Mad Men is finally exiting our lives forever this month, but that doesn’t mean there’s a dearth of good television to watch. To help with our mourning, there will be a ton of programs to check out, especially on Netflix and Lifetime. Netflix premieres two original series prime for binge-viewing, while Lifetime premieres two celebrity biopics prime for hate-watching. From new event series to Letterman’s departure, here are the ten TV events to watch this May.
May 8: Grace and Frankie‘s first season premieres on Netflix
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin from 9 to 5 are reuniting in this Netflix original comedy. Created by Marta Kauffman (Friends), Grace and Frankie is about two women whose husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) leave them for each other. The entire first season will premiere on May 8.
May 14: M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines
Based on the novel Pines by Blake Crouch, Wayward Pines is essentially Shyamalan’s version of Twin Peaks. Developed by Chad Hodge (who wrote the pilot; Shyamalan directed it), the series follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) who investigates the disappearance of two federal agents in Idaho.
May 17: Mad Men finally ends forever
Finally, Mad Men is over! Or: Oh no, Mad Men is over! Whichever way you look at it, it’s inevitable: The final episode of Mad Men airs on AMC on May 17, surely prompting many people to claim it’s the end of yet another Golden Age of Television. The final episodes have been a mixed bag — though last week’s was certainly promising and gives us high hopes for the series finale, or at least a Stan/Peggy happy ending.
May 20: David Letterman hosts his final episode of Late Show
Lately it seems like every few months there’s a huge shake-up in late-night television, but May 20 will mark one of the biggest changes as David Letterman officially steps down from The Late Show, a program he’s hosted since 1993. The final week will certainly be a star-studded affair, and you’ll definitely want to watch the last episode, even if you haven’t watched much of Letterman in recent years.
May 21: Netflix’s Between premieres
Between has my favorite premise of any show premiering this summer: a mysterious disease kills everyone over the age of 21, leaving the world overflowing with teens! Jennette McCurdy (iCarly) stars as a pregnant teenager coping with the devastating loss. The first season — consisting of six hourlong episodes — will premiere all at once on May 21.
May 22: Jen Kirkman’s stand-up special premieres on Netflix
May is a pretty big month for Netflix, with multiple series and specials airing throughout. On May 22, the streaming site will premiere a new stand-up comedy special from Jen Kirkman (Chelsea Lately, Drunk History) titled I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine).
May 25: Nicole Kidman’s Cannes disaster premieres on Lifetime
Here’s something new: A film that opened the 2014 Cannes festival has been downgraded to being burned off on Lifetime. Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, was panned by critics at Cannes for its vapid and poorly written script. Instead of getting a theatrical release, the biopic will end up premiering on the network of terrible biopics: Lifetime.
May 28: David Duchovny tries to catch Charles Manson
In another new strategy, NBC is trying to balance between a typical TV viewing experience and the increasingly popular binge-viewing model. Aquarius, in which Duchovny plays a homicide detective who ends up hunting down Charles Manson in the late ’60s, will premiere with a two-hour episode on May 28. Following the premiere, NBC will then release all 13 episodes of the series on NBC.com (and the NBC app) so viewers can marathon the whole show.
May 29: David Oyelowo has a one-man show in Nightingale
David Oyelowo (Selma) stars in this single-character drama as a veteran who begins to unravel. The dark and isolated film, from a Frederick Mensch screenplay, “probes the darkest corners of a disturbed mind” and showcases Oyelowo’s acting, hopefully gaining him even more attention and accolades.
May 30: Lifetime ruins the legacy of Marilyn Monroe
If Grace of Monaco isn’t enough for you, Lifetime is also unveiling its Marilyn Monroe miniseries this month. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe stars Kelli Garner in the titular role of the four-hour event, which places a great emphasis on Monroe’s secrets. Susan Sarandon, Eva Amurri Martino, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan also star.