject. A dramatization of the famous study on sexual behavior by William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Showtime series' mid-century setting captures the same retro ethos that made "Mad Men" a smash. "Masters of Sex" returns for a new season later this month, featuring a time jump to hyper-mod 1966 -- after the publication of the duo's groundbreaking research.
You wish the whole thing had been about Sally:
"Freaks and Geeks"
Matthew Weiner has nixed talk of a sequel, so "Sally Draper: Girl of the 20th Century" probably won’t come to pass. But if you're interested in coming-of-age stories about smart, rebellious teenage girls, cult classic "Freaks and Geeks" proves a worthy substitute. In this early Judd Apatow offering, suburban teenager Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini, who later played Don’s Season 6 mistress Sylvia Rosen) bridges the proverbial freak-geek divide circa 1980. The whole one-season wonder is available to stream on Netflix Instant. Also, check out
You worship the trinity of Peggy, Joan and Betty:
"The Astronaut Wives Club"
"Mad Men" revolves around the boys' club of advertising, but its dynamic female characters provided the show with sharp social critiques and much of its forward momentum. After the swift life and death of ABC's "Pan Am" (which couldn't quite capitalize on "Mad Men"-related nostalgia for the 1960s), the network is trying a new series about women of that era. Based on Lily Koppel's best-selling book, "The Astronaut Wives Club" focuses on the spouses of NASA's Mercury One team as they navigate the competing demands of public attention and private life. The series premiered June 18 on ABC.
You've developed a taste for Jon Hamm:
"A Young Doctor's Notebook"
Based on a collection of short stories by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, Ovation's "A Young Doctor's Notebook" follows a doctor as he reflects on his time in rural, post-Revolution Russia. Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe play the older and younger incarnations of the title character, respectively. If that sounds like a downer, don't worry: the series features plenty of dark humor and lets Hamm show off his impressive comedic chops. Fans of the penchant "Mad Men" had for ghosts and dream sequences will appreciate the fact that the two men appear onscreen together, as the older doctor physically accompanies his younger self. Intrigued? You can watch the four-part first season on Netflix.
You love watching high-drama geniuses live through high-drama times:
The men and women of "Mad Men" were typically brilliant in their work and flailing in their personal lives. WGN America series "Manhattan" takes a similar tack as it reimagines another turning point in history. "Manhattan" depicts an elite group of scientists hard at work on a top-secret project in the New Mexico desert (spoiler alert: it's the atomic bomb). Set in 1943, the show is as much about interpersonal combustion as it is about breakthroughs in nuclear physics. The 13-episode first season is available for streaming on Hulu Plus.
And if you really just miss “Mad Men,” dammit:
Fix yourself a vodka gimlet and re-watch the whole thing on Netflix.
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